Yellowstone Handbook 2019
History of the Park
Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
H IS T ORY People have spent time in the Yellowstone region for more than 11,000 years. Rock structures like this are evidence of the early presence of people in the area. History of the Park The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years. The stories of people in Yellowstone are preserved in archeological sites and objects that convey information about past human activities in the region, and in people’s connections to the land that provide a sense of place or identity. Today, park managers use archeological and historical studies to help us understand how people lived here in the past. Ethnography helps us learn about how groups of people identify themselves and their connections to the park. Research is also conducted to learn how people continue to affect and be affected by these places, many of which have been relatively protected from human impacts. Some alterations to the landscape, such as the construction of roads and other facilities, are generally accepted as necessary to accommodate the needs of visitors today. Information on the possible consequences of modern human activities, both inside and outside the parks, is used to determine how best to preserve Yellowstone’s natural and cultural resources, and the quality of the visitors’ experience. History of Yellowstone National Park Precontact • People have been in Yellowstone more than 11,000 years, as shown by archeological sites, trails, and oral histories. • • • Railroad arrived in 1883, allowing easier visitor access. • Although the Tukudika (a.k.a. Sheep Eaters) are the most wellknown group of Native Americans to use the park, many other tribes and bands lived in and traveled through what is now Yellowstone National Park prior to and after European American arrival. European Americans Arrive • European Americans began exploring in the early 1800s. • Osborne Russell recorded early visits in the 1830s. First organized expedition explored Yellowstone in 1870. Protection of the Park Begins • Yellowstone National Park established in 1872. Park Management Evolves • 1963:“Leopold Report” released. Recommended changes to how wildlife is managed in the park. • 1970: New bear management plan eliminated open-pit garbage dumps in park. The US Army managed the park from 1886 through 1918. • 1988: “Summer of Fire.” • 1995: Wolves restored to the park. • Automobiles allowed into the park in 1915, making visits easier and more economical. • 1996: Federal buyout of gold mine northeast of Yellowstone protected the park. • National Park Service created in 1916. • First boundary adjustment of the park made in 1929. History of the Park 13 Humans in Yellowstone H IS T ORY Paleoindian Period ~11,000 years ago 10,000 years ago A Clovis point from this period Folsom people were in the was made from obsidian Yellowstone area as early as obtained at Obsidian Cliff. 10,900 years ago—the date of an obsidian Folsom projectile point found near Pinedale, Wyoming. Sites all over the park yield paleoindian artifacts, particularly concentrated around Yellowstone Lake. The Earliest Humans in Yellowstone Human occupation of the greater Yellowstone area seems to follow environmental changes of the last 15,000 years. How far back is still to be determined— there are no known sites in the park that date to this time—but humans probably were not using this landscape when glaciers and a continental ice sheet covered most of what is now Yellowstone National Park. The glaciers carved out valleys with rivers that people could follow in pursuit of Ice Age mammals such as the mammoth and the giant bison. The last period of ice coverage ended 13,000–14,000 years ago, sometime after that, but before 11,000 years ago, humans where here on this landscape. Archeologists have found physical evidence of human presence in the form of distinctive stone tools and projectile points. From these artifacts, scientists surmise that they hunted mammals and gathered berries, seeds, and plants. As the climate in the Yellowstone region warmed and dried, the animals, vegetation, and human lifestyles also changed. Large Ice Age animals that were adapted to cold and wet conditions became extinct. The glaciers left behind layers of sediment in valleys in which grasses and sagebrush thrived, and pockets of exposed rocks that provided protected areas for aspens and fir to grow. The uncovered volcanic plateau sprouted lodgepole forests. People adapted to these changing conditions and were eating a diverse diet including medium and small animals such as deer and Cody knife (9,350 years ago) from the Yellowstone National Park museum collection 14 9,350 years ago Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 A site on the shore of Yellowstone Lake has been dated to 9,350 years ago. The points had traces of blood from rabbit, dog, Hell Gap point, deer, and bighorn sheep. made 9,600– People seem to have 10,000 years occupied this site for short, ago seasonal periods. bighorn sheep as early as 9,500 years ago. This favorable climate would continue more than 9,000 years. Evidence of these people in Yellowstone remained uninvestigated long after archeologists began excavating sites elsewhere in North America. Archeologists used to think high-elevation regions such as Yellowstone were inhospitable to humans and, thus, did little exploratory work in these areas. However, park superintendent Philetus W. Norris (1877–82) found artifacts in Yellowstone and sent them to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Today, archeologists study environmental change as a tool for understanding human uses of areas such as Yellowstone. More than 1,850 archeological sites have been documented in Yellowstone National Park, with the majority dating to the Archaic period. Sites contain evidence of successful hunts for bison, sheep, elk, deer, bear, cats, and wolves. Campsites and trails in Yellowstone also provide evidence of early use. Some of the trails used in the park today have likely been used by people since the Paleoindian period. Some of the historic peoples from this area, such as the Crow and Sioux, arrived sometime during the 1500s and around 1700, respectively. Prehistoric vessels known as “Intermountain Ware” have been found in the park and surrounding area, and these link the Shoshone to the area as early as approximately 700 years ago. Increased Use People seem to have increased their use of the Yellowstone area beginning about 3,000 years ago. During this time, they began to use the bow and arrow, which replaced the atlatl, or spear-thrower, that had been used for thousands of years. With the bow and arrow, people hunted more efficiently. They also developed sheep traps and bison corrals, and used both near the park, and perhaps in it. This H IS T ORY Archaic Period (8,000–1,500 years ago) 7,000 years ago Vegetation similar to what we find today begins to appear. Projectile points begin to be notched. 9,000 years ago until 1,000 common era (CE), people leave traces of camps on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. increased use of Yellowstone may have occurred when the environment was warmer, favoring extended seasonal use on and around the Yellowstone Plateau. Archeologists and other scientists are working together to study evidence such as plant pollen, landforms, and tree rings to understand how the area’s environment changed over time. 3,000 years ago 1,500 years ago Oral histories of the Salish place their ancestors in the Yellowstone area. Bow and arrow begins to replace atlatl (throwing spear); sheep traps (in the mountains) and bison corrals (on the plains) begin to be used in the Rocky Mountain region. Obsidian Cliff National Historic Landmark The Little Ice Age Climatic evidence confirms the Yellowstone area experienced colder temperatures during what is known Location Grand Loop Road between Mammoth and Norris. Significance • Obsidian is found in volcanic areas where the magma is rich in silica and the lava flow has cooled without forming crystals, creating a black glass that can be honed to an exceptionally thin edge. An ancient trail, now called the Bannock Trail, is shown in two possible locations. Physical evidence of the trail is extremely difficult to find. Historic maps and journals do not match modern maps, and oral histories of tribes do not always match what little evidence exists of the trail. The solid line shows the trail’s location as interpreted from 1878 to about 1960. Some scholars today think the dashed line shows the main Bannock Trail more accurately, but it is still subject to disagreement because of the many known ‘spokes’ of the trail and some errors on the 1869 map. • Unlike most obsidian, which occurs as small rocks strewn amid other formations, Obsidian Cliff has an exposed vertical thickness of about 98 feet (30 m). • Obsidian was first quarried from this cliff for toolmaking more than 11,000 years ago. • It is the United States’ most widely dispersed source of obsidian by hunter-gatherers. It is found along trade routes from western Canada to Ohio. • Obsidian Cliff is the primary source of obsidian in a large concentration of Midwestern sites, including about 90% of obsidian found in Hopewell mortuary sites in the Ohio River Valley (about 1,850–1,750 years ago). Recent History About 90% of the forest on Obsidian Cliff plateau burned in 1988. The fire did not damage the cliff face, but it cleared the surface, creating optimal conditions for archeological surveys. Those surveys added substantially to knowledge about how obsidian was mined from the bedrock and collected as cobbles from the overlying glacial till. Staff are now researching the intensity of use of this obsidian, both within the park and across North America. The kiosk at Obsidian Cliff, constructed in 1931, was the first wayside exhibit in a US national park. It was listed on the National Register in 1982. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996. History of the Park 15 H IS T ORY 500–1700s CE 1400 1450 1600s Oral histories of the Kiowa place their ancestors in the Yellowstone area from this time through the 1700s. Little Ice Age North American tribes in the southwest begin begins. acquiring horses in the mid- to late 1600s. Ancestors of the Crow may have come into the Yellowstone ecosystem during this time. 1700s Lakota Sioux begin exploring the Yellowstone area. CE = Common Era (replaces AD) as the Little Ice Age—mid-1400s to mid-1800s. Archeological evidence indicates fewer people used this region during this time, although more sites dating to this period have been located. Campsites appear to have been used by smaller groups of people, mostly in the summer. Such a pattern of use would make sense in a cold region where hunting and gathering were practical for only a few months each year. Historic Tribes Greater Yellowstone’s location at the convergence of the Great Plains, Great Basin, and Plateau Indian cultures means that many tribes have a traditional connection to the land and its resources. For thousands of years before Yellowstone became a national park, it was a place where people hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used the thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes. Tribal oral histories indicate more extensive use during the Little Ice Age. Kiowa stories place their ancestors here from around C.E. 1400 to 1700. Ancestors to contemporary Blackfeet, Cayuse, Coeur d’Alene, Bannock, Nez Perce, Shoshone, Crow, Sioux, Lakota, and Umatilla, among others, continued to travel the park on the already established trails. They visited geysers, conducted ceremonies, hunted, gathered plants and minerals, and engaged in trade. The Shoshone report family groups came to Yellowstone to gather obsidian, which they used to field-dress bison. Some tribes used the Fishing Bridge area as a rendezvous site. The Crow occupied the area generally east of the park, and the Blackfeet occupied the area to the north. The Shoshone, Bannock, and other tribes of the plateaus to the west traversed the park annually to hunt on the plains to the east. Other Shoshonean groups hunted in open areas west and south of Yellowstone. In the early 1700s, some tribes in this region began to acquire the horse. Some historians believe the horse fundamentally changed their lifestyles because tribes could now travel faster and farther to hunt bison and other animals of the plains. The Tukudika: “Sheep Eaters” Some groups of Shoshone who adapted to a mountain existence chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, who used their dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. Sheep Eaters acquired their name from the bighorn sheep whose migrations they followed. Bighorn sheep were a significant part of their diet, and they crafted the carcasses into a wide array of tools. For example, they soaked sheep horns in hot springs to make them pliable, then bent them into bows. They traded these bows, as well as clothing and hides, to other tribes. European Americans Arrive Wickiups provided temporary shelter for some Native Americans while they were in Yellowstone. No authentic, standing wickiups are known to remain in the park. 16 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 In the late 1700s, fur traders traveled the great tributary of the Missouri River, the Yellowstone, in search of Native Americans with whom to trade. They called the river by its French name, “Roche Jaune.” As far as historians know, pre-1800 European Americans did not observe the hydrothermal activity in this area, but they probably heard about these features from Native American acquaintances. H IS T ORY Associated Tribes of Yellowstone National Park • Assiniboine and Sioux • Eastern Shoshone • Oglala Sioux • Umatilla Reservation • Blackfeet • Flandreau Santee Sioux • Rosebud Sioux • Yankton Sioux • Cheyenne River Sioux • • Salish and Kootenai • Coeur d’Alene Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Comanche Kiowa Shoshone–Bannock • • • Colville Reservation Lower Brule Sioux Sisseton Wahpeton • • • Note: Map shows tribal reservations; it does not show historic territory. Crow Nez Perce Spirit Lake • • • Standing Rock Sioux Crow Creek Sioux Northern Arapaho • • • • Northern Cheyenne • Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Tribes used hydrothermal sites ceremonially and medicinally. The Mud Volcano area is especially significant for the Kiowa. Their tradition says that a hot spring called Dragon’s Mouth (above) is where their creator gave them the Yellowstone area for their home. The Crow also have stories about this feature. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806), sent by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly acquired lands of the Louisiana Purchase, bypassed Yellowstone. They had heard descriptions of the region but did not explore the Yellowstone River beyond what is now Livingston, Montana. A member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, John Colter, left that group during its return journey to join trappers in the Yellowstone area. During his travels, Colter probably skirted the northwest shore of Yellowstone Lake and crossed the Yellowstone River near Tower Fall, where he noted the presence of “Hot Spring Brimstone.” Not long after Colter’s explorations, the United States became embroiled in the War of 1812, which drew men and money away from exploration of the Yellowstone region. The demand for furs resumed after the war and trappers returned to the Rocky Mountains in the 1820s. Among them was Daniel Potts, who published the first History of the Park 17 H IS T ORY late 1700s–1840s CE late 1700s 1804–1806 1807–1808 1820s 1834–1835 Fur traders travel the rivers into the Yellowstone region. Tribes in the Yellowstone area begin using horses. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passes within 50 miles of Yellowstone. John Colter likely explores part of Yellowstone. Trappers return to Yellowstone area. Trapper Osborne Russell encounters Tukudika (“Sheep Eaters”) in Lamar Valley. account of Yellowstone’s wonders as a letter in a Philadelphia newspaper. Osborne Russell also published an account of his fur trapping in and around Yellowstone during the 1830s and early 1840s Mountain man Jim Bridger also explored Yellowstone during this time. Like many trappers, Bridger spun tall tales as a form of entertainment around the evening fire. His stories inspired future explorers to travel to see the real thing. As quickly as it started, the trapper era ended. By the mid-1840s, the market for beaver dropped, and trappers moved on to guiding or other occupations. Looking for Gold Between 1863 and 1871, prospectors crisscrossed the Yellowstone Plateau every year, searching for gold and other precious minerals. Although gold was found nearby, no big strikes were made inside what is now Yellowstone National Park. Expeditions Explore Yellowstone Although Yellowstone had been thoroughly tracked by tribes and trappers, in the view of the nation at large it was really “discovered” by a series of formal expeditions. The first organized attempt came in 1860 when Captain William F. Raynolds led a military expedition, but this group was unable to explore The continued reports by mountain men about the wonders of the Yellowstone area, artist renderings of the area, and reports by explorers contributed to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. 18 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 the Yellowstone Plateau because of late spring snow. The Civil War preoccupied the government during the next few years. Immediately after the war, several explorations were planned, but none actually got underway. The 1869 Folsom-Cook-Peterson Expedition In 1869, three members of one would-be expedition set out on their own. David E. Folsom, Charles W. Cook, and William Peterson ignored the warning of a friend who said their journey was “the next thing to suicide” because of “Indian trouble” along the way. From Bozeman, they traveled down the divide between the Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers, crossed the mountains to the Yellowstone and continued into the present park. They observed Tower Fall, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone—“this masterpiece of nature’s handiwork”—continued past Mud Volcano to Yellowstone Lake, then south to West Thumb. From there, they visited Shoshone Lake and the geyser basins of the Firehole River. The expedition updated an earlier explorer’s map (DeLacy, in 1865), wrote an article for Western Monthly magazine, and refueled the excitement of scientists who decided to see for themselves the truth of the party’s tales of “the beautiful places we had found fashioned by the practiced hand of nature, that man had not desecrated.” The 1870 Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition In August 1870, a second expedition set out for Yellowstone, led by Surveyor-General Henry D. Washburn, Montana politician and businessman Nathaniel P. Langford, and attorney Cornelius Hedges. Lt. Gustavus C. Doane provided military escort from Fort Ellis (near present-day Bozeman, Montana). The explorers traveled to Tower Fall, Canyon, and Yellowstone Lake, followed the lake’s eastern and southern shores, and explored the Lower, Midway, and Upper geyser basins (where they named Old Faithful). They climbed several peaks, descended into the Grand Canyon of the H IS T ORY 1850s–1871 CE 1850s 1860 1862 1869 1870 1871 Little Ice Age ends, climate begins to warm. First organized expedition attempts, but fails, to explore the Yellowstone Plateau. Gold strikes northwest of Yellowstone. Folsom–Cook– Peterson Expedition. Washburn–Langford–Doane First Hayden Expedition; Old Faithful Expedition. Geyser named. survey team included two botanists, a meteorologist, a zoologist, an ornithologist, a mineralogist, a topographer, and an agricultural statistician/entomologist, in addition to an artist, a photographer, and support staff. The Hayden Survey brought back scientific corroboration of the earlier tales of thermal activity. The expedition gave the world an improved map of Yellowstone and visual proof of the area’s unique curiosities through the photographs of William Henry Jackson and the art of Henry W. Elliot and Thomas Moran. The expedition’s reports excited the scientific community and aroused even more national interest in Yellowstone. Hayden noted that in terms of scientific value, “The geysers of Iceland…sink into insignificance in comparison with the hot springs of the Yellowstone and Fire-Hole Basins.” Birth of a National Park Several early trappers and expeditions passed by Tower Fall, depicted here by painter Thomas Moran, who accompanied the Hayden Expedition. One of the first trappers may have been John Colter, who left the Lewis and Clark Expedition as they returned east to join fur trappers in the Yellowstone area. He probably crossed the Yellowstone River near Tower Fall. Yellowstone, and attempted measurements and analyses of several of the prominent natural features. The 1871 Hayden Expedition Ferdinand V. Hayden, head of the US Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, led the next scientific expedition in 1871, simultaneous with a survey by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The history of science in Yellowstone formally began with Hayden’s expeditions. Hayden’s 1871 The crowning achievement of the returning expeditions was helping to save Yellowstone from private development. Langford and several of his companions promoted a bill in Washington in late 1871 and early 1872 that drew upon the precedent of the Yosemite Act of 1864, which reserved Yosemite Valley from settlement and entrusted it to the care of the state of California. To permanently close to settlement an expanse of the public domain the size of Yellowstone would depart from the established policy of transferring public lands to private ownership. But the wonders of Yellowstone—shown through Jackson’s photographs, Moran’s paintings, and Elliot’s sketches—had captured the imagination of Congress. Thanks to their reports, the United States Congress established Yellowstone National Park just six months after the Hayden Expedition. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law. The world’s first national park was born. The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act says “the headwaters of the Yellowstone River … is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale … and dedicated and set apart as a History of the Park 19 H IS T ORY 1872–1900 CE 1872 1877 1883 Yellowstone National Park Nez Perce (Nee-me-poo) Northern Pacific Protection Act establishes flee US Army through Railroad reaches the the first national park. Yellowstone. north boundary of the park. 1886 1894 The US Army arrives to administer the park. They stay until 1918. Poacher Ed Howell captured; National Park Protection Act (Lacey Act) passed. Flight of the Nez Perce C A N A D A Bear Paw Battlefield M O N T A N A Missoula ! Clearwater Battlefield White Bird Battlefield ! West Yellowstone In Yellowstone Only a small part of the route taken by the Nez Perce who fled from the US Army in 1877 went through Yellowstone, and the Native Americans largely eluded their pursuers while in the park. However, the 13 days that the Nez Perce spent in Yellowstone became part of the tragic story they continue to pass down to their children. 20 Red Lodge ! Camas Meadows Battle ! Summer 1877 brought tragedy to the Nez Perce (or, in their language, Nimi’ipu or Nee-Me-Poo). A band of 800 men, women, and children— plus almost 2,000 horses—left their homeland in what is now Oregon and Idaho pursued by the US Army. Settlers were moving into their homeland and the US Government was trying to force them onto a reservation. At Big Hole, Montana, many of their group, including women and children, were killed in a battle with the Army. The remainder of the group continued fleeing, and entered Yellowstone National Park on August 23. Idaho Falls W Y O M I N G During the time they crossed the park, the Nez Perce encountered about 25 visitors in the park, some more than once. Warriors took hostage or attacked several of these tourists, killing two. The group continued traveling through the park and over the Absaroka Mountains into Montana. The Army stopped them near the Bear’s Paw Mountains, less than 40 miles (64 km) from the Canadian border. This is where it is believed the flight ended and Chief Joseph said, “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” Some Nez Perce escaped to Canada, but after fierce fighting and a siege, the rest of the band surrendered on October 5, and most of the survivors were sent to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma Nez Perce Commemorative Sites The Nez Perce National Historical Park, established by Congress in 1965 and managed by the National Park Service, includes 38 sites in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington that have been important in the history and culture of the Nez Perce. Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 SD ! Billings ! Bozeman I D A H O ND Canyon Creek Battle Big Hole National Battlefield Many of these sites are also on the 1,170-mile (1,882-km) Nez Perce National Historic Trail, established in 1986 and managed by the US Forest Service. The route extends from Wallowa Lake, Oregon, to the Bear’s Paw Mountains in Montana. The historic trail goes through the park, and it is considered a sacred place by many Nez Perce who continue to honor their ancestors and carry on their memories through ceremonies conducted in the park. Beginning in 2006, the National Park Service undertook a multiyear archeological inventory project along the Nez Perce trail through the park. These efforts not only identified locations of several Nez Perce, US Army, and tourist encampments, but also clarified the general route the Nez Perce followed through the Absaroka Mountains. • Nez Perce National Historic Trail: http://www.fs.usda.gov/npnht/ • Nez Perce National Historical Park: http://www.nps.gov/nepe/ H IS T ORY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Did other national parks exist before Yellowstone? Some sources list Hot Springs in Arkansas as the first national park. Set aside in 1832, forty years before Yellowstone was established in 1872, it was actually the nation’s oldest national reservation, set aside to preserve and distribute a utilitarian resource (hot water), much like our present national forests. In 1921, an act of Congress established Hot Springs as a national park. Yosemite became a park before Yellowstone, but as a state park. Disappointed with the results of state management, 26 years later in 1890, Congress made Yosemite one of three additional national parks, along with Sequoia and General Grant, now part of Kings Canyon. Mount Rainier followed in 1899. As Yellowstone’s second superintendent, Philetus Norris set the future course of national parks on many fronts: protection, addressing visitors’ needs and interests, and science-based management. Despite a lack of support from the Department of the Interior or Congress, he pleaded for legislation that would adequately protect the park, and he had grand aspirations for Yellowstone. public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” In an era of expansion, the federal government had the foresight to set aside land deemed too valuable in natural wonders to develop. Formative Years The park’s promoters envisioned Yellowstone National Park would exist at no expense to the government. Nathaniel P. Langford, member of the Washburn Expedition and advocate of the Yellowstone National Park Act, was appointed to the unpaid post of superintendent. (He earned his living elsewhere.) He entered the park at least twice during five years in office—as part of the 1872 Hayden Expedition and to evict a squatter in 1874. Langford did what he could without laws protecting wildlife and other natural features, and without money to build basic structures and hire law enforcement rangers. Political pressure forced Langford’s removal in 1877. Philetus W. Norris was appointed the second superintendent, and the next year, Congress As an older state park, Yosemite did have a strong influence on the founding of Yellowstone in 1872 because Congress actually used language in the state park act as a model. It’s entirely possible that Congress may have preferred to make Yellowstone a state park in the same fashion as Yosemite, had it not been for an accident of geography that put it within three territorial boundaries. Arguments between Wyoming and Montana territories that year resulted in a decision to federalize Yellowstone. authorized appropriations “to protect, preserve, and improve the Park.” Norris constructed roads, built a park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, hired the first “gamekeeper,” and campaigned against hunters and vandals. Much of the primitive road system he laid out remains as the Grand Loop Road. Through constant exploration, Norris also added immensely to geographical knowledge of the park. Norris’s tenure occurred during an era of warfare between the United States and many Native American tribes. To reassure the public that they faced no threat from these conflicts, he promoted the idea that Native Americans shunned this area because they feared the hydrothermal features, especially the geysers. This idea belied evidence to the contrary, but the myth endured. Norris fell victim to political maneuvering and was removed from his post in 1882. He was succeeded by three ineffectual superintendents who could not protect the park. Even when ten assistant superintendents were authorized to act as police, they failed to stop the destruction of wildlife. Poachers, squatters, woodcutters, and vandals ravaged Yellowstone. The Army Arrives In 1886 Congress refused to appropriate money History of the Park 21 H IS T ORY 1901–1917 CE 1903 1906 1908 1915 1916 President Theodore Roosevelt dedicates arch at the North Entrance by laying its cornerstone at Gardiner. The Antiquities Act provides for the protection of historic, prehistoric, and scientific features on, and artifacts from, federal lands. Union Pacific train service begins at West Yellowstone. Private automobiles are officially admitted to the park. The National Park Service Organic Act establishes the National Park Service. for ineffective administration. The Secretary of the Interior, under authority given by the Congress, called on the Secretary of War for assistance. On August 20, 1886, the US Army took charge of Yellowstone. The Army strengthened, posted, and enforced regulations in the park. Troops guarded the major attractions and evicted troublemakers, and cavalry patrolled the vast interior. The most persistent menace came from poachers, whose activities threatened to exterminate animals such as the bison. In 1894, soldiers arrested a man named Ed Howell for slaughtering bison in Pelican Valley. The maximum sentence possible was banishment from the park. Emerson Hough, a well-known journalist, was present at the arrest and wired his Soldiers pose with bison heads captured from poacher Ed Howell. When Howell returned to the park that year, he was the first person arrested and punished under the National Park Protection Act, passed in 1894. Guidance for Protecting Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Purpose Statement Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, was set aside as a public pleasuring ground to share the wonders and preserve and protect the scenery, cultural heritage, wildlife, and geologic and ecological systems and processes in their natural condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Significance of Yellowstone • Yellowstone N