Establishment of the US National Park Service

On 25 August 1916 the United States Congress founded the National Park Service, replacing the United States army as the governing body that oversees national parks in the United States. At that time these parks included Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, and Glacier National Parks. In 1933, the National Park Service went through a transitional period delegated by President Franklin Roosevelt in which it became responsible for federal monuments, parks, and memorials. The National Park Service almost doubled the number of parks from 27 to 47. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century the park system continued to grow in size, and the National Park Service pushed to consolidate and form one national park system. During the 1980s the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) was passed, adding a total of 190,000 square kilometers to the system. Today the NPS manages the over 400 national parks, monuments, and historic sites in the United States.

Contributed by Aaron Felhofer
Course: Modern Global Environmental History
Instructor: Dr. Wilko Graf von Hardenberg
University of Wisconsin–Madison, US