Yellowstone National Park Turning 150 This Year: How Rangers Are Preparing to Celebrate

by Matthew Memrick
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Yellowstone National Park hits the big 150 number in 2022, and the park rangers have big plans for this sesquicentennial season.

Beginning later this year, on March 1, the park will host and participate in a wide range of activities to commemorate the year. The park will hold Native American events as well as ecological ones.

“Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary is an important moment in time for the world,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said. 

Sholly called the year “an opportunity for us to reflect on the lessons of the past.” He also said the events help “our efforts to strengthen Yellowstone and our many partnerships for the future.”

According to the National Park Service, the 2.2-million acre park has a staff of approximately 1,000 NPS employees and volunteers in the summer months (roughly 330 employees year-round).

Native American Tribes a Big Part of Celebration

For 10,000 years before Yellowstone became a national park, Native Americans hunted and fished in the area. They mined for obsidian and used thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes.

The area was a prime location for many tribes, and they still connected with the land and its natural resources. So, it’s only natural that they’re a big part of this year’s festivities.

According to a press release, the park is working with Native American Tribes on this festive anniversary. Numerous Tribal Nations will visit Old Faithful as part of the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center project.

Tribes are also planning a large teepee village near the Roosevelt Arch. Visitors can engage with Native Americans about their culture and heritage during that time

Sholly commended the federal government and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s effort to include the Native American Tribes. According to the press release, a multi-tribal gathering on the nearby Wind River Reservation later in the year.  

Yellowstone to Be a Part of Scientific Conference

The park will participate in the 15th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem later this year on May 15-18.

Yellowstone National Park is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It’s one of the largest nearly intact natural ecosystems remaining on the planet. Park visitors get to witness active, diverse, and preserved collections of combined geothermal features annually. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal sites and half the world’s active geysers in the park.

Montana State University, the Wyoming Governor’s Hospitality and Tourism Conference, and the University of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park 150 Anniversary Symposium are hosting the event in Bozeman.

Yellowstone Goes Way Back To 1872

President Ulysses S. Grant signed a March 1, 1872 law making the area America’s first national park. The law intended to preserve and protect the park’s scenery while promoting its cultural heritage. Grant designed the law to protect the park’s wildlife, geologic and ecological systems. 

Finally, the law keeps natural conditions intact for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

According to the press release, Yellowstone will open 40 new employee housing units throughout the park. The units and other project groundbreakings will be funded thanks to $125 million in funds coming from the Great American Outdoors Act. Two of the country’s most prominent historic preservation projects and a range of transportation projects will benefit the park.

Later this year, visitors will get to experience the Tower Fall to Chittenden Road reopening (near Dunraven Pass). It’s a $28 million road improvement project completed over the last two years.

Outsider.com