Yellowstone National Park
, set aside as a national park
on March 1, 1872, is located mostly in the U.S. state
, though it also extends into Montana
. The park was the first of its kind, and is known for its wildlife
and geothermal features
, especially Old Faithful Geyser
, one of the most popular areas in the park.
Aside from visits by mountain men during the early to mid-1800s, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than 1,000 archaeological sites.
Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,472 square miles (8,987 km²), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone.
Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park burned. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobile.
Frederick Russell Burnham
(May 11, 1861 – September 1, 1947) was an American scout
and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army
in colonial Africa
and for teaching woodcraft
to Robert Baden-Powell
, thus becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting Movement
Burnham had little formal education, attending high school but never graduating. He began his career at 14 in the American Southwest as a scout and tracker for the U.S. Army in the Apache Wars and Cheyenne Wars. Sensing the Old West was getting too tame, as an adult Burnham went to Africa where this background proved useful. He soon became an officer in the British Army, serving in several battles there. During this time, Burnham became friends with Baden-Powell, and passed on to him both his outdoor skills and his spirit for what would later become known as Scouting.
Burnham eventually moved on to become involved in espionage, oil, conservation, writing and business. His descendants are still active in Scouting.