National Parks are a huge part of our country’s landscape. Our national parks consist of more than 400 areas and 85 million acres in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.1 But what exactly is the point of the National Park Service? And how did it come about?


What’s the point of the National Park Service? 

The NPS preserves our natural resources, history, culture, heritage, and more for everyone to enjoy.2 They preserve land, monuments, parks, battlefields, historic sites, and more. This even includes the White House.1 People can visit the national parks to enjoy recreational activities and learn about topics like science and history.


How did the National Park Service come about?

The beginning of the National Park Service starts in 1872 when President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act to establish Yellowstone National Park.1&3 This began a movement for national parks throughout the world.3 Afterward, the government established more parks and monuments. The responsibilities were shared by the Department of the Interior, the War Department, and the Department of Agriculture.1


In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, which became a bureau within the Department of the Interior. This service was responsible for the parks that were already established.3


How does the National Park Service run today?

In 1933, two executive orders helped create the system we have today.3 This was a reorganization to have a single system of parklands that functioned nationally. This meant that all of the responsibilities fell under the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior, instead of having several separate departments sharing responsibilities. Historic areas were now part of the preservation mission of the NPS.4


Then the General Authorities Act of 1970 added recreational areas into the National Park Service, so it all fell under one system.4


Today, the NPS is still part of the United States Department of the Interior. The director is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Below the director are many executives and directors who help with policy, budget, management, and program implementation.2


Why is the National Park Service important?

It is important to preserve our natural environment and our historic areas to help people learn about our history and our native wildlife. These areas also give people an opportunity to go out in nature and provide our wildlife a home, too.


Preserving our landscapes helps keep our wildlife healthy and sustainable.


Wolves have a close connection to national parks, as they were reintroduced to Yellowstone and made huge, positive changes to the environment to make it more stable. The NPS protects their habitats.


We help them survive through education. 


Since our beginning, we’ve worked hard at the Wolf Center to teach the public about wolves and take down the myths that have surrounded them for generations. Even without our physical center, we’re still here to show up for wolves and other carnivores as much as we can.


We do this through:

  • Online education
  • School visits
  • Films and lectures


We can change people’s opinions and help children learn to love the animals around them, to ask questions, and learn instead of being afraid.

You can help destroy the myths around wolves and other carnivores.

Make a donation here or at the button below to help us continue to our mission to educate people about wolves and other carnivores in North America.

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