Established by Congress in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is one of the world’s first national parks. Yellowstone is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact ecosystems in the continental United States. Here, nature operates under a smaller human footprint than most other places in the nation, and even the world. This makes the park an invaluable nature reserve, but also a rich source of information about the natural world. In Yellowstone, scientists conduct a wide variety of research. They examine how large-scale landscape changes affect local ecosystems. They study tiny organisms that have the potential to change the lives of people the world over. Yellowstone also has a rich archeological history, with 11,000 years of documented human use. Twenty-six American Indian tribes have officially recognized ties to Yellowstone National Park lands.
Last updated: September 1, 2022