The earliest ranger badges were worn by scouts hired to enforce hunting bans in Yellowstone National Park. The Department of the Interior first issued badges to park rangers in 1898. In the early 1900s, Sequoia and other parks likely issued their own badges as well. Some parks allowed licensed independent guides to wear badges marking their official status.
Interior issued a new badge in 1906, bearing an eagle and marked “National Park Service” a decade before the National Park Service was created. Discussions about creating a Park Service uniform began in 1907 and some felt that rangers would blend in better without them, making it easier to apprehend law breakers. In 1908 Interior determined that a uniform was unnecessary and that “…the 1906 badge furnished by this Department is sufficient means of distinction of National Park Service employees.”