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Presidential Statement

Author's Preface


Part I

Part II

Part III



Yellowstone National Park:
Its Exploration and Establishment

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Presidential Statement

Against the vast span of geologic time out of which its scenic grandeur was born, Yellowstone's first century as a national park came and went in a moment. Today, just as in 1872, Yellowstone's capacity to whet man's sense of wonder and refresh his spirit remains ageless and undiminished.

Equally compelling for us today, one hundred years and more after they first unfolded, are the human lessons in the story of the discovery and exploration of Yellowstone Park and its establishment as a preserve for coming generations of Americans to enjoy unspoiled—the story this book tells so authoritatively.

Parklands and wilderness become more precious to us with each passing year, and the forces that militate against them intensify. This account thus commends itself not only to the general reader as an absorbing narrative of men, the land, and the laws, and to the historian as a long-needed documentary resource, but also to every citizen who wishes to help apply more widely in our own time the kind of environmental wisdom and foresight that created our first national park a century ago.

Richard Nixon
President of the United States


The steady growth of the literature on Yellowstone, our nation's first National Park, is a reflection of the continuing fascination American and foreign visitors have both for the Park itself and the concept of National Parks as developed in our country. In view of this continuing interest, it is little wonder that many other nations have drawn upon the experience of Yellowstone in their search for means of preserving land for the benefit and enjoyment of their people. Until now, however, a solidly documented definitive study of the exploration and establishment of Yellowstone has not been available. In this book, Aubrey L. Haines draws on his extensive personal and professional knowledge of Yellowstone, "The Mother of National Parks," to tell us just how this reserve came to be one of our most priceless heritages.

Rogers C. B. Morton
Secretary of the Interior


This book is a joint undertaking of the National Historical Publications Commission and the National Park Service. It was conceived as a feature of the centennial of Yellowstone National Park by Professor Joe B. Frantz of the University of Texas, a member of both the National Historical Publications Commission and the Secretary of the Interior's Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monuments. At its meeting on September 15, 1969, the Commission gave unanimous consent to a resolution endorsing the project, and an agreement was drawn up between the Commission and the National Park Service for the writing and publication of the book.

The author of this volume, Aubrey L. Haines, retired from the National Park Service in 1968 after a distinguished career as a ranger, engineer, and historian. For more than 15 years he was on the staff of Yellowstone National Park. He has contributed numerous articles to newspapers and historical journals, and is the author of Mountain Fever: Historic Conquests of Rainier (1962). He has also edited two other books: Osborne Russell's Journal of a Trapper (1955) and Valley of the Upper Yellowstone (1963). Mr. Haines and his wife make their home in Bozeman, Montana.

Ronald H. Walker
Director, National Park Service


Last Modified: Tues, Jul 4 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

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