In National Parks

Four soldiers standing and two sitting posing for a photo in front of trees
Buffalo Soldiers posing for a group photo somewhere in Yosemite National Park, c.1904.

NPS Photo

With the creation of America's national parks in the late 19th century, the need for protection became evident after people began exploiting park resources for commercial gain. As there was no agency in charge of the nation's park lands, the Army was designated to oversee these federal public lands. Many Buffalo Soldiers went on to patrol and protect the early park lands, serving as the first rangers in many of them. Here you'll find the stories of these early park rangers as they performed double-duty, park rangers and army soldiers.

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    Last updated: May 31, 2018