Happy 100th to the National Park Service!

Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. The N.P.S. has done immeasurable good for our nation with regards to both natural and historical preservation, and as such deserves the thanks of all Americans. As my own humble commemoration, I thought I’d post some shots of the first national park: Yellowstone (founded long before the N.P.S., in 1872).

The first three are a selection from my photographs of the park’s famous springs:Northwest 2 357Northwest 2 358Northwest 2 365

Here is a section of the Yellowstone River.Northwest 2 371

Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now thousands of buffalo in Yellowstone. There’s a silhouette of a buffalo on the N.P.S. shield, so it’s appropriate to include one in this post. Here’s one I passed on the road.Northwest 2 384

Finally, here are four shots of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its magnificent Lower Falls, first from afar and then from right above the precipice.Northwest 2 393Northwest 2 394Northwest 2 401Northwest 2 403

Today there are more than 450 national parks, monuments, and other so-designated sites overseen by the N.P.S., and the list is growing all the time. I encourage everyone to see as many of them as possible. They are national treasures that should not be taken for granted, and visiting them supports the N.P.S. and its mission. They really do remarkable work on a budget that can only make a dent in the estimated $12 billion backlog on repairs needed nationwide. Many of the sites are free, but even those that aren’t are great bargains. During my travels, $80 gave me a year’s worth of access to every park in the country. Each one I bought was well worth it.

So again, happy 100th the N.P.S.! Here’s to another century of stewardship!

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