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Petition in support of national parks from the California Associated Societies for the Conservation of Wildlife, March 31, 1916

Various groups petitioned Congress to support the creation of a National Park Service in 1916. They argued that a centralized administration would provide more efficient management of the areas Congress set aside for preservation and public use. Here, petitioners urge Congress to consider the importance of the parks as an asset for the entire country.

Our National Parks are one of the greatest assets of the American nation, and should therefore be given the utmost care and consideration.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Petition in support of national parks from the California Associated Societies for the Conservation of Wildlife, March 31, 1916 Our National Parks are one of the greatest assets of the American nation, and should therefore be given the utmost care and consideration.

Creating National Parks

Congress authorized the first national park, Yellowstone, in 1872. It was the first of many areas of beauty and scenic wonder preserved by Congress for future generations to enjoy. In the following decade, Congress designated additional national parks to conserve wilderness, to promote recreation and tourism, and to celebrate the nation’s historical heritage. The National Park Service, created by an act of Congress in 1916, now oversees some 400 parks located throughout the U.S.