Yellowstone nears 150th birthday; park superintendent reflects on changes; tribal events planned

Brett French

The pandemic will preclude Yellowstone National Park from planning any large-scale events to mark its 150th anniversary this year.

That could change as the year progresses, the National Park Service qualified in a news release, but it set no parameters on what would need to change or how it defined a large event.

Yellowstone turns 150 on March 1. On that date in 1872, then-President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act creating the first national park in the United States.

“It’s an important point in time for us to really have some discussions about this anniversary and its importance, not only to America but the world,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said during a Thursday press conference.

He remarked the anniversary provides an opportunity to learn from the past while focusing on the future and working with partners to “protect and strengthen Yellowstone for the next 150 years” against threats like invasive species, increasing visitation and climate change. Part of that emphasis also includes a greater focus on American Indians’ role in the park by taking steps in “new and different directions.”

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