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Online Graphic Chronicles History Of America's National Parks


The United States is home to world’s most extensive system of protected public lands—the National Park System. The parks include unique and fragile wonders and cultural treasures from pre-Columbian America to the Civil Rights Movement.

The folks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Government created the following infographic to bring attention to these valuable national resources and raise awareness to ensure that they remain protected for generations to come.

In the graphic you'll find references to:

* The history and development of the National Park System

* How the national parks are administered today

* Highlights of the natural wonders protected in the parks

* Profiles of our most famous parks – Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Great Smokey Mountains


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Funny about the map of Yellowstone!! Most of the park is in Wyoming( I thought) and it's not shown -- says it's in Montana and Idaho only???

A couple more errors...on the timeline, for 1832, Catlin never made it to Yosemite. His concerns about losing wildlife and thoughts about a "national park" came to him in the Dakotas.

And the cave in Mammoth Cave NP has been measured to 400 miles, not 3,454 miles.

Anyone spot any others?

I guess some "writers" don't believe in proof-reading anymore? Some pretty large mistakes I'd say!!

This is stylistic rather than techincal, but isn't it strange to refer to the area of a park as "land mass"? That's more appropriate for describing islands.

Regardless, this infographic is not a great ad for

Overall, a nice attempt at an overview of NPS history, but yes, they sure did get some of the county listings for Yellowstone scrambled. It appears that the bulk of the park actually lies within the current boundaries of Teton and Park Counties in Wyoming, with smaller percentages of the park in Gallatin and Park Counties in Montana and Fremont County, Idaho.

It's outside the scope of this "Graphic History" of the NPS, but it is interesting to note that Yellowstone National Park actually predates the designation of most of these counties.

Teton County, Wyoming, which includes about 40% of the acreage in Yellowstone NP, wasn't formed until 1921, and designation of the park in 1872 even predates Wyoming statehood (1890). What is now Park County, Wyoming, dates back to only 1909.

And, in a bit of irony, Yellowstone County, Montana, doesn't encompass any of the national park.

Not too hard to see how these folks in North Carolina got tangled up a bit, but yes, some better fact-checking would have been in order.

Hmm. I thought there were 398 units in the national park system, not "more than 450." As for George Catlin visiting the buffalo in Yosemite, why not? The point these days is not to read and fact check, but rather to "groove" on the material. It's cool, man, like, you know, tweet me up, Scotty! In this case, did anyone have a faculty adviser--and did the adviser care? Ah, how the mighty have fallen in America's universities. But then, the Fall is nationwide.

Yikes, those mistakes about Yellowstone are pretty bad. I know that we were collecting Teton County and Wyoming state sales tax at OFI. If we had been in Montana, we wouldn't have collected any sales taxes.

I left a comment on the blog post with the infographic. That was pretty shoddy work for a graduate program in Public Administration.

"Yellowstone has . . . the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in all of the lower 48 states."

Not sure I know how to read this fact. It's not the largest wilderness, but I'm guessing there is a survey showing more free-roaming wildlife per area than anywhere else in the 48 (i.e. than Frank Church). Is "free-roaming" a designation of specific wildlife?

(Despite the minor errors, I like the graphic.)

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