American West

However, the Secretary, based on his discretion, may grant leases for building purposes for terms not exceeding ten years, of small parcels of ground, at such places in said park or as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of visitors. Many of the proceeds of these leases, must be disbursed under his direction and management, as well as the construction of roads and bridle-paths therein.

He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or profit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing upon the same after the passage of this act to be removed, and generally shall be authorized to take all such measures as shall be necessary or proper to fully carry out the objects and purposes of this act. (Historical Documents).

That said public park shall be under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose duty it shall be, as soon as practicable, to make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the care and management of the same. Such regulations shall provide for the preservation, from injury or spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition.

The Secretary may in his discretion, grant leases for building purposes for terms not exceeding ten years, of small parcels of ground, at such places in said park as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of visitors; all of the proceeds of said leases, and all other revenues that may be derived from any source connected with said park, to be expended under his direction in the management of the same, and the construction of roads and bridle-paths therein.

He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or profit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing the passage of this act to be removed from, and generally shall be authorized to take all such measures as shall be necessary or proper to fully carry out the objects and purposes of this act. (Historical Documents). Scientists have been studying the role of fire in Yellowstone since the mid 20th century and they continue to discover new information.

The history of fire in the Yellowstone National Park, its role and/or benefits explains why Yellowstone’s managers believe fire is an essential natural force. The American Indians were recorded to have used fires in the forest for various purposes. Historical records showed that they use fires for warfare ; signaling. This was to deprive the enemy of hiding places in tall grasses and underbrush in the woods for defense, as well as using fire for offensive reasons or to escape from their enemies.

Smoke signals were also used to alert tribes about possible enemies or in gathering forces to combat enemies. Large fires also set to signal a gathering of tribes. During the Lewis ; Clark expedition, a tree was set on fire by Indians in order to “bring fair weather” for their journey (Flames of Controversy, p. 2). Some tribes also used fire for a “scorched-earth” policy to deprive settlers and fur- traders from easy access to big game and thus benefiting from being “middlemen” in supplying pemmican and jerky.

Fire was also commonly used to clear brush from riparian areas and marshes for new grasses and tree sprouts (to benefit beaver, muskrats, moose, and waterfowl). It was also believed to have been used by the American Indians to clear areas for travel. Fires were sometimes started to clear trails for travel through areas that were overgrown with grass or brush. Burned areas helped with providing better visibility through forests and brush lands for hunting and warfare purposes (p. 3). In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established making it the world’s first national park.

Congress created it in 1872 to protect and preserve our natural heritage and to provide a space for “the enjoyment of the people. ” This dual mission has led to conflict as different groups have divergent interpretations of what it means to enjoy the landscape and wildlife in the park. A symbol of the American West, Yellowstone has become a center of debate over endangered species, fire policy, how people should access protected areas, and the role of national parks in our culture (“Yellowstone National Park,” p. 1).