Yellowstone National Park is known for being the king of American national parks. After all, it is the world’s first national park, according to the National Park Service. President Trump has been under fire because of a decision involving one of the park’s officials, according to The Washington Post. The Trump administration denied Park Superintendent Daniel Wenk’s offer to retire in 2019 to avoid a reassignment. Below are 7 facts about Yellowstone we think Trump should appreciate amid Wenk’s retirement controversy.
Yellowstone has a notable herd of bison
- Fun fact: At one time, the herd comprised 23 bison but now has approximately 5,500, according to History.com.
“Yellowstone has the largest, free-roaming herd of bison in the world,” according to Factretreiver.com. In fact, it’s “the only place in the United States where bison have continuously roamed since the prehistoric era,” according to the National Park Service.
Hint: Yellowstone is home to an important ecosystem.
‘The largest intact temperate ecosystem in the world’
- Fun fact: “Yellowstone is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined,” according to History.com.
Yellowstone Park is massive. The park spans three states — Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana — with the overwhelming majority being in Wyoming, according to the National Park Service. The park is approximately 3,472 square miles but the exact number hasn’t been verified, which means the number could be higher.
Hint: There’s a volcano at Yellowstone.
The park sits on an active volcano
- Fun fact: The volcano hasn’t erupted in 640,000 years, according to History.com.
“The park sits atop the largest supervolcano in North America,” according to History.com. The geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles are all a result of the supervolcano sitting underneath the park. Even though the volcano hasn’t erupted in a long time, “the volcano is powerful enough to potentially shroud much of the continental United States in ash.”
Hint: Animals with the potential of being endangered, live in Yellowstone Park.
Yellowstone is home to two threatened species
- Fun fact: Lynx have only been observed 112 times in Yellowstone Park, according to the National Park Service.
Yellowstone Park is home to the Canada lynx and grizzly bears, according to National Park Service. Both of these species are threatened. Wolverines are proposed threatened species who also call the park home, according to Visit Big Sky.
Hint: Bears had their own restaurant of sorts at the park.
The park had a ‘bears only lunch counter’
- Fun fact: The ‘bears only’ lunch counters were closed to the public during World War II, according to History.com.
Yellowstone had open-air garbage dumps, according to History.com. The dumps became popular places for visitors to see black bears and grizzlies. So much so that park staff installed bleachers and posted signs that read “Lunch Counter — For Bears Only.”
Hint: Yellowstone has a big connection to Native Americans.
26 Native American tribes are associated with the park
Fun fact: Yellowstone has 25 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the National Park Service.
Centuries before Yellowstone became a national park, Native Americans “hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used the thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes,” according to the National Park Service.
Hint: People continue to visit the park in record numbers.
Yellowstone had a record number of visitors in 2016
- Fun fact: More than half of the four million visits take place in the summer, according to the National Park Service.
4,257,177 people visited Yellowstone Park in 2016, according to Visit Big Sky. A record for the park, according to the National Park Service. The following year, the park experienced its second busiest year on record with 4,116,525 visitors in 2017.