Yellowstone National Park

Hello dear readers! This week I have decided to shine the spotlight on one of our nation’s most valuable environmental resources: Yellowstone National Park! I was able to visit the park during my summer vacation, and I highly recommend taking any opportunity to visit this spectacular natural icon.

Yellowstone National Park was created as the nation’s first national park in 1872. The park is an interesting tourist destination because of its various geological wonders, its wide range of plant and animal species, as well as its aesthetic appeal due to the preservation of the land’s natural beauty.

The sheer size and biodiversity of the park makes it a landmark that every person should see within his or her lifetime. Yellowstone boasts an impressive 2,219,789 acres of land within its boundaries, which spans parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. The park is home to literally thousands of plant and animal species, as well as a few species that are rare in other parts of the world. Some of the plants and animals found within the park’s boundaries are elk, bison, wolves, various flowers and tree species, as well as the rare biological phenomenon known as an “extremophile”.  An extremophile is an organism which is able to thrive within extreme natural environments, such as the high temperature water which composes the many geysers located within the park.

Geologically, Yellowstone National Park is comprised of one of the world’s largest calderas, over 10,000 thermal features and over 300 geysers. One of the key highlights of the park is the famous Old Faithful geyser located in the Southwest portion of the park’s borders. It is also home to one of the world’s largest petrified forests, and over 290 natural waterfalls. Yellowstone Lake, which is located towards the center of the park, is the world’s largest high altitude lake in all of North America.

Trust me when I say that pictures and descriptions are not enough to substitute the overwhelming beauty of this national park. Despite the tourists and the paved roads winding through the park, there are plenty of hiking trails and cabins which enable you to truly get away from the everyday stresses of your normal life. The wildlife continues to thrive in its natural habitat without any interference from human interactions. This park is essential to maintaining the rich biodiversity of our nation, as well as to informing and intriguing our citizens to the splendor that is our natural world. If given the chance, take the time to visit this historic and valuable landmark. You will not regret the decision.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions at olds_r@students.lynchburg.edu.

 

Quote of the week: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” – Wallace Stegner

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2 comments on “Yellowstone National Park
  1. Gary Olds says:

    Our trip west this summer was wonderful and informative. I think the highlight of the trip was Yellowstone. I hadn’t visited there since before the great fire and it was great to see how beautifully the park had reblossomed.

  2. marcy says:

    Yellowstone is extraordinary. The were initiating bussing because the lines to get into the park are so long and the CO2 emissions must be huge, along with breathing issues. Every American should visit Yellowstone for at least one week, and Yosemite at least five days to see what our first National Parks contributed to our country. And read about John Muir and how he fought for the start up of our National Park System and saw the need for the preservation of land due to his belief that the future would lead to over development. What a genius.It would be great if LC could arrange a Spring Break or Summer Break to Yellowstone or Yosemite.

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Ruthy Olds

Ruth Olds ’14 is an environmental studies major at Lynchburg College. A Lynchburg native, Ruth is considering a career in forestry.

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