Presentation on theme: "The Department of Interior By Gabrielle Frens. From its creation in 1849, the Department of Interior has had many roles to make the U.S. better for everyone."— Presentation transcript:
From its creation in 1849, the Department of Interior has had many roles to make the U.S. better for everyone. Thirty major bureaus of the government are in the Department of Interior. The main job of this department is to conserve and develop natural resources, though it has many other roles as well.
The Department of Interior in the United States manages over 440 million acres of land. This department is the department that creates national parks for the U.S. The first national park was Yellowstone National Park. After his first failure of trying to explore the Yellowstone area, explorer Ferdinand V. Hayden made another attempt to explore this region.
With government sponsorship, he returned to Yellowstone for a larger expedition, known as the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871. He created a report on the park containing photographs and paintings of the region. This report helped convince Congress to remove the area from being able to be publicly auctioned. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act of Dedication law that created Yellowstone National Park, the first of many national parks.
In 1875, Mackinac National Park was created as the second national park in the U.S. It was located on a resort island in Lake Huron, Michigan. The army at Fort Mackinac was in charge of protecting the park and improving it. This national park was later changed to a state park in 1875.
The first national parks were managed independently under the Department of Interior. The movement to create an agency to oversee the national parks was supported mainly by Stephen Mather and J. Horace Mcfarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Stephen Mather ran a publicity campaign to create a new agency to control the national parks. Stephen Mather J. Horace Mcfarland
They wrote many articles praising the scientific qualities and possibilities of the parks. This campaign eventually allowed the creation of the national park service. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that gave the agency the job of conserving the natural, historic scenery and objects in lands set aside for national parks. Stephen Mather became the first director of the National Park Service.
Some conservation issues facing the U.S. in the late 1800s were ideas of running out of natural resources and the need to save natural wildlife. To conserve natural resources, many people joined the Conservation Movement. This movement wanted to protect the nation’s natural resources from being used too quickly. This movement helped to encourage the government to pass laws creating national parks, national forests, and protecting fish and wildlife. This movement also eventually led to the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.
One person that played a great role in conservation in the late 1800s was John Muir. He was a Scottish- American author, naturalist and was early supporter of preserving wildlife. His letters, essays, and books about his adventures in the wilderness encouraged the government to preserve lands like Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park. Before Yosemite Valley became a national park, Muir thought that its lands should be kept natural and pristine. He believed that the biggest threat to these lands was domesticated livestock that used up much of the grass.
In June of 1889, John Muir took associate editor of Century magazine, Robert Johnson, into the lands of Yosemite to show him firsthand the effects that the grazing of domesticated animals had the grassland. Robert Johnson agreed to publish any articles written by Muir about the topic of excluding livestock from the Sierra High Country. After two articles written by Muir were published, Congress passed a bill that excluded livestock in the Sierra High Country, but did not create a new national park out of the lands of Yosemite as John Muir had also suggested.
Another way that John Muir helped conservation efforts is through forming the Sierra Club. The first meeting was held on May 28, 1892. The group opposed efforts to cut lands of Yosemite National Park in half. They held educational and scientific meetings. At one meeting, Muir and other members of the Sierra Club discussed creating “national forest reservations,” which later became known as national forests. This club also helped to transfer Yosemite National Park from state to federal control.
Another person that had an influence on conservation in the U.S. was John James Audubon. He was a French-American naturalist, ornithologist, and artist. He wrote the book Birds of America, which documented many different species of birds including 25 new species not known of until they were discovered by Audubon. His drawings in the book showed the birds in their natural habitats. His works encouraged people to conserve birds’ natural habitats and inspired a conservation movement. The Audubon Society was founded in his honor as a way to help conserve the lands where birds lived.
Throughout United States history, there have been many people involved in helping conserve natural lands. The Department of Interior has taken on many roles, most of which involved helping with conservation efforts. The Department of Interior plays a large role in keeping the natural lands of America beautiful.
Sources Britannica Encyclopedia, Volume 10, Resources and Guardianship, page 578 Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 15, Interior, United States Department of the, page 255 World Book, Volume 10, Interior, Department of the, page 324 United States Department of the Interior, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Interior History of the National Park Service, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_National_Park_Service Yellowstone National Park, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_National_Park National Park Service, History, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_Service#History United States Fish and Wildlife Service, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920, http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/conservation/history.html John Muir, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir John James Audubon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_James_Audubon John James Audubon, http://www.audubon.org/john-james-audubon John J. Audubon: American Artist and Naturalist, http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum/exhibits/audubon.html