National Parks

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(Excerpts from Wikipedia) ...A national park is a reserve of land, usually, but not always declared and owned by a national government, protected from most human development and pollution. National parks are a protected area of IUCN category II. The largest national park in the world is the Northeast Greenland National Park, which was established in 1974...

...The first effort by any government to set aside such protected lands was in the United States, on April 20, 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the future disposal of the US government. It was known as the Hot Springs Reservation. However no legal authority was established and federal control of the area was not clearly established until 1877.

The next effort by any government to set aside such protected lands was, again, in the United States, when President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress on June 30, 1864, ceding the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (later becoming the Yosemite National Park) to the state of California: