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What is the purpose of national parks?

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Quick Answer

The primary purpose of national parks is to protect natural wonders and the wildlife located within these environments. Yellowstone was the world's first national park, created by the U.S. Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872.

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The U.S. National Park System has more than 400 registered sites, which also includes important historical sites, national monuments, seashores, battlefields and many other places. Some notable U.S. National Parks include Yosemite, Arizona's Casa Grande prehistoric cultural site and Ford's Theater, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

The largest national park in the United States is the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, which covers an area of more than 13.2 million acres. In total, the U.S. National Park System sites cover an area of more than 82 million acres.

The U.S. National Park System is run by the National Park Service, which was created in 1916 as part of the National Park System Organic Act. President Theodore Roosevelt was responsible for creating the most National Park System sites during his time in office from 1901 to 1909. In total, he created five new national parks, 18 national monuments, more than 100 million acres of national forest, four national game reserves and 51 national bird sanctuaries.

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