Yellowstone National Park's First 130 Years

Norris also hired Harry Yount (nicknamed "Rocky Mountain Harry" - pictured ) to control poaching and vandalism in the park. Yount spent one winter alone in a cabin in the Lamar Valley. He was isolated in a vast wilderness, with deep snow, howling wind, and driving cold. His primary companions were the herds of animals he was to protect and the poachers he was single-handedly charged to control! It was a difficult job for one person and Yount resigned the following fall. In his letter of resignation he wrote:

"I do not think that any one man . . .is what is needed or can prove effective for certain necessary purposes, but a small and reliable police force of men. . .is what is really the most practicable way of seeing that the game is protected from wanton slaughter, the forests from careless use of fire, and the enforcement of all the other laws, rules, and regulations for the protection and improvement of the park."

Today, Harry Yount is considered the very first national park ranger.


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