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Fall arrives early in Yellowstone, and it’s a great time to visit. For one, August 25 marks the anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service over a century ago, an act signed into creation by President Woodrow Wilson that created a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.

What better way to celebrate than to take part in the wilderness and wildlife of Yellowstone, the first national park on Earth (est. 1872), which actually helped to define the concept of public land and sparked a worldwide national park movement. The National Park System of the United States now comprises more than 400 areas covering more than 84 million acres in 50 states, but Yellowstone, a park of craggy mountains, alpine lakes, and dank forests, is still one of the most celebrated and widely visited parks in the country.

One can understand when looking out upon the natural vista of textures and fall colors, painted by yellow grasses, the orange and red hues of deciduous trees and shrubs, and the brilliant gold of aspen trees. As Autumn kicks into high gear, days become shorter, the weather cool but mild, and there’s a tactile crunchiness to all the vegetation.

Wildlife watching is excellent at this time of year, too. Mating season for bison commences in August, in September for elk. The males vie for female attention by emitting high- and low-pitched bugling sounds, offering a memorable soundtrack to your outing, and it’s not unusual to see elk fight and spar. Brown trout are spawning in the rivers, and bears and wolves will also be on the move, feeding heavily to put on fat before winter hits.

Additional benefits: there’s fewer people, so lodging is more available, and you may even find space in high-demand hotels like Old Faithful Inn and Canyon Lodge. If in need of additional motivation, consider visiting or supporting Yellowstone on September 25, 2019, for National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers come together to assist with various projects designed to restore and enhance public parks, forests, waterways and more. From trail maintenance to tree planting, volunteers of all ages and abilities work side-by-side to care for public lands. The day also features a variety of hikes, bike rides, community festivals, paddling excursions, and other fun outdoor activities—all set on the backdrop of the country’s public lands and waterways.

Contributing to the awareness and protection of America’s national parks and wildlife is one of the many reasons that Jacques Marie Mage donates a percentage of every spectacle sold to The Yellowstone Park Foundation and Living With Wolves. In this way, we hope to contribute our voices and resources to proactively protect our beloved national parks.

Tags: JacquesMarieMage , YellostoneNationalPark , Yellowstone , Stewardship

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