Thursday, February 26, 2009

6 million year old Grand Canyon celebrates 90 years in the park system

The Grand Canyon joined the National Park System 90 years ago today, February 26, 1919, with the signing of a bill by President Woodrow Wilson. There were a number of earlier preservation efforts. [right, credit NPS]

President Benjamin Harrison set aside the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. President Theodore Roosevelt signed a bill that proclaimed the area the Grand Canyon Game Reserve in 1906. Then in 1908, through authority granted to him in the Antiquities Act, Roosevelt established Grand Canyon National Monument. National park status followed in 1919.

This past year, the scientific community has been hotly debating the age of the Canyon, with reports of 17 million years being hotly contested by other researchers.

And the past year has been a politically active one for the park, with Congressional and environmental concerns about uranium exploration on forest lands outside the park boundary.

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