The New Student's Reference Work/National Parks

National Parks. Forest-reserves and national parks are often confused, but they are not the same things. Forest-reserves (q. v.) are areas for the protection of natural resources by the national administration. National parks are large tracts of public lands reserved from settlement or residence and also retained, maintained and improved by the federal government. As the government has laid out some of our great tracts of forest, as well as stretches of land of unusual beauty, as national parks, it follows that some of the forest-reserves are parks, though not all of the parks are forests. The present national parks were created during 1872-1904, and have an area of 5,276,272 acres or more, and play no small part in the improvement and development of all other parks throughout the United States. Among the more important national parks, ranking them according to their extent, are the Yellowstone (q. v.) in Montana and Wyoming; Tacoma (or Rainier) in Washington; Yosemite (q. v.), Sequoia and Grant in California; Hot Springs (q. v.) in Arkansas; Crater Lake in Oregon; and Casa Grandé in Arizona. Yellowstone Park, including the Teton and Yellowstone timber-reservations, covers 5,575 square miles (or 2,142,720 acres in the park proper), three fourths of the area of Massachusetts; Rainier 2,000,000 acres; Yosemite 1,512 square miles; Sequoia, where only Mariposa Grove is efficiently protected, 250 square miles; Grant four square miles; Hot Springs 912 acres; and Casa Grandé 480 acres. Consult government reports and Muir's Our National Parks.