10 Photos Proving That Prove This Was America’s Best Idea

Natural beauty is elusive. It can be difficult to find, and it can be even more difficult to hang onto once found. That's why in 1872 Yellowstone, the first ever U.S. National Park was established. And with the establishment came a vow, to preserve this national treasure forever, so that generations to come could enjoy the same exact beauty that their ancestors wandered upon so long before.

Today, there are 58 U.S. National Parks in all. In 2015, 307,247,252 people visited the National Parks for recreation.

In less than 150 years, establishing national parks has transitioned from what Wallace Stegner called “America's best idea,” to one of America's tried and true pastimes.

Unfortunately, as you'll find in the last photo of the slideshow below, U.S. National Parks face a dilemma moving forward: with insufficient funding, U.S. National Parks could experience drastic declines in cleanliness, accessibility, and quality.

Unless action is taken now, the beauty you'll find in the following images could disappear.

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