The Magic of Yellowstone
A little bit of
U. S. Code, Title 16, Chapter 1, Subchapter V (current U. S. Law of the Park--external link to Cornell University)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the tract of land in the the Territories of Montana and Wyoming lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, and described as follows, to wit: commencing at the junction of Gardiner's River with the Yellowstone River and running east of the meridian to the parallel of latitude, passing ten miles south of the most southern point of Yellowstone Lake; thence west along said parallel to the meridian, passing fifteen miles west of the most western point of Madison Lake; thence north along said meridian to the latitude of the junction of the Yellowstone and Gardiner's Rivers; thence east to the place of beginning, is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people; and all persons who shall locate, or settle upon, or occupy the same or any part therof, except as hereinafter provided, shall be considered trespassers and removed therefrom.
Sec. 2. That said public park shall be under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose duty it shall be as soon as practicable, to make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the care and management of the same. Such regulations shall provide for the preservation from injury or spoliation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition.
The Secretary may, in his discretion, grant leases for building purposes, for terms not exceeding ten years, of small parcels of ground, at such places in said park as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of visitors; all of the proceeds of said leases, and other revenues that may be derived from any source connected with said park, to be expended under his direction in the management of the same and the construction of roads and bridle-paths therein. He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or rofit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing upon the same after passage of this act to be removed therefrom, and generally shall be authorized to take all such measures as shall be necessary or proper to fully carry out the objects and purposes of this act.
Approved March 1, 1872
James G. Blaine, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United StatesMilitary Assistance Authorized for Protecting the Park--Sundry Civil Bill for 1883--March, 3, 1883
...for every purpose and object necessary for the protection, preservation, and improvement of the Yellowstone National Park, including compensation of superintendent and employees, forty thousand dollars, two thousand dollars of said amount to be pain annually to a superintendent of said park and not exceeding nine hundred dollars annually to each of ten assistants, all of whom shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, and reside continuously in the park and whose duty it shall be to protect the game, timber, and objects of interest therein; the balance of the sum appropriated to be expended in the construction and improvement of suitable roads and bridges within said park, under the supervision and direction of an engineer officer detailed by the Secretary of War for that purpose;
The Secretary of the Interior may lease small portions of ground in the park, not exceeding ten acres in extent for each tract, on which may be erected hotels and the necessary outbuildings, and for a period not exceeding ten years; but such lease shall not include any of the geysers or other objects of curiousity or interest in said park, or exclude the public from the free and convenient approach thereto; or include any ground within one quarter of a mile of any of the geysers, or the Yellowstone Falls, nor shall there be leased more than ten acres to any one person or corporation; nor shall any hotel or other buildings be erected within the park until such lease shall be executed by the Secretary of the Interior, and all contracts, agreements, or exclusive privileges heretofore made or given in regard to said park or any part thereof, are hereby declared to be invalid; nor shall the Secretary of the Interior, in any lease which he may make and execute, grant any exclusive privileges within said park, except upon the ground leased.
The Secretary of War, upon the request of the Secretary of the Interior, is hereby authorized and directed to make the necessary details of troops to prevent trespassers or intruders from entering the park for the purpose of destroying the game or objects of curiosity therein, or for any other purpose prohibited by law, and to remove such persons from the park if found therein...
CHAP.72-An Act To protect the birds and animals in Yellowstone National Park, and to punish crimes in said park, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Yellowstone National Park, as its boundaries now are defined, or as they may be hereafter defined or extended, shall be under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States; and that all the laws applicable to places under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States shall have force and effect in said park: Provided, however, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to forbid the service in the park of any civil or criminal process of any court having jurisdiction in the States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. All fugitives from justice taking refuge in said park shall be subject to the same laws as refugees from justice found in the State of Wyoming.
SEC. 2. That said park, for all the purposes of this Act, shall constitute a part of the United States judicial district of Wyoming, and the district and circuit courts of the United States in and for said district shall have jurisdiction of all offenses committed within said park.
SEC. 3. That if any offense shall be committed in said Yellowstone National Park, which offense is not prohibited or the punishment is not specially provided for by any law of the United States or by any regulation of the Secretary of the Interior, the offender shall be subject to the same punishment as the laws of the State of Wyoming in force at the time of the commission of the offense may provide for a like offense in the said State; and no subsequent repeal of any such law of the State of Wyoming shall affect any prosecution for said offense committed within said park.
SEC. 4. That all hunting, or the killing or wounding, or capturing at any time of any bird or wild animal, except dangerous animals, when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying human life or inflicting an injury, is prohibited within the limits of said park; nor shall any fish be taken out of the waters of the park by means of seines, nets, traps, or by the use of drugs or any explosive substances or compounds, or in any other way than by hook and line, and then only at such seasons and in such times and manner as may be directed by the Secretary of the Interior. That the Secretary of the Interior shall make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary and proper for the management and care of the park and for the protection of the property therein, especially for the preservation from injury or spoilation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonderful objects within said park; and for the protection of the animals and birds in the park, from capture or destruction, or to prevent their being frightened or driven from the park; and he shall make rules governing the taking of fish from the streams or lakes in the park. Possession within said park of the dead bodies, or any part thereof, of any wild bird or animal shall be prima facie evidence that the person or persons having the same are guilty of vilating this Act. Any person or persons, or stage or express company or railway company, receiving for transportation any of the said animals, birds, or fish so killed, taken or caught shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined for every such offense not exceeding three hundred dollars. Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act or any rule or regulation that may be promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior with reference to the management and care of the park, or for the protection of the property therein, for the preservation from injury or spoilation of timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities or wonderful objects within said park, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subjected to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, and be adjudged to pay all costs of the proceedings.
That all guns, traps, teams, horses, or means of transportation of every nature or description used by any person or persons within said park limits when engaged in killing, trapping, ensnaring, or capturing such wild beasts, birds, or wild animals shall be forfeited to the United States, and may be seized by the officers in said park and held pending the prosecution of any person or persons arrested under charge of violating the provisions of this Act, and upon conviction under this Act of such person or persons using said guns, traps, teams, horses, or other means of transportation such forfeiture shall be adjudicated as a penalty in addition to the other punishment provided in this Act. Such forfeited property shall be disposed of and accounted for by and under the authority of the Secretary of the Interior.
SEC. 5. That the United States circuit court in said district shall appoint a commissioner, who shall reside in the park, who shall have jurisdiction to hear and act upon all complaints made, of any and all violation of the law, or of the rules and regulations made by the Secretary of the Interior for the government of the park, and for the protection of the animals, birds, and fish and objects of interest therein, and, for other purposes authorized by this Act. Such commissioner shall have power, upon sworn information, to issue process in the name of the United States for the arrest of any person charged with the commission of any misdemeanor, or charged with the violation of the rules and regulations, or with the violation of any provision of this Act prescribed for the government of said park, and for the protection of the animals, birds, and fish in the said park, and to try the person so charged, and, if found guilty, to impose the punishment and adjudge the forfeiture prescribed. In all cases of conviction an appeal shall lie from the judgment of said commissioner to the United States district court for the district of Wyoming, said appeal to be governed by the laws of the State of Wyoming providing for appeals in cases of misdemeanor from justices of the peace to the district court of said State; but the United States circuit court in said district may prescribe rules of procedure and practice for said commissioner in the trial of cases and for appeal to said United States district court. Said commissioner shall also have power to issue process as herein before provided for the arrest of any person charged with the commission of any felony within the park, and to summarily hear the evidence introduced, and, if he shall determine that probable cause is shown for holding the person so charged for trial, shall cause such person to be safely conveyed to a secure place for confinement, within the jurisdiction of the United States district court in said State of Wyoming, and shall certify a transcript of the record of his proceedings and the testimony in the case to the said court, which court shall have jurisdiction of the case: Provided, That the said commissioner shall grant bail in all cases bailable under the laws of the United States or of said State. All process issued by the commissioner shall be directed to the marshal of the United States for the district of Wyoming; but nothing herin contained shall be construed as preventing the arrest by any officer of the Government or employee of the United States in the park without process of any person taken in the act of violating the law or any regulation of the Secretary of the Interior:Provided, That the said commissioner shall only exercise such authority and powers as conferred by this Act.
SEC. 6. That the marshal of the United States for the district of Wyoming may appoint one or more deputy marshals for said park, who shall reside in said park, and the said United States district and circuit courts shall hold one session of said courts annually at the town of Sheridan in the State of Wyoming, and may also hold other sessions at any other place in said State of Wyoming or in said National Park at such dates as the said courts may order.
SEC. 7. That the said commissioner provided for in this Act shall, in addition to the fees allowed by law to commissioners of the circuit courts of the United States, by paid an annual salary of one thousand dollars, payable quarterly, and the marshal of the United States and his deputies, and the attorney of the United States and his assistants in said district, shall be paid the same compensation and fees as are now provided by law for like services in said district.
SEC. 8. That all costs and expenses arising in cases under this Act, and properly chargeable to the United States, shall be certified, approved, and paid as like costs and expenses in the courts of the United States are certified, approved, and paid under the laws of the United States.
SEC. 9. That the Secretary of the Interior shall cause to be erected in the Park a suitable building to be used as a jail, and also having in said building an office for the use of the commissioner, the cost of such building not to exceed five thousand dollars, to be paid out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated upon the certificate of the Secretary as a voucher there for.
SEC. 10. That this Act shall not be construed to repeal existing laws conferring upon the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of War certain powers with reference to the protection, improvement, and control of the said Yellowstone National Park.
Approved, May 7, 1894.
CHAP. 198.-An Act Concerning leases in the Yellowstone National Park.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and empowered to lease to any person, corporation or company, for a period not exceeding ten years, at such annual rental as the Secretary of the Interior may determine, parcels of land in the Yellowstone National Park, of not more than ten acres in extent for each tract and not in excess of twenty acres in all to any one person, corporation, or company on which may be erected hotels and necessary outbuildings: Provided, That such lease or leases shall not include any of the geysers or other objects of curiosity and interest in said park, or exclude the public from free and convenient approach thereto or include any ground within one-eighth of a mile of any of the geysers or the Yellowstone Falls, the Grand Canyon, or the Yellowstone River, Mammoth Hot Springs, or any object of curiosity in the park: And provided further, That such leases shall not convey, either expressively or by implication, any exclusive privilege within the park except upon the premises held thereunder and for the time therein granted. Every lease hereafter made for any property in said park shall require the lessee to observe and obey each and every provision in any Act of Congress, and every rule, order, or regulation made, or which may hereafter be made and published by the Secretary of Interior concerning the use, care, management, or government of the park, or any object or property therein, under penalty of forfeiture of such lease, and every such lease shall be subject to the right of revocation and forfeiture, which shall therein be reserved by the Secretary of the Interior: And provided further, That persons or corporations now holding leases of ground in the park may, upon the surrender thereof, be granted new leases hereunder, and upon the terms and stipulations contained in their present leases, with such modifications, restrictions, and reservations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe.
This Act, however, is not to be construed as mandatory upon the Secretary of the Interior, but the authority herein given is to be exercised in his sound discretion.
That so much of the portion of the Act of March third, eighteen hundred and eighty-three, relating to the Yellowstone Park as conflicts with this Act be, and the same is hereby, repealed.
Approved, August 3, 1894.
The National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 (creating the National Park Service)
Range Consolidation and Protection Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-91)
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