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Rangers watch over America's protected sites

[ 2012-04-24 14:58]     字号 [] [] []  
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Rangers watch over America's protected sites

It was called "The Yellowstone Act," a law passed by Congress in 1872 that created America's first national park.

Yellowstone in Wyoming, with its iconic, steam-spouting geysers, including one called "Old Faithful," it was the first park in the world to be set aside for protection by a national government. Now there are about 1,200 such protected places around the globe.

In this country, rangers watch over much more than our 394 spectacular national parks and battlefields.

The National Park Service umbrella spreads across hundreds of seashores, rivers, cemeteries, trails, monuments, and historic sites as well - even an ocean reef in the US Virgin Islands, a tallgrass prairie in Kansas, and an active volcanic field in Hawaii in which molten lava flows into the sea each day.

You'll get tours from Park Service rangers in places that don't have a single mountain or memorial. An old Minuteman missile range in South Dakota, for instance. A big trainyard full of steam engines and vintage railroad cars in Pennsylvania.

The spot in the high Utah desert where a golden spike was driven in May of 1869, as rail lines from the east and west came together to create the Transcontinental Railroad.

Rangers watch over America's protected sites

And not all our great memorials are clustered on the National Mall in Washington. For example, rangers oversee somber memorials in Oklahoma, marking the site where a domestic terrorist blew up a federal building in 1995, killing 168 people; and the memorial to those aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who perished when foreign terrorists plunged it into a Pennsylvania cornfield on September 11, 2001.

If you're looking for an uplifting memorial - literally - the Park Service runs one amid the dunes of North Carolina, where the Wright Brothers first took powered flight in 1903.

These national treasures can't go anywhere, of course, but some people call them our most popular export. Our wide-open and historic places intrigue the world and bring so many foreign visitors to the United States that brochures at several national sites are printed in three, four - as many as seven - languages.

geyser: a natural hot spring that intermittently ejects a column of water and steam into the air 间歇泉

ranger: a warden employed to maintain and protect a natural area, such as a forest or park 看守人

Related stories:

Eisenhower memorial design debated

US National Park attendance declines

Everglades National Park – one of the world's great biological wonders

A forest of art that grows on museum visitors in New York

(来源:VOA 编辑:旭燕)