Yellowstone National Park Act of 1872 is an attempt to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River as a public park.
The act withdrew from settlement, occupancy, and sale a vast expanse of public land along the continental divide where the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho intersected. In addition to, the act dedicated and set aside the land as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. Congress placed the land and resources of the park under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior and directed the secretary to set forth rules and regulations to provide for the preservation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition. All persons who locate or settle upon or occupy the same or any part thereof were considered as trespassers and removed there from.