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The rocky mountains of North America claim many conservation firsts. The U.S. Congress established Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. Less than 20 years later, Canada designated its own first national park in Banff in 1887 (a small reservation for the “sanitary” mineral springs in the Banff town site had already been established in 1885). Canada would go on to establish the world's first governmental park agency in 1911. One of the first successful efforts to save an endangered species, the bison (Bison bison), occurred in the Rocky Mountains. Canada and the United States established the world's first “peace park” in 1932: The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

As the major feature of the Laramide orogeny, a term geologists use to designate the period ...

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