National park

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Reserves of land owned by national governments protected from most human development.

The first such reserve was Yellowstone National Park, established in 1871 in the United States, and followed soon after by other parks in many other nations.

National parks are usually located in places which have been largely undeveloped, and often featuring areas with exceptional native animals, plants and ecosystems (particularly endangered examples of such), or unusual geological features. Occasionally, national parks are declared in developed areas with the goal of returning the to resemble its original state as closely as possible.

Most national parks have a dual role in offering a refuge for wildlife and as popular tourist areas. Managing the potential for conflict for these two roles can be difficult, particularly as tourists often generate revenue for the parks which can be spent on conservation projects. Occasionally mineral resources are discovered in national parks - if attempts are made to exploit such resources it usually leads to considerable conflict with environmentalists who believe that no such activities should be conducted within these parks.

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