The National Park Idea
"The national park idea is the notion—essentially unheard of before Yellowstone—that a federal government should run a park. Historically, parks were run by lower governments, such as cities, states, provinces, or counties. From Nebuchadnezzar’s 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' to England’s town deer parks to Central Park in New York (a city park dating from 1857) and Yosemite Park in California (granted to the state in 1864), parks run by governments below the federal level had been the historical models." 
Student interview with Lee Whittlesey 
Yellowstone's Creation Myth
The NP Service Embraces The Myth: Too Bad It's Not True
"According to tradition, the national park concept originated during a discussion around a campfire near the 'Madison Junction' where the Firehole and Gibbon rivers join to form the Madison River in present-day Yellowstone NP. Concluding their exploration of Yellowstone, members of the 1870 Washburn-Doane Expedition had built their campfire on the evening of September 19. While recalling the spectacular sights they had seen, the explorers rejected the idea of private exploitation of the area, agreeing instead that Yellowstone's wonderful geysers, canyons, and waterfalls should be preserved as a public park. Within a year and a half, Congress established Yellowstone NP. Even though the Yosemite Valley had been created as a California state park from federally donated lands in 1864, and the term 'national park' had been mentioned in passing a few times, the belief that the national park idea had truly begun around a campfire at the Madision Junction became a cherished tradition." --Richard Sellars 
"Haines discovered that problems with this story were numerous.
- Lee Whittlesey, "Loss of a Sacred Shrine: How the National Park Service Anguished over Yellowstone’s Campfire Myth, 1960–1980," The George Wright Forum 27, no. 1 (2010): pg. #94, accessed February 02, 2013, http://www.georgewright.org/271whittlesey.pdf.
- "Interview with Lee Whittlesey, Yellowstone Park Historian." Interview by author. October 12, 2012.
- NP Langford on a horse; k# 64,309; William H Jackson; 1871
- George Black, Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2012), 355.
- James F. Kieley, A Brief History of the National Park Service. (Washington, D.C.?: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1940), accessed February 21, 2013, http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/kieley/index.htm.
- Richard Sellars, "The Great Yellowstone Campfire Mystery," Courier, March 1992, 12.
- Lee Whittlesey, Sacred Shrine.
- Ken Burns, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," PBS, section goes here, accessed November 24, 2012, http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks.
- Whittlesey, Sacred Shrine.