Buffalo Soldiers, 24th Infantry, in Yosemite National Park 1899
The United States Army served as the first "park rangers" for Yosemite and Sequoia national parks (as well as Yellowstone). Their duties ranged from evicting poachers and timber thieves to extinguishing forest fires. The troops essentially comprised a roving economy—infusing money into park and local businesses—and thus their presence was generally welcomed. The presence of these soldiers as official stewards of park lands brought a sense of law and order to the mountain wilderness.