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The Buffalo soldiers played a key part in the development of the national park system by serving in many critical roles in the western United States, including protecting some of the first national parks. Based at the Presidio in San Francisco, Buffalo Soldiers were assigned to Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, where they patrolled the backcountry, built trails, stopped poachers, and otherwise served in the roles later assumed by national park rangers.
2016 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Buffalo Soldiers. The National Park Service is conducting a two-year study to evaluate ways to increase the public awareness of their role in the national parks, and further connect the Buffalo Soldiers story to the national parks and African American military service following the Civil War. At the conclusion of this nationwide study the National Parks Service will forward its finding to the Secretary of the Interior, who will submit the study to Congress for its consideration.
The NPS would like your help to enhance our understanding of the Buffalo Soldiers story, efforts are underway to tell the story, and potential opportunities to improve public awareness. Please share your thoughts about the following questions by going to the Buffalo Soldiers Study website.
Please provide your comments by December 31, 2016.
1. What are the most interesting aspects of the Buffalo Soldiers story to you?
2. How could the National Park Service enhance current efforts to commemorate and tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers? (i.e., interactive online maps and other information, ranger-led tours, school programs, interpretive trails, etc.)?
3. What is being done outside the National Park Service to tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers (i.e., reenactment groups, Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club chapters, etc.)?
4. Do you have other ideas or comments you would like to share with us about what can be done to enhance current efforts to tell the Buffalo Soldiers story?
Submit your comments on the National Park Service website.