Glacier National Park borders Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada—the two parks are known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and were designated as the world's first International Peace Park in 1932.
Both parks were designated by the United Nations as Biosphere Reserves in 1976, and in 1995 as World Heritage sites.
This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles (41,000 km The region that became Glacier National Park was first inhabited by Native Americans.
In 1901 Grinnell wrote a description of the region in which he referred to it as the "Crown of the Continent".
His efforts to protect the land make him the premier contributor to this cause. Stimson and two companions, including a Blackfoot, climbed the steep east face of Chief Mountain in 1892.
Hundreds of species of birds, more than a dozen fish species, and a few reptile and amphibian species have been documented.
The park has numerous ecosystems ranging from prairie to tundra.
Today, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation borders the park in the east, while the Flathead Indian Reservation is located west and south of the park.
When the Blackfeet Reservation was first established in 1855 by the Lame Bull Treaty, it included the eastern area of the current park up to the Continental Divide.
Under the forest designation, mining was still allowed but was not commercially successful.
Meanwhile, proponents of protecting the region kept up their efforts.
Under pressure, the Blackfeet ceded the mountainous parts of their treaty lands in 1895 to the federal government; it later became part of the park.
Soon after the establishment of the park on May 11, 1910, a number of hotels and chalets were constructed by the Great Northern Railway.
Notably, the easternmost forests of western redcedar and hemlock grow in the southwest portion of the park.