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Happy birthday national parks!

The National Park Service is celebrating its 99th anniversary today by offering free admission at more than 400 sites. It was founded in 1916 with parks preparing for the 100th anniversary of what some have called "America's best idea."

Utah's five national parks — Arches, Bryce Canyon,. Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion — host thousands of visitors each year and are among the most iconic sites in the state.

National monuments in Utah include Timpanogos Cave, Hovenweep, Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Natural Bridges and Rainbow Bridge.

The park service also manages the Golden Spike National Historic Site and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Powell.

Today would be a good day to repeat the mission statement of the National Park Service which was signed into law on Aug. 25, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson.

"The Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.