Yesterday, one of Wyoming's most beloved places officially celebrated its 114th birthday.

On May 22, 1902, Medicine Bow National Forest was established as a forest reserve by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Although the area, which covers more than one million square miles in southeastern Wyoming, has been federally protected for over a century, it was considered a sacred meeting place for Native American tribes centuries earlier.

Tribes would gather in search of mahogany, which was used to make bows. At yearly powwows, medicine men also used the wood to perform healing rituals. Revered by tribal leaders for its medicinal value, and warriors for its versatility as a weapon, the site was named "Medicine Bow".

In 1955, Medicine Bow was combined with the nearby Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland by the United States Forest Service.

Several of Wyoming's most popular destinations are located inside Medicine Bow, including the Snowy Range Mountains, Encampment River, the Platte River Wilderness and Vedauwoo, which is renowned among the best rock climbing sites in the state.


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