When the world's first national park– theYellowstone National Park –was established in 1872 in the north of the USA, no one suspected that this would be the foundation for thousands of other national parks all over the world, including the Hohe Tauern National Park. The Yellowstone National Park was established in order to put prominent natural landscapes of national importance under state protection and opening them up to the public for their "joy and edification".
About 100 years ago, in 1913, a first step towards establishing a national park in Austria was taken. When state parliament representative Dr. August Prinzinger took the initiative and the Verein Naturschutzpark association acquired around 1,100 ha of land in Amertal and Stubachtal valleys in order to give them special protection, the idea of national parks as we know them in Austria today was born. Due to the onset of war and economic crises, this project was put on ice for quite some time.
In 1971, the three governors of Salzburg, Carinthia and Tyrol then enacted the establishment of a national park by signing the tricountryagreement in Heiligenblut. Implementation in the individual countries took varying periods of time and a number of stages had to be overcome.
In the 1980s, the Hohe Tauern National Park was established as Austria's first and largest national park and the project has been continuously worked on since then.
The national park development has always been characterized by cooperation based on partnership, and this approach is what got the Hohe Tauern Salzburg National Park the "International Recognition" in 2006 in accordance with the criteria set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN. More information on this subject: International Recognition.