Wyoming

Government

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The years following my expeditions were marked by rapid economic development. Everyone was searching for land, money and ways to make a fortune. With this being the case, I knew that management of western lands was going to be crucial in determining the success and future of our great nation. Since I have always had respect for the Native American people of the southwest region, I truly defend their right to live according to their own traditions, and in doing so, I organized the Bureau of Ethnology as part of the Smithsonian Institution. This was done with hopes that others would come to understand and appreciate American Indians as well. In 1879, I was appointed the first director of the Bureau of Ethnology, and held the position and title for the rest of my life. In 1881, I became director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and under my leadership, my men were able to establish land and water surveys, and do topographic mapping throughout the country. As a government official I worked hard to protect and preserve the American west, always knowing that my true calling in life lay in the river waters and canyon walls.