In the mid-1800s, U.S. Army mappers and surveyors explored what is today the park area. They returned back East with tremendous stories of the colorful Painted Desert with its "trees turned to stone." First pioneers, then ranchers, and then sightseers came to collect fossils as souveniers as railroads and roads came into existance. Territorial residents began to realize that the fossil wood supply was not limitless as commerical operations began to extract large quantities of the the fossil wood. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt set aside selected areas as Petrified Forest National Monument. The park area expanded by 53,200 more acres in 1932 and was developed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The monument was elevated to national park status in 1962. In 1970, the first wilderness was designated within a national park. Petrified Forest Wilderness encompasses 50,260 acres in the northern Painted Desert section of the park.