As early as 1904, Dr. Bühlmann, member of parliament, proposed that a large reserve should be established. Investigations revealed that the area of the Pass dal Fuorn would be ideal, due to its remoteness and abundant flora and fauna.
In 1909 the nature preservation pioneers were able to lease the Cluozza valley from the municipality of Zernez for a period of 25 years. To finance payment of the lease, they founded the Swiss Society for the Protection of Nature, which is now called Pro Natura.
An outbreak of foot and mouth disease meant that sheep from Italy could no longer graze on the pastures of the municipality of Zernez and financial losses were incurred. This turn of events greatly assisted subsequent negotiations for additional areas to be included in a national park.
In 1913 a parliamentary committee from Berne visited the Cluozza valley. They were immediately impressed by the idea of a national park. The following year the first national park in the Alps was founded.
On 1st August 1914 the Swiss National Park was founded. Its first director was Steivan Brunies, a native of the Engadine - from Cinuous-chel.