Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lincoln and Yosemite National Park

Today marks the 145th anniversary of the signing of legislation by Abraham Lincoln which gave the Yosemite Valley in California (and the nearby Mariposa Big Tree Grove) to the state of California. It was done with the requirement that the valley be preserved for public recreation and use.

It marked the first time that the Federal government set aside land for recreational use. This action in turn helped lead to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, the nation's first such park, in 1872. Yosemite remained a California preserve until 1890, when it reverted back to the Federal government and became a national park. The Big Tree Grove and surrounding lands went back under the control of the Federal government in 1903.

The original sponsor of the legislation in Congress was Republican Senator John Conness of California. He foresaw the damage which could occur to the pristine wilderness if it was not protected from overuse. (No comment about how most of today's Republicans view wilderness).

Yosemite encompasses about 1,200 square miles of alpine ecosystems, famous mountains and rock formations, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. It remains one of the nation's most visited national parks.

1 comment:

sia said...

I love Yosemite park, but didn't know the whole history behind it.I am glad i got to know such information about my favorite national park.
Yosemite national park

 
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