Yosemite National Park celebrates its 150th birthday
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/1/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Visited by people from around the world, Yosemite National Park marked its 150th anniversary this week. The park has been in existence ever since 16th American President Abraham Lincoln signed an act protecting the park for generations of visitors.
Classic nature photographer Ansel Adams frequently visited the Yosemite National Park.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Part of the festivities include a groundbreaking to begin a project restoring the Mariposa Grove, which consists of 500 mature giant sequoia trees. The trees are among the oldest living organisms in the world.
President Abraham Lincoln's signature on the Yosemite Land Grant bill on June 30, 1864, set a precedent for the preservation of the young country's wilderness, becoming the first instance of the U.S. government setting aside scenic wilderness for public use and preservation.
"We stand in awe among these giant trees that are thousands of years old and are reminded about the importance of protecting our natural resources so that future generations can experience what John Muir called 'nature's forest masterpiece," National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said. He notes that the anniversary should serve as a reminder of the ancient treasures within the park.
In this Aug. 27, 2009 photo, giant sequoias dwarf a cabin in the upper Mariposa Grove at Yosemite National Park, Calif. Yosemite National Park is celebrating the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Yosemite Grant Act, Monday, June 30, 2014, which protected Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. The event will include a groundbreaking ceremony for a project to restore Mariposa Grove, which consists of 500 mature giant sequoia trees that are among the oldest living organisms in the world.
The world has Abraham Lincoln to thank for the preservation of the park into the 21st Century. It was Lincoln who signed the Yosemite Grant Act on June 30, 1864, in the midst of the Civil War.
This undated photo shows a precipitous photographer in the Yosemite Valley in California.
The act protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove "for public use, resort and recreation." The law was the first in American history that set aside a scenic natural area.
This photo, from the early 1900's, shows the Yosemite Park stagecoach.
It must be noted that the trees in Yosemite are far older than 150 years. Scientists believe the park's most famous tree, the Grizzly Giant, is about 1,800 years old, give or take a few centuries.
The grove restoration project, approved in December 2013, is a $36 million project paid for through $20 million in private contributions raised by the Yosemite Conservancy and $16 million from the National Park Service.
President Kennedy is greeted by enthusiastic vacationers when he arrived for an overnight stay on August 21, 1962.
As part of conservation efforts, a parking lot that threatens the trees' roots will be moved to another area and replaced with footpaths, among other changes to the park.
The work will happen in phases over several years.
"The project will restore much of the Mariposa Grove to its natural state, so that visitors will be able to experience one of the world's most inspiring natural cathedrals in a more serene setting," the conservancy's president, Mike Tollefson, says.
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