National Parks

Resources related to finding information resources for US National Parks.

History of Yosemite

Valley View in Yosemite National Park Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseKing of Hearts

Yosemite National Park is located in the...[heart of the] Sierra Nevada mountains in central California...About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted...resulting in the formation of deep, narrow canyons...then  tilted...About one million years ago...glaciers [formed]...that moved down the river valleys...The...erosive force...[of these] large alpine glaciers,...turned...previously V-shaped river-cut valleys into U-shaped glacial-cut canyons...Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity.

Yosemite...has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago...In 1849, [The California Goldrush caused]...,conflict,...violent confrontations,...[and the eventual forced removal of]...the native Ahwahneechee people onto reservations...[Later]...concerned by the effects of commercial interests, prominent citizens...advocated for protection of the area. A park bill was prepared,....passed by...Congress, and signed by President Abraham Lincoln on June 30, 1864, creating the Yosemite Grant.  This is the first instance of park land being set aside specifically for preservation and public use by action of the U.S. federal government.  [Tourism and environmental damage]...caused [John] Muir...[,and] Robert Underwood Johnson, editor of Century Magazineto become an advocate for further protection...Muir and Johnson lobbied Congress for the Act that created Yosemite National Park on October 1, 1890,...[and President Benjamin Harrison signed it into law].


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