In 1893, a petition and map filed by John Muir and other founders of the Sierra Club protested that the lands outside the blue line were being taken out of the national park. They suggested that this would damage the watersheds, including forests, of the region.
Why It Matters
- The Yosemite Grant, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, was the first land set aside for preservation by the US Federal Government. The land became a California State Park two years later.
- John Muir became concerned about logging of giant sequoia and overgrazing of meadows. He convinced President Theodore Roosevelt of the need to better protect the region.
- President Roosevelt returned Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to the federal government in 1906. The National Park Service was formed in 1916.
- The Rim Fire that began August 17, 2013 was the largest fire on record in the Sierra Nevada. It burned tens of thousands of acres in Yosemite National Park.
The Back Story
With the link below, learn more about Yosemite maps. Then answer the following questions.
- Yosemite Nature Notes – 6 – Maps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_U4Vwawkc0&list=PL890957589F8403A4&index=20
- What is a map?
- For the backcountry ranger, what are the advantages to having the trails he’s hiked in computer database rather than on a map?
- What sorts of maps would people in charge of fighting the Rim Fire inside and outside of Yosemite National Park have needed from land managers? What would they do with this information?
- Why was it so hard to make a map in the late 19th century?
- Why was the park made smaller around the turn of the 20th century?
- What is the argument for having park boundaries that follow the contours of the land?