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“Exploration of the Sierra Nevada” (1925)
by Francis P. Farquhar


The Future of Sierra Exploration

It is only within the past two or three years that the last of the main topographic features of the range have become mapped and described in detail, but since the publication of the Mount Goddard quadrangle of the United States Geological Survey map, the entire region of the High Sierra is spread before us in clear and legible form. With the reports of geologists and naturalists just enumerated, it may be said that the scientific exploration is well advanced. It is a far cry from the bold marches of Jedediah Smith and Joseph Walker to the flight of an airplane over the summit of Mount Whitney. Paved roads now lead through what were once impenetrable canyons, tunnels are being driven through mountains. What then remains?

It seems to me that there is yet a great unexplored field, and this lies in finding out the beat uses for what has been disclosed. It is fortunate that we have not progressed far in the mutilation of the forests and canyons of this most beautiful of all mountain ranges. Some disfigurement must necessarily take place in those portions that are urgently demanded for the economic supply of a growing civilization, but before we encroach too far and sacrifice needlessly some of am most treasured possessions, it is well to weigh the merits of all such demands.

Further exploration along such lines will, I believe, convince us that the value for recreation of mind and body and for spiritual inspiration is not a subordinate one, to be recognized only after all other interests are satisfied, but is after all the supreme value of the Sierra Nevada.

Francis P. Farquhar.


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