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Lights and Shadows of Yosemite (1926) by Katherine Ames Taylor


Administration

Yosemite narrowly escaped falling into the hands of private vate owners seeking to exploit its wonders for profit. In 1866, when Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees were declared a public park by the Legislature of California, numerous land, timber, and mining claims had been established already within the area that is now the park. The state park was made possible by an act of Congress ceding the Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the State of California.

In 1890, Congress established a reservation of the wonderful area of mountain peaks, glaciers, forests, lakes, and meadows adjacent to Yosemite Valley, and for sixteen years there were two Yosemite parks, the one national, the other state owned, the former surrounding the latter. In 1906, the California Legislature ceded Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove back to the Federal Government, and the following year the U. S. troops entrusted with patrolling Yosemite Park took over the administration of the Valley and the Big Trees Grove.

Not until 1914, when the National Park Service was created as a division of the U. S. Department of the Interior, did civilian administration of Yosemite begin. Since that time Yosemite has been under the direction of a civilian superintendent, representing the National Park Service, and in charge of a force of civilian rangers, engineers, and other employes. Their task is not only that of maintaining order and protecting the wild life, but also that of building roads and bridges, providing water, electricity, telephone service, and sanitary facilities to the tens of thousands who make Yosemite their temporary home in the summertime.

Since its formation, the National Park Service has done much toward absorbing the private holdings in Yosemite National Park. Timber claims have been acquired by trading national forest stands for those of private companies in Yosemite. A few private land holdings still exist, but in time it is hoped to make the entire park public. Mining is no longer permitted.

In addition to strictly administrative functions, the National Park

Yosemite Valley in winter when the carpets of snow are spread for winter sports. PHOTO BY GEO. E. STONE
PHOTO BY GEO. E. STONE
[click to enlarge]
Yosemite Valley in winter when the carpets of snow are spread for winter sports
Service now offers educational facilities for those interested in the geology, the flora and fauna, or the history of Yosemite. The Yosemite Museum has gathered exhibits illustrating these fields of study. A nature-guide service each summer conducts expeditions for those interested in the lore of the great out-of-doors. In addition, in the Administration Building, an information ranger is always at the command of the public, to furnish information regarding roads, trails, fishing streams, or trips into the back country. Both the Museum and the Administration Building are in New Yosemite Village.


[ Readers of this little book may care to add to its contents their own reactions or their favorite photographs. To this end, the following pages are dedicated. ]

 



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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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