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One Hundred Years in Yosemite (1947) by Carl P. Russell


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FOREWORD

The national park service is primarily a custodian of and trustee for lands—lands with unique and special qualities, so distinctive as to make their care a concern of the entire nation; lands, therefore, held under a distinctive pattern and policy, administered according to the national park concept. Yosemite National Park comprises such lands. It is, so to speak, a type locality for the national park idea. While Yellowstone, established in 1872, was the first real national park, Yosemite Valley, in 1864, under an act signed by President Lincoln, was transferred to the State of California to be protected according to park principles, later to be re-ceded to the Federal Government. Here in Yosemite many of the national park policies and techniques of protection, administration, and interpretation have evolved and are still evolving, within the framework of the basic act of 1916, with its injunction to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Dr. Russell’s One Hundred Years in Yosemite, appearing now in its new version, gives not only a chronology of events, and the persons taking part in them, related to this place of very special beauty and meaning. It also portrays, in terms of human experience, the growth of a distinct and unique conception of land management and chronicles the thoughts and effort of those who contributed to it. It tells of the obstacles overcome, and of the pressures, present even today, to break down the national park concept, and turn these lands to commercial and other ends that would deface their beauty and impair their significance.

This book, therefore, is more than a history of Yosemite. It traces the evolution of an idea.

In scholarly fashion, sources of information are cited. Many of the documents and other source materials upon which the book is based are preserved in the Yosemite Museum, thus giving special interest to visitors to Yosemite.

Belief in the worth of the national park program cannot but be strengthened by reading One Hundred Years in Yosemite.

Newton B. Drury.    
Director, National Park Service

February 13, 1947


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