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Yosemite National Park

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, called "the greatest marvel of the continent" by journalist Horace Greeley, was also described by the naturalist John Muir as having "the noblest forests … the deepest ice-sculptured canyons." Located in the California High Sierra and consisting of 1,189 square miles (760,917 acres), Yosemite boasts one of the three largest exposed granite monoliths in the world, the El Capitan rock face, rising 3,600 feet from the valley floor. The 1,430-foot Upper Yosemite Falls is one of the world's five highest waterfalls. Only four trees, also California giant sequoias, surpass Yosemite's 2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant in size.

Native Americans occupied Yosemite 8,000 years ago. During the mid-1800s, the region belonged to the Southern Miwok nation. Captain Joseph Walker's trappers explored much of the surrounding area in 1833, but there is no known record of a white man entering Yosemite Valley until William Penn Abrams, a millwright, did so in 1849 while tracking a grizzly bear. State volunteers from the Mariposa Battalion under Major James D. Savage ventured into the hidden valley on 27 March 1851 seeking Indians. They named the area Yosemite after hearing one of the Miwoks exclaim Yo-che-ma-te or "some among them are killers."

James Hutchings guided the first tourists into Yosemite in 1855. The region swiftly gained fame for its unparalleled scenery, popularized through stunning panoramas created by the artist Albert Bierstadt and the photographer Carleton Watkins. Concern over the commercialization of the valley prompted calls for its protection. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act of Congress granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees to California on condition that the areas would "be held for public use, resort, and recreation … inalienable for all time." The grant stimulated the creation of parks in other states.

Inspired by fears of private exploitation—notably expressed by the Scottish-American John Muir, who had been enraptured with Yosemite since visiting the area in 1868—Congress on 1 October 1890 authorized Yosemite National Park, which was created from about two million acres surrounding Yosemite Valley State Park. Following a series of boundary changes, California ceded Yosemite Valley to federal control in 1906.

From 1901 until 1913, Yosemite was at the center of a bitter controversy over San Francisco's attempts to get federal approval to build a dam in the park across the Tuolumne River. The dam, completed in 1923, destroyed the park's Hetch Hetchy Valley, similar in grandeur to Yosemite Valley, and described by its foremost defender Muir as "a mountain temple." Beginning in the 1960s, problems of traffic congestion and development in Yosemite Valley drew attention from resource managers and environmentalists. In the year 2000, annual visitation was 3.4million.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Huth, Hans. "Yosemite: The Story of an Ideal." Sierra Club Bulletin 33 (March 1948): 47–78.

Runte, Alfred. Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.

Russell, Carl P. One Hundred Years in Yosemite: The Story of a Great Park and Its Friends. Reprint. Yosemite, Calif.: Yosemite Natural History Association, 1992.

KarenJones

JohnVosburgh

See alsoCalifornia ; National Park System .

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park (yōsĕm´Ĭtē), 761,266 acres (308,205 hectares), E central Calif.; est. 1890 as a result of the efforts of conservationist John Muir. Located in the Sierra Nevada, it is a glacier-scoured area of great beauty; Mt. Lyell (13,114 ft/3,997 m) is the highest peak. Enclosed within the park is the famed Yosemite Valley (alt. c.4,000 ft/1,200 m), surrounded by cliffs and pinnacles; Half Dome, which reaches a height of c.4,800 ft (1,463 m) above the valley and El Capitan, which rises perpendicularly c.3,600 ft (1,097 m) above the valley, are the highest of the surrounding peaks. The world's three largest monoliths of exposed granite are found in the park. There are also many lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls, the most noted of which is Yosemite Falls, the highest in North America, with a drop of 2,425 ft (739 m) in two segments; Ribbon Falls has a 1,612-ft (491-m) drop. A 54-mi (87-km) segment of the Tuolumne River, which originates from snowmelt off Mts. Dana and Lyell, is protected within the park before it crosses over into Stanislaus National Forest. Three groves of sequoias are within the park's limits, which also include other types of trees and more than 1,000 varieties of flowering plants. In the scenic Hetch Hetchy Valley is the reservoir that supplies water to San Francisco. See National Parks and Monuments, table.

See J. Muir, The Yosemite (1912).

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"Yosemite National Park." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Spectacular national park, established 1890, in the Sierra Nevada range of central California, USA. Yosemite means ‘grizzly bear’, and the park was named after the river that runs through it. It is a mountainous area of glacial gorges and granite cliffs rising to the 3990m (13,090ft) of Mount Lyell. Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America, drops 739m (2425ft) in two stages. Other features include Half Dome Mountain and the vertical rock-face of El Capitan. Area: 308,335ha (761320 acres).

http://www.nps.gov/yose

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"Yosemite National Park." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park a national park in the Sierra Nevada in central California. It includes Yosemite Valley, with its sheer granite cliffs and Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in the US.

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"Yosemite National Park." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yosemite-national-park