Monday, October 1, 2012
On October 1, 1890, Congress created Yosemite National Park, spectacular home of the Half Dome and El Capitan granite formations, three giant sequoia groves and Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest. This marked the first time the U.S. government protected land for public enjoyment. Although Yellowstone became the first national park (1872), Yosemite was the foundation for the national park system, largely through the work of Galen Clark, who discovered the Mariposa Grove of sequoias, and the persistence of preservationist John Muir. Spanning the western Sierra Nevada, parts of the landscape once were overrun by commercial interests; now almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Pictured: “Yosemite Valley, Clearing Winter Storm” (1935) by Ansel Adams. A mural print of this photo sold at auction in 2010 for a record $722,000.