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Why Yosemite National Park's 150th Birthday is Both Important and Inspiring

March 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM | by | ()

This year, Yosemite in California celebrates its 150th birthday, dedicating the entire year to its past, present, and future as a leader amongst national parks in the States.

It was the first time the Federal Government ever set aside a piece of land for preservation when Abraham Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Specifically, the grant protected Yosemite Valley, seen above from the classic "tunnel view" lookout, and Mariposa Grove, which harbors the huge sequoia trees found in southern part of the park (we'll take a closer look later this week).

With that, a precedent was set for the some 58 parks currently operating in the country, starting with Yellowstone's designation as the first national park in 1872. At this point, Yosemite was still considered a state park. It wasn't until 1906 that naturalist and wilderness advocate John Muir went camping with Teddy Roosevelt and convinced him to put the park under the Federal Government's watch as a national park.

The story is a credit to some very inspirational forward thinking by our top leaders, recognizing the need to prevent these beautiful environments from development. If we're lucky, these lands will still be around for generations to come, an honest tribute and the utmost sign of respect for Mother Nature.

This week, we'll show you around a little bit, highlighting what we enjoyed so much about the park and perhaps inspiring you to make a journey of your own in the near future. The bottom photo is of Vernal Fall just off the valley floor, where we were treated to a rainbow on none other than St. Paddy's weekend.

[Photos: Will McGough]

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