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Map accompanying the petition from John Muir, et. al.,…regarding the reduction of size of Yosemite National Park, January 2, 1893

This map accompanied the petition from the Sierra Club protesting a bill to open part of Yosemite National Park to mining and agriculture. The blue line on the map shows the reduced area described by the bill. The Sierra Club’s effort elicited popular and congressional support. In the end, Congress preserved Yosemite at its original size.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

Map accompanying the petition from John Muir, et. al., regarding the reduction of size of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

The development of the West attracted a growing population. As settlement impacted natural resources, conservationists urged Congress to preserve some of the West’s most scenic and fragile environments. In 1864 Senator John Conness of California introduced a bill making Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias the first parklands set aside by the federal government. Congress initially granted them to California, but in 1890 designated them a National Park. Congress protected Yosemite from encroachment and made it part of the National Park Service established in 1916.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.

John Muir, The Yosemite, 1912