Greetings from Yosemite National Park

My first visit to Yosemite was when I was 9. My family stayed in Camp 4 with George, our white feline, and Ralph, our German Shepherd. Years later, I became a seasonal Nat. Park Ranger on the Horse Patrol. I did this during summer break in graduate school while working on my PhD. Without a doubt, being a summer Park Ranger in Yosemite was the best job I’ve ever had. But, really, it wasn’t a job. It was a paid vacation. Yosemite is one of the wonders of the world, and I believe the most beautiful place in America.

Sincerely,
Jim

Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, its towering ancient sequoia trees, and its spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world. Emerging from the park’s famous Tunnel View is a transformative experience, showcasing the jaw-dropping, iconic sight of El Capitan rising from the valley floor with Bridalveil Falls plummeting from the rock and Half Dome shining in the background. The park also features meadows and streams, historic buildings, and vast wilderness.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

“Teddy Roosevelt said it best: "In our zeal to develop our economy, we could lose our wild places. We have inherited an obligation to protect them. And once they are lost, they are lost forever." I agree with TR's sentiments. To his words, I add these: It's not possible to develop and preserve the land. If you develop, you make changes to the land that it's taken nature millions of years to create. Once it's changed, you can't put it back to its pristine state. Once you extract resources, you can't put it back. Once you commercialize the land (hotels, restaurants, etc.), you can't put it back. Once you change it, you cannot un-change it. ”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

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