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

P.S. I support the parks because… 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.

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Yosemite National Park

Half Dome is arguably the most iconic feature in Yosemite National Park. The 5,000 foot granite peak rises above the Valley floor in one dramatic sweep of sheer rock and the climb to the top is a goal for many people from all walks of life.

  • State: California
  • Established: 1890
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