Imagine a scenic, wild landscape with animals that roam freely, cascading waterfalls, and mountains that seem to scrape the pale blue sky. This is what one thinks when first hearing the name Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately, the reality is completely opposite. Yosemite is now under a federally regulated Class 1 area under the Clean Air Act, which is equivalent to the pollution of Los Angeles (“National Parks Service”). It is a sad comparison to the past John Muir, who first documented Yosemite Valley, to today’s reality. The condition of Yosemite National Park should be introduced to the American public in order to protect its historic beauty and significance, eliminate current pollution, and prevent future repercussions.
In the 1800’s into the early 1900’s a man named John Muir began to explore the western American lands. He traveled down South and up North. But, when he reached Yosemite Valley, his life changed. As said in John Muir’s Wild America, written by Tom Melham, “Following the forest-lined mountain trails, Muir climbed higher into the Sierra Nevada: suddenly, a deep valley enclosed by colossal steeps and mighty water falls yawned before him. Spell bound, he entered Yosemite Valley” (79). Muir’s travels and adventures, highlighted in Melham’s book, explain this man’s love of the wilderness. Yosemite Valley was like a wide, open home to Muir, who, lived alone and discovered new landings and important later landmarks that create the aura of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley was given to the state of California in 1864, part of the continuous idea of Manifest Destiny, later, in 1890; Yosemite became one of the first National Parks (“World Book”). Uniquely, the longer Muir stayed the more that he...
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