11. The land was to never be opened to private ownership and instead be preserved for public use, resort, and recreation . 12. On June 30, 1864, a day in which he also signed bills increasing import duties and broadening an income tax in order to continue a war to preserve the Union, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to preserve forever a beautiful valley and a grove of trees that he had never seen, thousands of miles away in California.
PBS Documentary by Ken Burns The National Parks: America’s Best Idea Episode One, Chapters 4 & 10 “John Muir’s Genius” For all of these documentary clips, please watch the video individually and complete the answers on your own. Sharing answers not only denies another student the opportunity to view the documentary firsthand, but also is unfair to other students who have done this on their own. This full documentary was filmed by the most celebrated cinematographer in the country and was watched by millions of Americans when broadcast by PBS in 2009-2010. Episode 1, Chapter 4 “Unconditional Surrender” 1. Four months after the Civil War ended, a small group of people gathered in Yosemite Valley to hear Frederick Law Olmsted, the celebrated designer of New York City’s Central Park , read a report he had written about the future of the new park (Yosemite) that had been entrusted to the state of California. 2. Olmsted called for strict regulations to protect the landscape from anything that would, in his words, obscure distort or detract from the dignity of the scenery . 3. In a place as special as Yosemite, Olmsted declared, the rights of posterity were more important that the immediate desires of the present . 4. Olmsted continued in his report: “Before many years, if proper facilities are offered, these hundreds will become thousands and in a century the whole number of visitors will be counted by millions. An injury to the scenery so slight that it may be unheeded by any visitor now, will be one multiplied by those millions .” (As it turns out these words were prophetic!) 5. However, a small group of Yosemite commissioners decided his recommendations were too controversial to bring to the state legislature and they quietly shelved his report . 6. Among those who studiously ignored Olmsted’s suggestions on the future of Yosemite was James Mason Hutchings. What was the problem with Hutchings? (Refer to the remarks by Alfred Runte.) –Once got control of Yosemite, exploits it for his own financial benefits. 7. What did Hutchings name his hotels? How were the accommodations and the service?
-Hutchings House, accommodations and services were lacking. 8. Hutchings was technically a squatter in Yosemite, but in brazen defiance of the law he went about expanding his operations in the valley of Yosemite. To provide the lumber he needed would require a sawmill, he decided, and someone to run it. Who did he hire? John Muir 9. John Muir was an extraordinary person. As one example of his brilliance, since his father insisted that he memorize the Bible, by the age of 11 Muir was able to recite three quarters of the Old Testament and the entire New Testament by heart.
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