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Yosemite becomes national park, Oct. 1, 1890

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    Yosemite National Park was established on Oct. 1, 1890, transferring control of the region away from the California-based Yosemite Commission, which had been criticized for allowing too much commercial use of the area. In the lead up to that decision, The Ohio Democrat of New Philadelphia, Ohio, was one of several U.S. newspapers to reference John Muir’s “Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park” article in the September issue of The Century Magazine. The Sept. 11, 1890, article quotes Muir’s case for federal control of Yosemite:

“Unless reserved or protected the whole region will soon or late be devastated by lumbermen and sheepmen and of course be made unfit for use as a pleasure ground. Already it is with great difficulty that campers, even in the most remote parts of the proposed reservation and in those difficult of access, can find grass enough to keep their animals from starving; the ground is already being gnawed and trampled into a desert condition, and when the region shall be stripped of its forests the ruination will be complete.”

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    An Aug. 9, 1890, column in The Weekly Wisconsin of Milwaukee, Wis., cited the visual evidence supporting John Muir’s case. Some Convincing Pictures

The March 9, 1890, edition of The Herald of Syracuse, N.Y., included a New York Times article lamented that a picturesque Yosemite meadow had been converted into a wheat field. Ploughed Up

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