The State Assembly passed Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s (R-Modesto) resolution ACR 96 on Monday honoring the 150th anniversary of the creation of the California State Parks system.
ACR 96 serves as both a commemoration of the creation of Yosemite, the nation’s first state park, and as a plea to the public to celebrate this important anniversary.
150 years ago, on June 30, 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, protecting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove and ceding them to the State of California as the nation’s first state park.
The act served as the first instance of park land being set aside specifically for preservation and public use, creating a legacy for both California and the nation. Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove remained a California State Park until 1906 when it became a national park.
By passing ACR 96, the State of California officially acknowledges the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act and the role it has played in the formation of state and national parks, which are, according to Olsen’s website, “vital in maintaining the natural beauty of our country and in providing valuable spaces for recreation, escape, and history.”
“It’s amazing to think that amidst the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had the foresight to sign the Yosemite Grant Act to protect Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove,” said Robert Hanna, grandson of the famed John Muir. “I want to thank Assemblymember Olsen for her leadership on ACR 96 which allows us to forever remember this moment in history as well as remind everyone of the responsibility we all share in enjoying and protecting our parks.”
A ceremony took place Monday at 10 a.m. in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias commemorating the signing of the Yosemite Grant Act, followed by celebratory events in Yosemite Valley.