The Embattled Wilderness
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I. Incomparable Yosemite
Half Dome
1. Half Dome, at 8,842 feet elevation, rises nearly a mile above the floor of Yosemite Valley, elevation 4,000 feet. The grandeur of Yosemite has long overshadowed its biological heritage, such as the black-tailed deer momentarily distracted in the foreground. Photograph by Ralph H. Anderson, courtesy of the National Park Service.

lithograph of Yo Hamite Falls
2. The first published view of Yosemite Valley, in October 1855, was this striking lithograph, Yo Hamite Falls, from a sketch by Thomas A. Ayres. Note the spacing between the trees and extensive meadows clear across the valley floor, confirming pioneers' accounts that Native Americans periodically burned Yosemite Valley to remove undergrowth and retard advancing forests. Courtesy of the Yosemite National Park Research Library.

Yosemite Falls
3. Ayres's view contrasts sharply with this modern photograph of Yosemite Falls. At 2,425 feet, it is actually three separate cascades. Here only the upper fall, dropping 1,430 feet, is clearly visible above the trees and intervening rocks. Photograph by Richard Frear, courtesy of the National Park Service.


Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness
©1990, University of Nebraska Press
runte2/photo1-1.htm — 17-Mar-2004