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Yosemite And The Mariposa Grove: A Preliminary Report, 1865
by Frederick Law Olmsted
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This landmark report, the first to recommend management guidelines for the newly-reserved Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, has a mysterious history. Prepared on behalf of the Yosemite Valley Commissioners for presentation to the California legislature, the report (considered controversial at the time) was not submitted to the governor for review. It may have been suppressed.
Amazingly, Olmsted's proposals remained undiscovered and unpublished from 1865 to 1952. Just as astonishing, the report has never been made available to the public in separate book form until now.
Much more than a simple management plan, the document set forth the policy underlying the preservation of areas of unique natural beauty for the benefit of the public. In effect, Olmsted's report formulated the philosophic base for the establishment of state and national parks.
Victoria Post Ranney is the editor of Volume 5 of The Papers of Frederic Law Olmsted entitled "The California Frontier, 1863-64" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990). A graduate of Radcliffe College at Harvard University, she also studied at the University of Chicago.
Wayne Thiebaud is a leading American painter known for his use of thickly applied paint in representing colorful variations of food items and other objects. His works are represented in major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Library of Congress.
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