The Photos That Helped Save Yosemite

Thanks to These Striking Images, President Lincoln Signed the Yosemite Grant Act 150 Years Ago

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, with the Civil War raging, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act that protected the heart of what we now know as Yosemite National Park.

The signing of the Yosemite Grant Act on June 30, 1864, set aside the dreamy waterfalls and majestic granite outcroppings in Yosemite Valley and the massive sequoias of Mariposa Grove for “public use, resort, and recreation.” It was the first time the federal government protected scenic land for such purposes. The act also set the stage for …