Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Ken and Lisa attended the special events in Yosemite Valley that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act and the 30th anniversary of the passage of the California Wilderness Act. These events were created so that the public would better understand and appreciate the impacts that these two laws have had on our public lands and the policies by which these lands are managed.
There were a series of interesting and informative tables and booths in front of the Valley’s Visitor Center which demonstrated various aspects of on-going park management.
Most interesting to Ken and Lisa, was the Yosemite Conservancy’s Resident Naturalist, Pete Devine’s performance as Galen Clark, Yosemite’s first “Guardian.” Dressed in appropriate style of the early 1900’s, Pete gave a memorable impersonation of Galen Clark, complete with a New England accent (where Clark grew up.) He gave an overview of Galen’s personal life as well as the challenges Clark faced as the man who had to implement the policies that were decided by California’s commission that set the policies for the new park.
He then took us over to Yosemite’s cemetery where he “introduced” us to, and talked about, some of his friends that were buried there.
Our last stop was at his own gravesite where he told us about transplanting some Giant Sequoia trees from the Mariposa Grove (which he had discovered) to his chosen gravesite in the Yosemite Valley Cemetery to ensure that he would be buried there.
Now the Giant Sequoias that he planted at his gravesite have grown into much larger trees. He spoke eloquently about his hopes for the future of Yosemite and all wilderness areas, encouraging all who were in attendance to do what we could to promote the ideals of wilderness and its conservation. He asked us, personally, to do what we can to pass down both the lands and the associated values to future generations.
Since Ken is Galen Clark’s great-great-great nephew, it was somehow appropriate that he should be photographed with “Pete-As-Galen Clark, ” just prior to the performance.