Petition and map from John Muir and other founders of Sierra Club

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Petition and map from John Muir and other founders of Sierra Club  (1893) 
by John Muir

To the Chairman of the

Committee on Agriculture
House of Representatives
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir,

Whereas at a meeting of the Sierra Club of Saturday, November 5th 1892, said club being a corporation formed for the purposes, to wit: "To explore, enjoy and render accessible the mountain regions of the Pacific Coast; to publish authentic information concerning them; to enlist the support and co-operation of the people and the government in preserving the forests and other natural features of the Sierra Nevada Mountains" a resolution was introduced and unanimously adopted directing the Board of Directors to prepare a memorial to Congress against Bill H. R. 5764 introduced by Mr. Caminetti and to use every effort to defeat it,

Therefore The Board of Directors of the Sierra Club in accordance with the above resolution do respectfully and emphatically protest against the diminution of the Yosemite National Park situated in California as contemplated in Bill H. R. 5764 introduced by Mr. Caminetti and referred by the House of Representatives to your honorable committee.

As shown in the accompanying map all the territory outside of the blue lines is to be taken out of the Yosemite National Park Reservation, which would

First: endanger in T.HS., R25E and R26E & T.ZS, R25E the headwaters of the San Joaquin River, a river on whose water the irrigation of the whole San Joaquin Valley is dependent.

Secondly: in T1S, T2S, R19E & T1S, T2S, R20E it will denude the watersheds between the branches of the Tuolumne River and Merced River of the most valuable timber, destroy forests which in their magnificent growth form an attraction to visitors not only from the State of California, but from all over the United States and from abroad and although provision is made in said bill to reserve a tract one mile square constraining the Tuolumne Big Tree Grove and also a similar tract about the Merced Grove the destruction of the surrounding forest will necessarily cause a great danger through forest fires to these two groves of Sequoia gigantea, which ought to be and have heretofore been protected by the United States Government with singular interest

Thirdly: The taking over of the Reservation of T2N & T1N R19E will hand over to private ownership most valuable reservoir sites which ought to be zealously guarded for the benefit of the state at large

Fourthly: The exemption of T2N R20E, of T2N R21E, T2N & ½ T. N. R22E of T2N & ½ T. N. R23E of T2N, ¾ T. N. R24E and of T15 R25E will endanger the watershed of the tributaries of the Tuolumne River as it passes through the Grand Cañon of the Tuolumne River finally through Hetch-Hetchy Valley, a valley which in grandeur & uniqueness is in many respects the peer of Yosemite and will in future form one of the principle attractions of the Sierra Nevada of California.

If the territory of the Yosemite National Park should be reduced in accordance with the bill H. R. 5764, the dangers to guard against which the Park was originally set aside, would again arise, the herds of sheep which now for two seasons have successfully been kept out of the reservation would denude the watersheds of their vegetation, the forest fires following in the wake of the herds would destroy the magnificent forests and threaten the reservation itself and the timber of priceless value to the prosperity of the State would become the prey of the speculator.

The Directors of the Sierra Nevada Club respectfully point out that Senate Bill No 3235 proposed by Mr. Paddock will meet any objections in the interest of mining or farming industries, if there be any, to the continuance of the present limits of the Yosemite National Park Reservation.

John Muir
President Sierra Club
Warren Olney
First Vice-President Sierra Club


J. H. Senger
Secretary Sierra Club


San Francisco, Jan 2nd 1893
Map of the Yosemite National Park, with markings indicating proposed boundary changes

All of the territory of the Yosemite National Park outside of the blue lines, Congressman Caminetti's bill provides, shall be taken out of the Yosemite National Park.

Townships 3 & 4 South Range 19 East and the West ½ of Townships 3 and 4 South Range 20 East are recommended by Secretary of the Interior Noble in his Annual Report for 1891 to be eliminated from the boundaries of the Yosemite National Park to accommodate farmers and miners located in that region

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).