Yosemite National Park is growing by 400 acres — the largest expansion to the park since 1949.
The Trust for Public Land, a conservation group, bought the land from private owners for $2.3 million and donated it to expand the park. The purchase was supported by the Yosemite Conservancy, National Park Trust and American Rivers, as well as private donors.
"The area includes a sprawling grassy meadow, wetlands and rolling hills dotted with tall pine trees, and is known to be home to at least two endangered species," Nathan reports.
The Trust for Public Land calls Ackerson Meadow, included in the donation, "a gentler landscape than the imposing granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley, a dozen miles to the east." The Trust describes the land as a thriving ecosystem that will now be preserved for animals and people in the future.
Yosemite National Park, created through a series of land grants and purchases beginning in 1864, was founded in 1890 and is about 750,000 acres in total. It's been thriving, Nathan notes. "The park has seen record visitation in recent years and is expected to break 4 1/2 million visitors this year," he says.