An American Treasure
by Kenneth Brower
There are details on all kinds of things. The history of geological formations- including early mistaken concepts about how they came to be. Controversies and different theologies on how wildlife should be managed in the park. Concerns over human use and the impacts of things like roads, campgrounds and the like. Issues from early decades, including sheepherding. How trails are designed and cut into the rock- the artistry (or lack) of them. Moutainclimbing, of course. Tree blazing, why it was done and what it indicates. Studies of fauna and flora- lichens, wildflowers, giant sequoias. I didn't realize there were so many various microclimates in Yosemite, that's part of what makes this place amazing. It's also about people. John Muir- lots about him. He was such a key figure in the early park's development. There's a close portrait of a Native American woman who learned the art of basketweaving, which plant fibers she gathers in the park, the reasons for their particular uses. Ansel Adams!! I loved that there was a whole chapter about artists who have visited the park, and what they created.
I think it's rather sad I could not find a single other review of this book online. Not on LibraryThing, or even Amzn. It's a book well worth reading. The pictures are stunning.
Rating: 4/5 200 pages, 1990