This history of Yosemite follows it as the seat of controversy
affecting the evolution of national parks, from its path-breaking
establishment in 1864 as a grant to California, 1890 expansion into a
national park, boundary reductions and loss of the Hetch Hetchy Valley,
evolution of wildlife science, management practices threatening Yosemite
Valley, and erosion of wilderness to the present day.
“Wilderness is going home, said John Muir—and freedom, his followers have added. Inevitably, and for each generation, the meaning of home and freedom have changed. Is wilderness really needed? Today, our unbroken answer—the miracle of Yosemite—is itself challenged, John Muir’s vision aside. In renewing our commitment to wilderness Al Runte reminds us that Yosemite still is key. What did we intend? Never has the discussion—and this critical history—been in better hands.” –Ken Burns, director/producer of the Emmy Award-winning series The National Parks: America's Best Idea