Beautiful grasslands added to Yosemite This undated photo provided by The Trust for Public Land shows Ackerson Meadow in Yosemite National Park, Calif. Visitors to the park now have more room to explore nature with the announcement on Wed. Sept. 7, 2016 that the park's western boundary has expanded to include Ackerson Meadow. (Robb Hirsch/The Trust for Public Land via AP)
Beautiful grasslands added to Yosemite
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Robin Wainwright could have cashed in on pristine grassland and forest he owned along the border with Yosemite National Park - building an upscale resort for a few fortunate guests.
 
Instead, Wainwright and his wife Nancy decided to take a slight loss on their investment and sold it to a land trust, which donated it September 7 to Yosemite.
 
It expands the park by 400 acres, Yosemite's largest addition in nearly 70 years. Yosemite is in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains.
 
The public will soon be able to enjoy the wildlife and natural scenery, such as the explosion of flowers that blossom each spring and bears that often stroll through the property.
 
"To have that accessible by everyone to me is just a great thing," Robin Wainwright said. "It was worth losing a little bit of money for that."
 
Ackerson Meadow is located along Yosemite's western boundary. The area was purchased from private owners by the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit conservation group, for $2.3 million and donated to the park.
 
Officials told The Associated Press that Yosemite will preserve the land - historically used for logging and cattle grazing - as habitat for wildlife such as the great grey owl, the largest owl in North American and listed as endangered by California wildlife officials.
 
Shaun Crook, president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, said that not everybody supported turning the private property over to the government.
 
For at least a century, the grassy Ackerson Meadow has fattened beef cattle and been used for logging, he said.
 
"That will no longer happen," he said, adding that both industries are being squeezed out of business. "I fear we'll lose the value of that meadow."
 
The park's boundary has seen some minor changes over the years, but this expansion is the largest since 1949 to the park of nearly 750,000 acres total, park spokesman Scott Gediman said.
 
More than 4.5 million people are expected to visit Yosemite this year, which Gediman said would set a record for the park that celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015.
 
Other draws to the park include the massive Half Dome rock and the sheer, granite face of El Capitan - both admired by visitors from the floor of Yosemite Valley.
 
Elsewhere in the park stand groves of giant sequoia, some of the oldest and largest living things on Earth.
 
Visitors pass Ackerson Meadow on their way to Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which provides drinking water to San Francisco.
 
The land was bought with $1.53 million from the Trust for Public Land and $520,000 from the Yosemite Conservancy, which supports a variety of projects in the park. Anonymous donors contributed the rest, Gediman said.
 
"We are delighted and proud to make this gift to Yosemite and the people of America," said Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land.
 
The land completes the park's original plans from 1890, which included Ackerson Meadow, said Yosemite Conservancy's President Frank Dean.
 
"It's a stunning open meadow surrounded by forest habitat, which supports a wide variety of flora and fauna," said Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How did the sellers get paid if the land was donated?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (5)
  • jahir-orv
    9/13/2016 - 07:11 p.m.

    I think that the new grassland(s) addition will be beautiful. I think that is so because Yosemite is already beautiful it's self.

  • zakrym-ste
    9/14/2016 - 01:26 p.m.

    I think this is good for the scenery of the park. I think that it will make it look more natural. It will also give the bears a place to play and rest.

  • kaileew-ste
    9/15/2016 - 02:06 p.m.

    Robin Wainwright expanded Yosemite park by 400 acres. Wainwright and his wife decided to give up there land and donate it to the park. The land will be used for wild life like the great grey owl, which is the largest owl of North America.

  • pilarj-cel
    9/15/2016 - 10:34 p.m.

    The Trust for Public land payed 1.53 million dollars and the Yosemite Conservancy payed 520 thousand dollars. Along with that, there were many anonymous donors that helped out with the cause. Because of the many people that contributed to the park, they can sustain wildlife and can support many other activities that occur in the park. This way, many people and creatures are able to enjoy the area.

  • irisp-ste
    9/19/2016 - 08:56 a.m.

    By donating the land, the sellers will forever have their names live on in the park for their kind act and will continue to receive recognition. By doing this, more will approach the sellers for other ways to make money.

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