The conservancy is the non-profit support group which encourages and funds education and conservation projects in the park. Pete is the conservancy's Resident Naturalist, and by keeping alive the work of such giants as John Muir, Pete may have one of the best jobs in America.
On the evening I met up with Pete, he was leading a "Walk With a Naturalist" program that began on the back lawn of Yosemite's historic Awahnee Hotel. On the hour-long walk just one of many free programs Yosemite offers for visitors every day Pete talked about some of the history of Yosemite Valley.
I was naturally very interested to hear stories of Yosemite in the 19th century. Some of the history Pete related involved unfortunate encounters between white explorers and the Indians who called Yosemite Valley home in the 1850s. But some of the history of Yosemite also reflects the better parts of human nature, including the efforts to preserve the valley's natural beauty, which began in the late 1800s.
I strongly encourage you to visit an American National Park, and try to visit Yosemite if you can. I'd also suggest you read Pete's Yosemite Nature Notes blog. Pete's a very engaging blogger, and it's heartening to see him sharing his great depth of knowledge about Yosemite's spectacular natural world with the entire web.
And if you're interested in helping preserve Yosemite for future generations, please get involved with the Yosemite Conservancy. The people at the conservancy do a fine job, and they can use your help to fund important projects that teach today's visitors about Yosemite while also protecting the park so it will inspire future generations.
Photo: Pete Devine leading a "Walk With a Naturalist" group at Yosemite, with Half Dome in the background/photograph by Robert McNamara
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