Martinez, July 13th 1904.
Dear Mr Anderson,
I have already met Major Chittenden Mr R. B. Marshall & Mr Frank Board & discussed with them the matters referred to in your letter to me affecting the Yosemite National Park. In general I am opposed to the changes that would dininish the area of the park. It should rather be increased. A small portion on the southwest corner where a few mines are located might well be cut off, provided this would not result in making the destruction of the forests on patented lands thereabouts easy & sure.
The private claims in the
sugar pine region, the best & most essential part of the park, should I think be taken up by government at a fair price or condemned. Whether this may be done or not I don't know.
No sooner are the boundaries of a forest reserve or park established than interested parties begin to try to break through them. In 1895 a determined effort was made to have the area of the Yosemite Park reduced nearly one half. The first & the smallest forest reserve I ever heard of was in the Garden of Eden. Its boundaries were drawn by the Lord himself & embraced only one tree, yet even so moderate a reserve as this was attacked. And I doubt not
if only one of our grand trees on the Sierra were reserved as an example & type of all that is noble & beautiful & useful in mountain trees it would not be long before you would find a lawyer & a lumberman at the foot of it trying to prove by every law human & divine that that tree must come down.
The Yosemite Valley in the heart of the park & essentially a part of it should I think be receded to the Federal government & put under one management thus ensuring great improvement in present conditions through increased appropriations for roads trails & expert work on the valley floor etc. Thus increasing
& facilitating travel to the advantage of the whole country.
Thanking you for your kind letter & invitation
I am with best wishes
Hon. Alden Anderson
1904 Jul 13
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Alden Anderson, 1904 Jul 13." (1904). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2825.
Reel 14, Image 0354
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters