Yosemite National Park is a home to all kinds of creatures and landscapes. Filled with mountain ranges, valleys, forest, and breathtaking waterfalls. Yosemite valley was a home to the Ahwahneechee Indians for thousands of years before settlers started arriving in the 1800s. The Ahwahnee people were pushed out and relocated to a reservation ending the tribal habitation of Yosemite Valley. The Gold Rush brought settlers from all over. Eventually tourists, photographers, and journalists started venturing the beautiful wilderness. Galen Clark was one the first settlers to create a village for people to come and experience the park. He saw the potential of the location and felt the need to protect the wilderness at all costs. Clark was one of the first individuals to put effort into declaring Yosemite a National Park. He felt these were necessary measures to protect the wilderness from human damage. In 1890, the Yosemite Act was created to preserve the land in order to protect the trees, minerals, and natural formations of the National Park. A bill was passed that made all of Yosemite the United States government’s property in order to protect and preserve. It is now one of America’s most cherished landmarks.
It was recently discovered that Yosemite National Park had been vandalized with graffiti. Park rangers had received multiple reports about vandalism on some of the most popular trails in Yosemite. About thirty sites around the park had been confirmed with graffiti. They were relatively large, with some being 8 feet by 8 feet. Officials do not know who tagged up the protected mountain ranges, but they are asking for help in order to identify the individual(s). Anyone who was on the trails or in the area is being asked to give any information. The park is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964. This act allows nature to be untouched so it is able to flourish on its own. Yosemite is considered to be under a ‘highly protected” status to prevent human damage to the environment. The individuals who took it upon themselves to leave a form of art on the mountain ranges are looking at serious punishments. Under federal law, vandalism of a national park is considered a misdemeanor with a $100-$500 fine, and three to six months in prison.
Graffiti is a huge debate in our society. Some people see graffiti as a form of art, while others see it as a form of vandalism. Graffiti allows one to express themselves in a different way. However, it becomes an inappropriate form of personal expression when it is displayed in a setting as sacred or protected as Yosemite National Park. In this particular situation, the graffiti displayed on the mountain ranges is taking away from the park’s history and beauty. The beauty of the park is what makes this place so special. The location holds a unique feeling to so many people across the globe. People work hard everyday to protect the surrounding nature, yet these individuals decided to destroy/belittle the significance of that. It is severely looked down upon. Whether they thought of it as art or not, their “work” was not accepted by the majority.