On Wednesday, in it’s largest expansion since 1949, Yosemite National Park grew to include 400 acres of lush meadow. Ackerson Meadow, along the park’s western boundary, was part of John Muir’s original plan for Yosemite. It’s conservation and addition to Yosemite has been a top conservation priority for decades.
American Rivers’ chapter in Ackerson Meadow started in 2012 when we forged a strong friendship with the landowners, Robin and Nancy Wainwright. Along with the Wainwrights, we set a vision to add the meadow to Yosemite National Park. In 2013, with a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the property was appraised. After the appraisal, we brought together the Wainwrights, the National Park Service, and the Trust For Public Land to work together to bring our vision to fruition. On September 7th, with funding from the Yosemite Conservancy and an anonymous donor, the Trust for Public Land purchased the property and donated it to the Park Service.
Protecting and restoring headwater meadows is part of American Rivers’ California focus and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Watershed Improvement Program. Together we have partnered on a number of projects to improve the health of the Sierra Nevada, California’s primary source of clean water. Through this addition to Yosemite National Park, Ackerson Creek – which flows through the property before flowing into the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Tuolumne River and the greater San Joaquin River – will have it’s water quality protected from threats for years to come.