Important early map of the Yosemite Valley, which accompanied a report to the Leglislature on the management of Yosemite by the State of California.
The present map is an adaptation of the map of Yosemite Valley produced during Captain G.M. Wheeler's Expeditions of 1877-79 for the US. Geographic Surveys West of the 100th Meridian. Following the grant of control of Yosemite to the State of California in 1864, there was concern that the land were not being properly managed for future public use and recreation. In 1890, the Secretary of the Interior commissioned a report on California's compliance with the public trust grant. The report concluded that in Yosemite proper, indiscriminate destruction of timber to prepare the land for plow and pasture with not less than 5000 trees had been cut down with great carelessness or neglect and wantonness. many species of plants had been plowed and much of the valley has been fenced in and put to grass or grain, with little consideration for public trail access. The grant outside the valley had been abandoned to sheep-herders and their flocks with the grasses eaten to the bare dirt. Fires had done considerable damage and the large sequoias and other evergreens had been cut down by trespassers.
The 7 page report was illustrated with the Wheeler map first issued in 1883, with changes including the inclusion of the toll road and other development in the park. The report concluded that the Toll Road was being fairly operated, but recommended that the rights be purchased by the US, in order to make access free.
This remarkable map of Yosemite depicts the park boundaries and the "toll roads" leading to the park. It also locates early camp facilities, trails, and Indian settlements. The skillful rendering of the topography has created a remarkable strong graphic image of this picturesque valley. Mountain drawings by J.E. Weyss, lettering by M. Franke, from the topographical plat by Lt. Macomb, Nov. 30, 1883. The map includes Post Office, Indian Campsites, Cabins, Orchards, Cemetery, Saw Mill, Chapel, Bridges and many other details. Over 100 different places located, including the earliest hotels in the valley and vicinity. Lots of peaks, valleys and elevations included. Several early trails are noted, some of which are still unsurveyed.
The present example is accompanied by the report issued on the State of California's conduct in maintaining the park, and is filled with early interesting historical details of the earliest operations of Yosemite and early failings of the State of California as a land trust manager.