On June 30, 1864, with the country embroiled in the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made a move to preserve something truly beautiful for this country: Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. By signing the Yosemite Grant Act, Lincoln ensured the land's preservation, and that gave us a reason to honor the park's 150th anniversary this week.
The Yosemite Grant Act was the first time a scenic, wilderness land was preserved specifically for public use by the federal government, and became the seed of the national parks movement that would preserve more of America's beauty in years to come.
To celebrate a century and a half of the iconic park that transcends beauty, park worker and photographer Ryan Alonzo shares with us some photos in his new picture book Yosemite in Pictures, published by the Yosemite Conservancy.
Take a peek, and prepare to feel the giant sequoias and cascading falls draw you in and remind you just how incredible natural beauty and the great outdoors can be.