Our long time Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer jointly introduced a congressional bill to honor the African Americans who were the first to protect Yosemite. The Bill is called the Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act. They were really the first park rangers, well before the Park Service was formed. In Yosemite they were mostly chasing shepherds who brought their flocks into the meadows. If caught, the Soldiers were instructed to take the scofflaw to one end of the park and his sheep to the other. They were established in1866, as an exclusively black group. If passed, the legislation would allow the formation of a commission a study to:
- Evaluate the feasibility of establishing a national historic trail commemorating the route the Buffalo Soldiers traveled between their post at San Francisco’s Presidio and Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.
- Identify properties to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks.
- Develop educational initiatives and a public awareness campaign about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin