S. 225/Dianne Feinstein &
H.R. 520/Jackie Speier
Walk with the original guardians and rangers of our national parks–the Buffalo Soldiers. Before the National Park Service was formed, these African-American troops played a key role in protecting Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, from their headquarters in the Presidio of San Francisco. The Buffalo Soldiers constructed roads, created maps, extinguished fires, prevented logging of exquisite, towering sequoia trees, and made sure that armed poachers weren’t entering the parks. Although the contributions of these honorable men are wide-ranging, they are not widely shared with today’s park visitors.
The Buffalo Soldiers’ stories deserve to be studied and told by the National Park Service. Congress has the opportunity to ensure that our country’s “best idea” more fully reflects our shared cultural diversity and heritage.
Update: Passed House; Reported out of Senate Committee.
—Hank Johnston, pp. 55-6,Yosemite’s Yesterday