Yosemite National Park is expanding further with the addition of 400 acres of Ackerson Meadow on its western boundary.

Ackerson Meadow, which features a critical wetland, is home for many endangered wildlife species. It was a private property of Robin and Nancy Wainwright since 2006 and was bought by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) earlier this year for $2.3 million.

The land was then donated by TPL to the National Park Service to be part of Yosemite National Park on Sept. 7. As a matter of fact, Ackerson Meadow is less than 0.05 percent of Yosemite National Park's total land area.

Yosemite National Park attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year and covers a huge area of 1,200 square miles. The park celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015 and is currently celebrating its 100th year with the National Park Service. The addition of Ackerson Meadow's 400 acres is the biggest expansion the park had in almost 70 years.

According to Don Neubacher, the park's superintendent, the expansion will help in preserving the meadow that serves as a home for many protected animal and plant species. The donation is remarkable as it was made right on time as the park celebrates its Centennial.

"The original Yosemite boundary plans of 1890 included Ackerson Meadow, so it is exciting to finally have this important place protected," said Frank Dean, the president of Yosemite Conservancy.

Wainwright and his wife could have made a lot of money if the couple had sold it to some investor rather than selling it to the TPL. However, Robin said that it is worth losing some money for having people enjoy the incredible meadow.

Shaun Crook, president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, who appreciated Wainwright for his contribution, said that the meadow was exploited for logging and cattle grazing for years. The donation will put an end to such activities.

Yosemite Park officials have also noted that the land will be preserved and will serve as a habitat for many endangered wildlife such as the great grey owl.

Will Rogers, president of the TPL, said that he felt happy and proud to donate Ackerson Meadow to Yosemite National Park and the people of America.

Yosemite is home to 150 species of bird, 22 reptile varieties, 90 species of mammals, 1,500 flowering plants and trees and a number of fish and amphibian species. On the other hand, the park supports 6,261 jobs and generates a revenue of $535 million.

Photo: Navin Rajagopalan | Flickr

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