The blizzard in Tahoe delayed this newsletter. Apologies it is arriving in March and not February.
In honor of Black History Month, here is a piece of Black history you may not know.
Some of California’s and the United States’ first park rangers were Buffalo Soldiers – the all-Black U.S. Army Cavalry units formed at the end of the Civil War.
In the late 1800s, several hundred Buffalo Soldiers were assigned to protect Yosemite, which was at that time a California State Park before it became the nation’s third national park. The duty of the Buffalo Soldiers at Yosemite was the same as it was in other national parks and future national parks across the American West – to protect these natural treasures from poachers, squatters, fires, loggers, and other threats, as well as to build infrastructure.
Although they did not hold the formal title of park ranger, their work helped lay the foundation of our National Parks Service and preserve some of the most beautiful and unique places in the nation, despite facing horrendous oppression and discrimination.
It's important to remember the legacy of Buffalo Soldiers and their effect on public lands in California and across the country. The next time you see a ranger at work at one of Tahoe's many state parks, remember the Buffalo Soldiers who paved the way for them and the natural places we still cherish today.
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League to Save Lake Tahoe | 530.541.5388 |
Protecting Lake Tahoe since 1957