Today, the U.S. celebrates Presidents Day, a day to commemorate the leadership and legacy of the so-far only men who have governed the country since its founding. Here at EcoWatch, we think some of the most amazing things about the U.S. are its unique and beautiful landscapes and wildlife . So this Presidents Day, we would like to celebrate actions taken by past presidents to protect America’s environment. 1. Abraham Lincoln Protects Yosemite On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, giving Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the state of California. It marked the first time in U.S. history that the government set land aside specifically to protect it and preserve it for public enjoyment, according to POLITICO . “In its scope and in its avowed preservation purpose the Yosemite Valley undertaking was truly precedent-setting,” author Ney C. Landrum wrote in The State Park Movement in America: A Critical Review , according to The Smithsonian Magazine . “Not only were there no real state parks in 1864, there were no national parks , either. California’s experiment pioneered a new field of public land management and provided valuable lessons–positive as well as negative–for […]

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