Yosemite National Park, California - A prestigious group of park supporters and advocates have been announced to be Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors. The Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors were selected from a wide variety of backgrounds and include musicians, scientists, artists, athletes, historians, writers, public officials and educators. Each ambassador shares a unique story, love, and commitment for Yosemite National Park.
The Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors will help the park connect with and inspire the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and champions. In 2016, Yosemite National Park will commemorate the National Park Service's centennial anniversary. The National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916 and will officially become 100 years old on August 25, 2016.
Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors include Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA-5), University of California President Janet Napolitano, historian and filmmaker Dayton Duncan, author Terry Tempest Williams, news anchor Ken Bastida, and Yosemite Conservancy President and CEO Frank Dean. Well-known athletes include professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe and world class rock climbers such as Conrad Anker, Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell, and Timmy O'Neill.
Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors are committed to sharing their experiences and love for Yosemite by attending special events, posting stories and photos on social media, and helping the park to attract new stewards and supporters. Photos and biographies of the Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors are featured on the park's website and their stories and experiences will be shared on the park's Instagram and Facebook social media feeds.
"People from around the world love Yosemite National Park and the National Park Service," stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. "We are extremely honored and grateful that this group of distinguished individuals have agreed to share their passion for Yosemite and help inspire the next generation of park visitors and stewards."
"I'm honored and excited to serve as a Yosemite Centennial Ambassador," stated Gavin Newsom, California's Lieutenant Governor. "The park is incredibly important to the State of California, and some of my most treasured memories are camping and hiking in Yosemite National Park with my family."
The Centennial marks the third consecutive year in which Yosemite National Park is commemorating an important milestone. On June 30, 2014, Yosemite National Park commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the birth of the national park idea. On October 1, 2015, the 125th Anniversary of the park was commemorated. The Act creating the National Park Service, known as the "Organic Act," was signed on August 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. On August 25, 2016, the over 400 National Park Service units across the country will commemorate the Centennial, the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.
Yosemite National Park and the gateway communities surrounding the park are conducting a wide variety of events throughout the year to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial. For more information about centennial events and for a complete list of Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors, please visit www.nps.gov/yose/anniversary. You can find their pictures and stories on the Yosemite Instagram and Facebook pages and by searching #YosemiteAmbassador.
Yosemite National Park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of flowering plants.