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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park lies in the heart of California. With its 'hanging' valleys, many waterfalls, cirque lakes, polished domes, moraines and U-shaped valleys, it provides an excellent overview of all kinds of granite relief fashioned by glaciation. At 600–4,000 m, a great variety of flora and fauna can also be found here.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parc national de Yosemite

Au cœur de la Californie, le parc national de Yosemite, avec ses vallées suspendues, ses cascades innombrables, ses lacs de cirque, ses dômes polis, ses moraines et ses vallées en U, permet d'observer toutes les formes d'un relief granitique façonné par les glaciations. S'étageant de 600 à 4 000 m d'altitude, il abrite en outre une flore et une faune extrêmement variées.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

منتزه يوسميت الوطني

يقع منتزه يوسميت الوطني في قلب كاليفورنيا فتُعرف عنه وديانه المعلّقة وشلالاته العديدة ووبحيراته الدائريّة وقببه المصقولة وركامه المثلجة ووديانه المنعطفة وهو يسمح بمراقبة شتّى أشكال نتوء غرانيتي وقد صقلته الثلوج المتجمّدة. يقع على ارتفاع 600 إلى 4000 متر ويأوي حياةً حيوانيّةً ونباتيّةً جدّ متنوّعة.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Йосемитский национальный парк

Йосемитский парк находится в центре Калифорнии. Здесь можно увидеть глубокие каньоны, многочисленные водопады и озера, моренные отложения, округлые гранитные купола и останцы с отвесными стенами и другие типичные формы ледникового рельефа. Охватывая высоты в диапазоне 600 - 4000 м, парк характеризуется значительным разнообразием флоры и фауны.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parque Nacional de Yosemite

Con sus valles colgantes, cascadas innumerables, lagos de circo, domos pulidos, morrenas y valles en U, el Parque Nacional de Yosemite, situado en el centro de California, muestra todas las formas de relieve granítico moldeado por las glaciaciones. Debido a que la altitud de sus terrenos oscila entre 600 y 4.000 metros, el parque alberga especies animales y vegetales extremadamente variadas.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Nationaal park Yosemite

Het Nationaal park Yosemite ligt in het hart van Californië. Met zijn ‘hangende’ valleien, vele watervallen, meren, gepolijste koepelvormige rotsen, morenen en U-vormige valleien toont het park allerlei hoedanigheden van granietreliëf, gevormd door ijstijden. Op 600 tot 4.000 meter hoogte is er een grote verscheidenheid aan flora en fauna te vinden. Deze wordt weerspiegeld door het bestaan van zes verschillende vegetatiezones - beheerst door de hoogtevariatie - waarvan de uitgestrekte bergweiden erg bijzonder zijn. In Yosemite zijn 1.200 soorten bloeiende planten, diverse varens, mossen en korstmossen te vinden. Het gebied telt acht met uitsterven bedreigde plantensoorten. Daarnaast telt het park 569 archeologische locaties.

Source: unesco.nl

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Yosemite National Park (United States of America) © Evergreen
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

Yosemite National Park vividly illustrates the effects of glacial erosion of granitic bedrock, creating geologic features that are unique in the world. Repeated glaciations over millions of years have resulted in a concentration of distinctive landscape features, including soaring cliffs, domes, and free-falling waterfalls. There is exceptional glaciated topography, including the spectacular Yosemite Valley, a 1 kilometer (1/2 mile) deep, glacier-carved cleft with massive sheer granite walls. These geologic features provide a scenic backdrop for mountain meadows and giant sequoia groves, resulting in a diverse landscape of exceptional natural and scenic beauty.

Criterion (vii): Yosemite has exceptional natural beauty, including five of the world's highest waterfalls, a combination of granite domes and walls, deeply incised valleys, three groves of giant sequoia, numerous alpine meadows, lakes and a diversity of life zones. 

Criterion (viii): Glacial action combined with the granitic bedrock has produced unique and pronounced landform features including distinctive polished dome structures, as well as hanging valleys, tarns, moraines and U-shaped valleys. Granitic landforms such as Half Dome and the vertical walls of El Capitan are classic distinctive reflections of geologic history. No other area portrays the effects of glaciation on underlying granitic domes as well as Yosemite does.


The property consists of over 300,000 hectares, one of the largest and least fragmented areas in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Approximately 95% of the park is designated wilderness. The entire park is surrounded by four national forests, several adjacent portions of which are designated wilderness areas, thereby providing connectivity with the larger landscape. However, there are concerns about increasing development outside park boundaries.

There are no significant threats to the property’s geologic or geomorphological values.  Visitation numbers, while high in certain areas, are largely restricted to the small portion of the park that has been developed, though preventing overcrowding in developed areas is an ongoing concern.

Threats to park resources and the integrity of park ecosystems include loss of natural fire as a process, air pollutants and air-borne contaminants, global climate change, direct impacts to resources from high visitation in some areas of the park such as human-wildlife conflicts, habitat fragmentation from both outside and inside park boundaries, and the invasion of non-native plant and animal species. The park is actively attempting to control the non-native plant species that pose the most serious threat, such as yellow star-thistle, bull thistle, and Himalayan blackberry. The presence of wild turkeys, bullfrogs, introduced fish and other non-native animal species in Yosemite threaten the park's native species including such rare species as the Sierra Nevada yellow legged frog.

Protection and management requirements

Park management plans for the property have identified a number of resource protection measures, such as environmental assessment processes, zoning, ecological integrity and visitor monitoring, and education programs to address pressures arising from issues both inside and outside the property. 

Designated by the U.S. Congress in 1890 as a national park, Yosemite National Park is managed under the authority of the Organic Act of August 25, 1916 which established the United States National Park Service. In addition, the park has specific enabling legislation which provides broad congressional direction regarding the primary purposes of the park. Numerous other federal laws bring additional layers of protection to the park and its resources. Day to day management is directed by the Park Superintendent. 

Management goals and objectives for the property have been developed through a General Management Plan, which has been supplemented in recent years with more site-specific planning exercises as well as numerous plans for specific issues and resources. In addition, the National Park Service has established Management Policies which provide broader direction for all National Park Service units, including Yosemite.

The national park has a large and well-trained staff and works closely with other land and water management agencies in the larger Sierra Nevada region to protect shared resources. One example is the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative, which brings together science and resource management to inform climate adaptation strategies to address climate change and other stressors within this ecological region. 

Long-term protection and effective management of the site from potential threats requires continued monitoring of resource conditions, such as through the NPS Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program. The Sierra Nevada I&M network, of which Yosemite is a part, has developed  several “vital signs” to track a subset of physical, chemical and biological elements and processes selected to represent the overall health or condition of park resources. In Yosemite, these vital signs include bird populations, weather and climate, water chemistry, plant communities, fire regimes and others. 

Yosemite is the sacred ancestral homelands of several traditionally-associated American Indian tribes and groups. The landscape reflects generations of American Indian land management, attesting to their deep ecological, cultural and spiritual ties to the area. Traditional cultural practices continue today and the ceremonies, and spiritual and traditional practices are critically important in retaining the sacred nature of Yosemite and its native culture.

  • Property inscribed for both geological and ecological values under natural criterion N (ii) before 1994. Criterion N (i) [Operational Guidelines 2002] was added. For more details see Decision 30.COM 8D.1.