A natural landscape is a landscape that is unaffected by human activity. A natural landscape is intact when all living and nonliving elements are free to move and change. The nonliving elements distinguish a natural landscape from a wilderness. A wilderness includes areas within which natural processes operate without human interference, but a wilderness must contain life. As implied, a natural landscape may contain either the living or nonliving or both. In his extensive travels in South America, Alexander von Humboldt became the first to conceptualize a natural landscape separate from the cultural landscape.
Some have described a transition of a pristine landscape state to a humanized landscape state—which includes the human-modified landscape, the primeval landscape, the ancient landscape, the undisturbed wilderness and the managed landscape. The natural landscape is a place under the current control of natural forces and free of the control of people for an extended period of time.
Yosemite National Park (// yoh-SEM-it-ee) is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of the U.S. state of California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, covers an area of 747,956 acres (3,026.87 km2) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Over 3.7 million people visit Yosemite each year: most spend their time in the seven square miles (18 km2) of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well - paving the way for the United States national park system.