A bill has been introduced in the Senate by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to honor the African American Army Soldiers of the 19th Century who were the first to protect Yosemite and Sequoia Parks. This was well before the National Park Service was created. The also built the hiking trail up to the top of Mt. Whitney – the highest peak in the lower 48 states. The all-black units were created in 1866; a time when segregation was the norm.The Indians thought their curly hair resembled that of Buffalo.
The Senate Bill is called the Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act. A similar bill was intropduced in the House. Passage seems to be a sure thing as long a “pork” is not thrown in.
Upon passage, the legislation would allow the creation of a commission a study to:
- Evaluate the feasibility of establishing a national historic trail commemorating the route the Buffalo Soldiers traveled between their post at San Francisco’s Presidio and Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.
- Identify properties to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks.
- Develop educational initiatives and a public awareness campaign about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers.