Home & Synopsis/Status Reports Purpose & Method Who was Carl Sharsmith? Why name a Yosemite feature for Carl?/Origin of Proposal Which feature should be named for Carl? How can a feature be named for Carl? SUMMARY OF SUPPORTING STATEMENTS Contacts/Resources Webmaster Search Form
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SUMMARY OF SUPPORTING STATEMENTS
Some supporting statements were sent by their authors directly to the Board on Geographic Names; copies of these may or may not appear here.
click on names in blue text below to view full documents and further biographical information of supporters
1) DR. DALLAS L. PECK ,
deceased, former Director, U.S. Geological Survey:
October 15, 2003: "I think it's very appropriate to name some geographic feature in Yosemite after Carl."
November 12, 2003: "Looks to me you have pretty compelling reasons to proceed with 12002...Sharsmith Peak has a nice ring to it."
2) ELIZABETH STONE O'NEILL,
Groveland, California, Yosemite author and Sharsmith biographer:
January 14, 2004: "By having the name [Sharsmith Peak] continually in evidence, it will provide a way of bringing Carl's message to those who did not know him--his message of love for the natural environment and of ongoing scientifically based inquiry into the ways of the wild."
3) RICHARD E. ZSCHEILE,
Aptos, California, Tuolumne Meadows park visitor since 1948 and advocate of
Sharsmith naming at least since1977.
October 26, 2006: "I met Dr. Sharsmith in 1948, and saw him frequently, having been to Tuolumne Meadows nearly every year since 1948... He slowly became my most admired person in the world. He influenced thousands of visitors with his expertise of botany and appreciation of nature... Sharsmith deserves a peak to be named after him."
4) OFFICE OF
SUPERINTENDENT, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
December 7, 1977: "...it would be a most deserving reward to name a mountain peak or lake after Dr. Sharsmith."--Superintendent Arnberger
November 21, 1979: "...action is now underway to introduce a Congressional bill to name a peak in Yosemite National Park after Dr. Sharsmith...Geographic features cannot be named for living persons [in] the normal procedure...However we recently learned of the Congressional option that the Yosemite Natural History Association is pursuing. It is our hope that the legislative process will be expedited so that the formal designation of the peak will materialize soon...He is a rare individual and he truly deserves the recognition"--Superintendent Binnewies
Circa 1980 (memo to Director, National Park Service): "The Yosemite Natural History Association proposes to carry out the necessary paperwork to propose the naming of a mountain peak in Yosemite National Park after Dr. Carl Sharsmith...In order to facilitate the process during his lifetime, it has been suggested that we go through the Congress. Therefore, YNHA proposes to provide Congressman Coelho with the necessary material to support the introduction of a bill. Please let me know if you concur."--Superintendent Binnewies
August 18, 1980: "...we informed you that the Yosemite Natural History Association was promoting Congressional action to name a peak in Yosemite for Dr. Sharsmith...The result of that effort was not the authorization sought...The Association is now pursuing that original objective... We'll be happy to let you know whether this attempt leads to the designation of Mt. Sharsmith or Sharsmith Peak."--signed by William N. Burgen for Superintendent Binnewies
5) DON BALDWIN,
California. former minister of Yosemite Chapel, Christian Ministry in the
November 17, 2003: "...for naming a feature for Carl Sharsmith...I didn't have much to contribute except my enthusiasm for the idea!"
6) DR. CARL SHARSMITH, 1903-1994, Yosemite
ranger-naturalist and San Jose State University Professor of Botany
January 20, 1977: "Again, in connection with naming a peak or any other landmark...I'm not opposed to your, Bob's Marilyn's, and Eileen's proposition [to name a peak for Carl]. Furthermore, to be asked if I have a preference for some one or other point is an honor, too! The one you mentioned (pk. at s. end Kuna Crest, 12,106') would be wonderful. In the 50's...I thought of an un-named peak an airline mile or so southwest of Mt. Lyell. I looked at it more than once when I took parties up Mt. Lyell. Its altitude on my old maps (I don't have one of the 15-minute ones) is about 12,700'. What a dandy one that would be!"--quoted by Henry Berrey in letter of July 11, 1980 to Congressman Tony Coelho.
August 26, 1991: After asking Carl if a peak was to be named for him, Bill Jones noted on a file card, "Sharsmith Peak will be point 12002 north of Granite Lake." (Oral communication to Bill Jones)
November 5, 2006: (conversation recalled with Carl by Michael Ross)--"I knew that Carl wanted a peak named after him...I asked Carl if he would like 12,002 to be Sharsmith Peak and he was very enthusiastic about that choice...I talked to Dick Ewart and other Naturalists in Tuolumne...We all thought it was a great choice and started calling it Sharsmith Peak."
7) CATHERINE ROSE
June 5, 2006: "May your project thrive! Fare Forward."
8) DALE MAHARIDGE, Pulitzer prize winning author, faculty member Columbia
University, wrote text for Yosemite: A Landscape of Life including
photoessay on Carl Sharsmith,
June 12, 2006: "I would love to write a letter. Your effort is a good one. I will do so soonest."
9) WILLIAM R. "BILL" JONES, Silverthorne, Colorado, former Yosemite National Park Chief Park Naturalist, park planner, VistaBooks publisher. April 24, 2006: " My reason for proposing this name...is multi-faceted: To provide inspiration through the example of this dedicated scientist and educator so that current and successive generations will continue to develop information on the natural features of this region to allow it to be best managed. And to inspire park staff to effectively communicate gained knowledge...The end result will be the continuation of the natural values...the U.S. Congress has directed be maintained..."
10) YOSEMITE ASSOCIATION,
El Portal, California
September 8, 1976: "It's my greatest ambition to start the process grinding to have a Yosemite mountain named for [Dr. Sharsmith]"--Henry Berrey
August 20, 1980: "I do hope we can cut through the red tape and get a mountain named for this fine man..."--Henry Berrey
January 7, 2002: "The board of the association discussed the matter at its last meeting, and has agreed to endorse the plan [to name a Sharsmith Peak]...The Yosemite Association would lend its name and support to the initiative, and also notify our members about it." [letter from Steve Medley, President.]
September 9, 2006: at its annual meeting, the Board of the Yosemite Association endorsed the proposal once again. Before a letter reporting this action could be prepared, however, President Steve Medley died in an auto accident.
JULY 16, 2007: "On behalf of the Yosemite Association, we wish to express our enthusiastic support for the naming of peak 12,002 in honor of the late Dr. Carl W. Sharsmith. Our Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse this proposal..." letter from Christina Holloway as Chair, Board of Trustees, and David J. Guy as Chief Executive Officer.
11) DR. N. KING HUBER,
deceased, Mountain View, California, Geologist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey,
author of Geologic History of Yosemite National Park.
September 23, 2003: "Carl's contributions to the lore of Yosemite were outstanding and he is as deserving of having a Mountain Peak named for him as was Ansel Adams. Indeed, over time Carl left a lasting personal imprint on more park visitors than Ansel ever did...I would be willing to provide an endorsement.."
October 6, 2006: "I wholeheartedly support naming a peak overlooking his beloved Tuolumne Meadows for Carl Sharsmith."
12) DOUGLASS H. HUBBARD,
Yosemite Chief Park Naturalist
1955-1966, NPS Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Washington Office 1966-68, Manager
NPS Harpers Ferry Design Center1969-1970, publisher
December 23, 2003: "During a 30-year career with the National Park Service I observed and worked with many ranger-naturalists. In my opinion none surpassed Carl Sharsmith. I attended many of his campfire programs. I climbed to the summit of Mt. Lyell with him and spent seven days with him on the High Sierra Loop Trail. Park visitors loved him and he loved teaching them in his distinctive, folksy style. Nothing could be more natural than to name a peak for him among the High Sierra flowers he knew better than anyone."
April 27, 2006: "Carl was magical in the true sense of the word. He brought a new meaning and appreciation of nature to thousands of park visitors. In our world of turmoil few mountain peaks have been named for individuals who knew and admired them for most of a lifetime as Carl did. Even though future visitors will not know this peaceful man, it is fitting that a peak he loved and which they will enjoy should bear his name."
JUNE 4, 2007: "In a career of 45 years as a park naturalist and museum director with the National Park Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife I can say without hesitancy that I never worked with a better naturalist than Carl Sharsmith...Many Yosemite peaks bear names of famous personages...But I don't know of a single one that was named for a man who brought understanding of nature to the thousands who walked with him as did Carl Sharsmith."
13) WAYNE MERRY, Atlin, British Columbia,
Canada, former Yosemite National Park climbing school director, former
park naturalist and ranger at Tuolumne Meadows, former Chief Ranger of Olympic and Mount McKinley
(now Denali) National Parks, world-class mountaineer and mountain rescue and first aid expert,
author, plant taxonomy student of Carl Sharsmith
May 7, 2006: "While I am normally opposed to naming peaks for individuals...most of us feel that people like Carl, who have spent their lives educating, enthralling, delighting and getting people in touch with their environment deserved to bestow their names on the places they have so profoundly inhabited. He discovered a number of new species in the Yosemite Sierra as well as bringing countless thousands of people to an appreciation of the range and its biota. I have no doubt that his lessons have spread to millions by now."
14) BUTCH FARABEE, former
Tuolumne Meadows District Ranger at
Yosemite National Park, author of National Park Ranger: an
November 30, 2006: "It would be a fitting testimonial to the national park ideal for future, young interpreters to stand in this mountain's shadow--and...point toward the granite prominence off in the distance and to their young charges, say "And there is Sharsmith Peak!"
15) BRYAN HARRY,
Honolulu, Hawaii, former Chief Park Naturalist and Valley District Manager,
Yosemite National Park, former NPS Regional Director
May 25, 2006: "I regard Sharsmith as the greatest interpreter of the wild and scientific values of the high Sierra since John Muir...By happenstance Carl’s tenure in Yosemite corresponded with the park’s continual quest to understand and manage meadow encroachment by forests, fuel buildup during times of maximum fire control, visitor crowdedness damaging wilderness, air pollution dimming the vibrant visibility of the Sierra viewscapes, and over-development of visitor facilities. His was the constant voice rationally interpreting these concerns to the public... My own love of the Sierra is a thousand fold more profound--for I was educated by Carl Sharsmith."
16) DEBRA PLANT, Auburn, California, assistant to City Manager, Rocklin, California:
May 23, 2006: "...how [will] the world be made a better place by labeling the peak 'Sharsmith'[?} When my children and grandchildren travel to [the area], I can point out the peak and tell the tale of Dr. Sharsmith...who, for years, gave himself to [the area] to make others love it and care for it as it should be. In my town, when the school kids come for a tour of a City facility named after one of the 'old-timers", they hear of the good deeds and the integrity of that individual...I hope that the voices raised in [Dr. Sharsmith's] memory...bring about the naming of Sharsmith Peak...so the tales can be told, and children can lift up their eyes to ideals greater than they have not yet even imagined."
17) DR. F. OWEN HOFFMAN, Oak Ridge,
former Crater Lake, Zion, and Yosemite National Parks Naturalist, former
student of Carl Sharsmith, now President of Senes Oak Ridge Center for Risk
May 23, 2006: "It was during [summer 1966 at Crater Lake National Park]...that I first learned of Dr. Sharsmith's legendary reputation among park naturalists throughout the National Park System. Several of our most veteran naturalists at Crater Lake had been trained by Dr. Sharsmith in Tuolumne Meadows...During the summer of 1969...at Zion National Park..I would meet other NPS personnel and park visitors who would share with me their inspirational experiences while hiking with or attending an evening program conducted by 'the great' Carl Sharsmith...Dr. Sharsmith's ability to communicate his passion for the aesthetic qualities of the Tuolumne wilderness was a gift on par with the writings of John Muir and the photographs of Ansel Adams...The unnamed mountain, Peak 12002, has been informally known among many park visitors and park employees as Sharsmith Peak. I am requesting that the U.S. Board on Geographic Names formally consider the name Sharsmith Peak for this feature to honor the memory of this great human being and to preserve his legacy."
18) ROGER G. KENNEDY,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Director,
National Park Service (1993-1997), Director Emeritus, National Museum
of American History, author
June 29, 2006: "[Dr. Sharsmith] is already a lesson for those who are told about him, as I was when I first came to Yosemite as [NPS] Director--we should use the naming process to make him a lesson for a lot more people."
WENDT, Midpines, California, former Yosemite Chief Ranger
April 24, 2006: "I took one of Carl's three day flower identification trips sponsored by the Yosemite Natural History Association and was entranced. His botanizing demonstrated a most complete knowledge about plants, but what captured my attention was his enthusiasm, good humour and ability to capture my imagination and impart a desire to learn more. I am in total support of naming a peak after Carl Sharsmith. I know of no one who more deserves it...Here was a real gentleman with a tremendous exuberance for life and living things..."
20) LEN MCKENZIE,
Mariposa, California, former Chief Park Naturalist, Yosemite National Park
May 31, 2006: "This gentle man's interpretive programs, his scientific contributions to the body of knowledge of Yosemite and his selfless, humble efforts to enhance visitors' appreciation of the park's intrinsic attributes were as significant as John Muir's writings and Ansel Adams' photographs in influencing people's perception of Yosemite. Both Muir and Adams have mulitiple landscape features named for them. Dr. Sharsmith deserves the honor of at least one namesake landmark to symbolize his legacy, a legacy that many who can never know the man will recognize as significant to the preservation of Yosemite and the High Sierra...I'm convinced that no individual deserves this recognition more..."
21) ELIZABETH A. KERR, Silverthorne, Colorado, Partner, VistaBooks, L.L.C. publishing company
June 5, 2006: "I have successfully raised two boys into productive society, in the process working with their schools and with them and their peers in their boy scout troop as well as self-teaching my boys while we lived in foreign countries, and I have therefore seen the need for the intricacy and delicacy and enthusiasm on the part of leaders that encourages interest and understanding. Dr. Sharsmith excelled in providing these and I feel that we should not only honor him in our memory but recall his methods to our youth so they might aspire to similar effectiveness as their lives unfold...I have four grandchildren of my own and when the time is right hope to tell them of Sharsmith Peak and its namesake so, through his example, they may gain motivation to learn and grow in their knowledge and thinking. Near where I live we remember John Wesley Powell's explorations and studies more because we have Mount Powell. In my state we also have Longs Peak and Pikes Peak and many others that remind us of our American heritage..May there soon be a Sharsmith Peak that will remind us of the value of education and science that Dr. Sharsmith stood for..."
KAUNE, Port Angeles, Washington, former Yosemite naturalist
June 6, 2006: "My reason for proposing this name for [Sharsmith Peak] is that Carl Sharsmith was in the same league as John Muir, Joseph LeConte and other notable wilderness minded persons that influenced public attitudes in managing and protecting the resources of the Sierra Nevada Range of California..Naming of the peak for him would reinforce his commitment in life as an example for others."
BARBEE, Bozeman, Montana, former Yosemite ranger, naturalist, and
resources manager. NPS Alaska Regional Director, Superintendent Yellowstone,
Redwood, Hawaii Volcanoes, Cape Hatteras, and Cape Lookout National Parks
June 5, 2006: "A fitting tribute would be naming this feature, Sharsmith Peak, as a beacon for future generations to contemplate the value of, and commitment to thoughtful action for saving wild places and their native inhabitants."
DEBORAH WILLIAMS, Sarasota, Florida, doctor of oriental and
June 11, 2006: "As a professional in the field of Oriental Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine, where natural herbs are used to effect cures of certain maladies, I found Dr. Sharsmith's understanding of the uses of plants...fascinating...To actually have the plants pointed out to me in their native habitats, with their individual requirements as to moisture, temperature, and exposure explained, makes prescribing them to my patients far more meaningful...Naming a Yosemite peak for Dr. Sharsmith...would help keep alive not only the memory of Dr. Sharsmith but of his ways of inspiring others in fields not only in his own botany, but in other applications of botanical knowledge such as my own field."
GRIFFIN, San Francisco, California, former Yosemite National Park superintendent,
Castillo San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments Superintendent, presently Executive Director The Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito, CA):
June 13, 2006: "We speak of people as 'legends in their own time,' but I suspect that Carl embodied that beyond contemporary meaning. He changed lives, and by modeling his devotion to the natural world, he inspired thousands of ambassadors to save it. By naming the peak Sharsmith Peak, these and future generations will carry on the inspiration and devotion to saving our natural world. It was my honor to have served as Superintendent of Yosemite during the time of Ranger Sharsmsith. This was a rare privilege indeed and one for which I shall always feel blessed."
MOREHEAD, Morro Bay, California, former Superintendent Yosemite
National Park 1986-1989
May 28, 2006: "Naming a feature in Yosemite for [Carl] would serve as an inspiring reminder to future generations of the dedication and expertise of an individual who, for 6 decades, devoted his summers to explain, educate, and demonstrate to others the uniqueness and importance of Yosemite's natural resources...I fully support the proposal. And finally, since the feature identified in the proposal is currently unnamed, but is already commonly called Sharsmith Peak, I feel officially naming the feature would be totally appropriate."
27) DR. ALLAN
SHIELDS, Clovis, California, former
Tuolumne Meadows ranger-naturalist:
June 8, 2006: "[Carl was] a nature guru with an uncommon ability to convey his love of natural things, he was instrumental in developing a unique program of hands-on instruction, influencing thousands. Over fifty friends, park associates, relatives, and admirers contributed to the festschrift dedicated to Carl: Climb Every Mountain: A Portrait of Carl Sharsmith. [This entire work is supporting testimony to the effort to name some park prominence for Carl--ed.] As a colleague of Carl's for over four decades on and off the trail, I wish to add my support to this effort to commemorate his name up there in the snowy heights along with names such as Dana, Lyell, McClure, Darwin, Eisen, etc.."
DURKEE, Twain Harte, California, former Yosemite naturalist, now Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park
wilderness ranger and
editor of online Sierra Nature Notes:
May 9, 2006: [Carl} was a huge influence on my career as a backcountry ranger...No one in the last century was more knowledgeable about Yosemite's natural history or more closely identified with a place--Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite--as Dr. Sharsmith. No one has spent more time hiking the trails, meadows, and peaks of the Tuolumne region than Carl--not Ansel Adams or the Yosemite geologist Francois Matthes or even John Muir himself...Peak 12,002 north of Tioga Pass is already informally called Sharsmith Peak..It was Carl who was one of the inspirations for me to revive Yosemite Nature Notes (published from about 1920 to 1980) as an online journal so people could gain a deeper appreciation of the Sierra and work to preserve it. I don't think his unique combination of detailed scientific knowledge of a place, the ability to teach and excite others about the Sierra, and such a life-long commitment to a place will occur again. His life was an inspiration to all who knew him. Naming Sharsmith Peak in the heart of the Tuolumne region of Yosemite will enable that memory to be kept alive to inspire others.
29) BOB FRY,
deceased, Groveland, California, Yosemite ranger-naturalist, 1960-circa 2003:
June 10, 2006: "I think (and feel) that an exception should be made in the naming of a peak for our friend. Carl's contribution to the lore of the Sierra Mountains exceeds ninety percent of those personages who have their appellations attached to lakes (mostly wives, daughters, and sweethearts), and to mountains (various men involved with mapping, trail-building, administrating, etc.)"
]une 21, 2006:"We used to disdainfully tell visitors that Giant Sequoias, lakes, and mountains should be appreciated for their intrinsic beauty, awesome size, exquisite setting, and uniqueness. Now I believe that names on special features have nothing to do with the nature of the feature itself. Those names, however, do honor individuals on the map, and they very handily serve as a reference to visitors and guides who need to communicate their interests or exploits to each other...There are three brief reasons that are important to me in recommending that peak 12002 bear the name of "Mount Sharsmith." The first reason has to do with Carl's own history. His work in Yosemite and the Sierra spanned nearly 64 years...Almost all investigators in plant life, geology, zoology, or invertebrate biology who came to Yosemite would consult with Carl about where and when to observe certain things in their fields of interest... The second reason has to do with the personality and character of Carl the man. He was endeared as a patient teacher and as a friendly expositor...The third reason, which is first in priority, has to do with Carl's scientific accomplishments...Carl/s work was both taxonomic and ecological (years before the field of ecology was recognized in universities)...Carl contributed greatly to understanding the origins of our high-mountain plants...If there are any objections to the proposal to exchange a mountain's number for a human name because of policy, tradition, or authority, I hope this recommendation will warrant an exception."
30) COLORADO STATE REPRESENTATIVE
ANDY KERR, Lakewood, Colorado, District 26:
June 20, 2006: "Dr. Sharsmith's contributions in Yosemite National Park and at San Jose State University, both in California, in the educational field were on a scope that gives them national importance. Recognizing these contributions in the form of a mountain named for him in the area where he did his work will remind us now and in the future of the value of education and inspire others to his standards and dedication. We know that the educational field often lacks remunerative rewards available in other pursuits, making it all the more important to provide other means of recognition...I find that not only should the mountain be formally named Sharsmith Peak, it would be a mistake not to so name it. Do not lose this opportunity."
DUNMIRE, Placitas, New Mexico, former Yosemite climber and park
naturalist, Chief Naturalist
of the National Park Service, and park superintendent Coulee Dam National
Recreation Area and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, author
July 10, 2006: "In view of the fact that over Dr. Sharsmith's long and distinguished career at Yosemite National Park he became known as 'Mr. Wilderness Educator' himself, it is particularly appropriate to name this wilderness summit for the man...By the time I served as Chief of Interpretation...in the 1970s, Carl Sharsmith's legacy was established and well-known by the Directorate in Washington, D.C...Today...I am ever more impressed with the Sharsmith legacy as one of our nation's premier naturalist-educators of the twentieth century, and I am persuaded that his legacy will stand the test of time."
32) DR. L.
MAYNARD MOE, Bakersfield, California, Professor of Biology,
California State University:
July 20, 2006: "For the past several years park visitors and employees have informally referred to the mountain [Peak 12,002] as 'Sharsmith Peak'...I recall when I was a child [Dr. Sharsmith] showed me an alpine columbine and told me how hummingbirds pollinated it. That undoubtedly planted in me a see of interest in botany that eventually lead to my professional career as a field botanist here at CSU Bakersfield. I strongly support the petition..."
MEIKLE, Dear Lodge, Montana, Park Ranger, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site:
May 8, 2006: "Dr. Carl Sharsmith was an inspiration...but perhaps his most lasting influence was on the rangers...We learned more than botany and its place in the ecology of alpine terrain. We learned that deeper knowledge led, inevitably, to deeper passion...His lasting influence deserves lasting recognition."
ANDERSON, San Diego, California, ski mountaineer:
July 31, 2006: "My reason for proposing this name [Sharsmith Peak] ...is for safety reasons. This peak is a popular destination for backcountry ski mountaineers in winter and spring. This community...informally call the peak 'False White Mountain Peak' or just 'False White'...How does naming this peak promote safety?...'Sharsmith Peak' avoids confusion with the real 'White Mountain' peak to the north, which can make it impossible for groups to meet up at the same point [and} Can cause confusion with rescue and safety personnel heading for the unidentified peak (Sharsmith Peak). Winter storms can be fierce in the region...Naming the peak will reduce confusion and mistakes in potentially hazardous conditions. My association with the feature in question is cross-country ski mountaineering travel in Winter and Spring in the Yosemite/Tioga Pass area for over twenty years has given me a perspective on safety and recreation issues of the region."
SMITH, Placitas, New Mexico, former Tuolumne Meadows ranger with
service at many other parks and NPS regional office plus international
August 1, 2006: "[Dr. Sharsmith] sold park visitors on the importance of preserving and protecting Yosemite National Park and other units of the National Park System...I don't think I have ever seen a naturalist as dedicated and committed as Dr. Sharsmith to sharing the information he knew with others. It only seems appropriate that we name a peak in the Sierras, a place he loved above all others, for him in honor of his work in keeping the park safe for future generations of visitors."
ROCKWELL, Bishop, California, retired forester, Inyo National Forest:
August 7, 2006: "I propose the formal name...Sharsmith Peak...because it's in the area where he spent much time studying the plant life and conducted field trips; Carl was the grand old man of Yosemite and folks from all over U.S. remember his natural history field trips."
37) ALLEN BERREY,
Bishop, California, raised in Yosemite Valley, Assistant County Counsel
September 22, 2006: "In urging...approval of this proposal I speak not only for myself but also on behalf of my late mother and father--Henry and Eileen Berrey--both of whom lived and worked for many years in Yosemite...my father was instrumental in transforming and developing the [Yosemite Natural History] Association into its current status as the major [non-governmental] provider of interpretive services, publications, and funding to the Park Service in Yosemite...my mother Eileen embarked, equally successfully, on a second career as a park information specialist for the National Park Service...I have revered Dr. Sharsmsith; our family considered him to truly be a 'man to match the mountains.' My parents' admiration for Dr. Sharsmith led them in 1976 to become involved in the effort to have his legacy...recognized by having a peak in Yosemite named after him; this was the genesis of the current effort...It is my understanding that applicable federal policies look with disfavor on proposals to name features within federally-designated wilderness areas. I would point out, however, that the proposed Sharsmsith Peak lies on the border of Yosemite's wilderness, not within it, and that the eastern portion of the peak is in non-wilderness U.S. Forest Service lands...I see no legal or policy-based impediment to your Board's consideration and approval of this proposal."
38) DAVID MIHALIC,
Missoula, Montana, former Superintendent Yosemite National Park
September 21, 2006: "Carl Sharsmith's reputation was widely known both in and out of the National Park Service. Long before I became Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, while I was still a young ranger in Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, Carl Sharsmith was held up as a model for others who wished to really connect park visitors to the wonders and intrinsic values of national parks. Park visitors came to associate Carl Sharsmith's name--not the name of superintendents or chief rangers--with Yosemite. He was that good! I urge the Board to name peak 12,002..Sharsmith Peak."
Upper Merced River Watershed Council,
October 30, 2006: "Our reason for proposing this name [Sharsmith Peak]...is to establish a visual inspiration to present and future citizens to emulate Dr. Sharsmith and match his passion for learning and teaching and his credibility, courage, and tenacity in guiding those who manage the environment...Individuals in management positions with the National Park Service have extolled Dr. Sharsmith's methods and his persistence in applying his vast knowledge to efforts that resulted in improved management practices regarding high country areas that include the Merced River Watershed. It is only fitting to honor Dr. Sharsmith for his lifetime of work in the Sierra."
40) ROBERT O. "BOB" BINNEWIES,
Ashland, Oregon, former Yosemite National Park Superintendent
May 20, 2006: "During my tenure as Superintendent of Yosemite National Park from 1979 to 1986, many people approached me about naming geographic features in memory of outstanding individuals. In only one instance, did I choose to advance such recommendations to the highest level by proposing, then, as I do now, that 'Sharsmith Peak' be so certified...In my career, I have served in several national parks and as Executive Director of the Main Coast Heritage Trust, Vice President of the National Audubon Society, and Executive Director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission...In these positions, I have met many outstanding people, yet only one among them deserves, in my opinion, the accolade of having a United States geographic feature named in his honor. A 'Sharsmith Peak' in the Sierra Nevada would bring great honor to naturalists, scientists, and rangers everywhere."
41) JULIE MILLER, Interpretive Services Manager for Delaware North Co.,
Yosemite park concessioner, instructor Yosemite Outdoor Adventure Series for
November 5, 2003: "I am in favor of a peak called Sharsmith Peak..I currently include anecdotes from my experiences with Carl in a public storytelling program I do weekly in the park. I decided to call the peak Sharsmith in my YA description although I have never seen it referred to that way anywhere else..."
42) DR. MICHAEL FROME, Port Washington, Wisconsin, national park and conservation author and educator:
November 8, 2006: "I knew Dr. Sharsmith personally and remember him well from visits to Yosemite over the years...I recall hearing campers and numerous return visitors say they had arranged their vacations specifically to experience a walk and evening program with Dr. Sharsmith...Dr. Sharsmith brought a missionary zeal to encounters with park visitors. Best of all, he was a wilderness scholar, interpreter, and advocate of distinction...I hope...the designation of Mount Sharsmith may now proceed apace."
43) DR. JOHN LEMONS,
former Tuolumne Meadows naturalist, now Professor of Biology and
Environmental Science, University of
September 26, 2006: "My primary reason for proposing [Sharsmith Peak]...is because the importance of 'place names' in national parks stems not simply from a desire to recognize a person's contributions to a particular place or geographical feature or event by 'naming' but more importantly 'place names' provide huge insights into social, cultural, and natural history...I served as a seasonal naturalist for ten years with the NPS in Yosemite National Park and subsequently I have been a professor of biology and environmental science for 28 years wherein I have studied and written extensively on park issues. Through this work, I can attest to the importance of inspirational and motivational knowledge of 'place names' . Park naturalists often tell stories to the general public about 'place names' within the parks and not only does this increase people's knowledge but more importantly helps show them...an individual can make a huge difference to others in inspiring them to more greatly care about the importance of conservation and preservation in national parks and other public lands...It is important that places be named after persons who provide inspiration and motivation to others with respect to natural history, conservation, and preservation of national lands; Dr. Sharsmith is such a person."
44) GENE ROSE, Fresno, California,
Sierra author and historian:
September 24, 2006: "Carl Sharsmith was an exceptional individual who served the Sierra Nevada in countless ways. For half a century, he shared his love for the mountains and their flora with young and old. As a ranger naturalist--and then a "park interpreter"--he introduced thousands of park visitors to the magic of the mountains. He was the Pied Piper of the peaks. His wildflower walks and his nature hikes led the way. But there was his personal charisma, that touched nearly everyone he encountered, instilling not only an appreciation for the flora, but more importantly, to the park ethic of preservation through stewardship...Little known is his efforts towards Kings Canyon National Park. A trailblazer, yes; a Yosemitephile, most certainly, but more than anything, Carl was committed to the preservation of that great natural temple we know as Yosemite. The legendary Alpine botanist has his wildflower, Sharsmithi, now he should have this mountain peak."
MASTROGIUSEPPE, Pullman, Washington, Marion Owenbey Herbarium, Washington State
September 26, 2006: "Sharsmith Peak—what a wonderful and appropriate tribute to a man who inspired thousands of people to look closely at nature...His delight in the natural world encompassed the tiniest details, and his contributions to our understanding of the plant world are invaluable...We all miss Carl very much, and to have a peak named in his honor will keep alive his memory and the things he taught us."
46) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LOIS CAPPS, Santa
Barbara, California, Member of Congress of the United States, House
of Representatives, 23rd District, California:
September 29, 2006: "I am writing to support the official naming of Sharsmith Peak..."
47) TONI CORELLI, San
Jose, California, Curator,
Carl W. Sharsmith Herbarium, San Jose State University:
October 6, 2006: "I support...Sharsmith Peak...Climbing a peak with Carl's name on it or seeing it on a map would mean so much to those who knew him and the telling of his stories would continue on for all generations."
48) TOM BOPP, Wawona,
October 3, 2006: "[Naming] Sharsmith Peak will remind future generations to consider what Carl represented, and why we valued it. Then that place-name may imbue others with an identity that is associated with profound learning, caring, protecting, and teaching about the wilderness."
49) JOHN BYRNE, Oakton,
Virginia, former Yosemite Assistant Superintendent 1978-1982, now Chair of
the Sierra Club National Parks and Monument Committee and Adjunct Professor
George Mason University
September 21, 2006: "My reason for proposing this name...is due to the fact that Dr. Sharsmith had a direct association with this peak and with this part of the Sierra Nevada...A visit to see Dr. Sharsmith became synonymous with a visit to this area of Sierra Nevada for hundreds of thousands of visitors to Yosemite National Park. Dr Sharsmith also made a significant contribution to the State of California in that he established a 15,000 sheet herbarium at San Jose State University where he taught and was Professor Emeritus."
50) BILL BINNEWIES,
Bandon, Oregon, former Sharsmith student at San Jose State University, park
superintendent at several National Park System areas
September 20, 2006: "Dr. Carl Sharsmith was one of the foremost botanist in California...Dr. Sharsmith maintained a special relationship with Yosemite National Park, where he would spend the summers as a park ranger...He touched both young and old, and you left one of his walks with a deep appreciation of, and a better understanding of the Sierra mountains...It is most fitting that one of the Sierra peaks be named after Dr. Carl Sharsmith.
51) JERRY and KAARL GLEASON, Carmel, California:
September 24, 2006: "With no personal contact with this outstanding ranger, but only by word-of-mouth, have we heard of his tremendous influence on others--the influence being a greater understanding, appreciation and love for National Parks as well as for all of nature. His love of this area deserves nothing less than a peak named after him. Many have called him a later 20th century John Muir."
52) KEVIN CRONIN, Playa
del Rey, California, Yosemite National Park visitor:
September 18, 2006: "Of anyone I have met he had the greatest respect for Yosemite and the Park Service always urging adherence to the Charter of the Parks; including preservation. He served a very long time. His name remains in common usage throughout the park, and he was absolutely unique. As the first Ranger assigned to Tuolumne Meadows and his long service, no one coming after will ever surpass or duplicate his contribution. The uniqueness of Carl and his contribution more than qualifies him to have a significant physical feature bearing his name."
53) ANNE WOESSNER MACQUARIE, Carson City, Nevada, former Yosemite ranger including
summer and winter ski-mountaineering ranger at
Tuolumne Meadows and world mountaineer, author:
October 5, 2006: "It would be extremely fitting to [formally] name [Sharsmith] peak after a man who made the interpretation and explication of the natural environment of the high Sierra his life's work. I worked with Mr. Sharsmith in Tuolumne Meadows for several summer seasons. I am familiar with the influence he had on generations of national park and national forest visitors, as well as on younger generations of rangers. I also am quite familiar with the peak in question, having climbed and skied it many times, as well as taken part in a mid-winter rescue operation at a crashed airplane on its flanks."
54) CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT
SOCIETY--BRISTLECONE CHAPTER, Bishop, California:
October 6, 2006: "Unlike many other people for whom Yosemite peaks are named, Carl lived among these mountains, knew them intimately, and conveyed his knowledge to others. '12,002' is located on the edge of Yosemite National Park, Carl's territory, and many plants dear to Carl grow along the way there and on the summit. Every year hundreds of people make the short walk from Tioga Pass to Gaylor Saddle from which '12,002' is visible. At that point, naturalists and Yosemite enthusiasts might in the future say to groups of public or their friends, 'That peak to the north is Mount Sharsmith, named for Carl Sharsmith who knew and loved this area and hoped future generations would honor, enjoy, and study it as he did.'"
55) WALT DABNEY, Former Yosemite park
ranger, now Director,
Texas State Parks, Austin, Texas:
October 9, 2006: "Dr. Sharsmith was a true biologist and botanist whose love was the wilderness of the Sierra in the high country of the Yosemite. The park was his laboratory and his teaching classroom. There for decades he identified and classified alpine and sub-alpine plants and imparted his vast knowledge and love of teaching to the visiting public and more importantly to many young aspiring National Park interpreters who are carrying on Dr. Sharsmith's work in the Yosemite and in many other National Parks sites across the country. In my current position as Director [of Texas State Parks], it is my role to consider naming of places and facilities in Texas State Parks for individuals. There are very few individuals that I feel truly merits that sort of permanent recognition and have never recommended a landmark naming. It is without reservation that I would support the proposal for naming the Yosemite peak for Dr. Sharsmith."
56) DICK EWART, Yosemite National
Park, California, Yosemite National Park park ranger
October 10, 2006: "I have been a ranger in Yosemite for over 30 years, and Carl Sharsmith was my mentor!! As a young Ranger I attended dozens and dozens of his nature hikes, and asked him countless questions after work ended. The education I received from him was the most valuable in my entire career. I have a stack of notebooks filled with information received from Carl over the years, and to this day, I continue to pass this information along to the next generation of park visitors. Carl's knowledge and love of Yosemite influenced thousands of people, and these thousands will continue to educate others about the value of protecting wilderness for future generations...I believe it was 1988 when I helped Carl hike up to 12,002, which we rangers all referred to as 'Sharsmith Peak'...We spent 3 days and two nights up on his peak as he examined his favorite alpine flowers...He wanted to see them just once more. He did, at 85 years old. I hope that Sharsmith Peak will be named in his honor."
57) JEAN POGUE, Loomis,
Watsonville High School, California, mathematics teacher
October 14, 2006: "I urge that the board approve...the FORMAL name of Sharsmith Peak. During the late 1940's and the 1950's, the Natural Science Department of San Jose State College (now University) ran a summer program called The West Coast Nature Study School...I mention this because the Sharsmiths were 'movers and shakers' in this program. In those days the words 'ecology, ecologists' were just coming into our vocabularies. These programs touched a great number of people and made them aware of their environment and the need to protect it. Part of the joy of these programs was being exposed to the great enthusiasm exhibited by the fabulous instructors. Of course Dr. Sharsmith lead the group in that department!...Just imagine how many people he has touched over the years...and then how many of those folks touched others! Some day you can imagine some lucky soul looking up at that peak and asking where did that name come from? There will be somebody around (or spirit) that will be more than happy to tell them."
58) JOHN SHARSMITH, former
ranger and naturalist at Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, son of
October 17, 2006: "I spent my childhood and early teen summers in Tuolumne Meadows Naturalist cabin with my mother and Carl. We shared the love of a favorite area: the Sierra spine north of Tioga Pass...I urge that Peak 12002 be officially named Sharsmith Peak to honor the man who brought so much pleasure, love of the mountains, and appreciation of the Sierra flora and Natural History to so many Park Visitors."
59) DR. ROGER AND MRS. ANNE
HENDRICKSON, Auburn, California, former Yosemite doctor and wife team
October 24, 2006: "For his teaching skills, the intimate knowledge of his subject, the years and years of dedication, and especially for the charisma with which he brought these things to so many, many people, Carl Sharsmith has earned a place in the Yosemite story. Remembering him by naming a peak seems very appropriate."
60) FRANK BETTS, Driggs, Idaho, former
Yosemite fire control officer
October 26, 2006: "I request that your board approve the name Sharsmith Peak... The name is already in informal use..."
61) WAYNE BRYANT,
Golden, Colorado, former Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Parks naturalist and
regional Chief of Interpretation for Western and Rocky Mountain Regions. (Wayne's
father, Dr. Harold C. Bryant, was one of the first two naturalists of the
National Park Service)
October 24, 2006: "Carl Sharsmith was one of a kind. He was one of the outstanding interpretive naturalists during the developmental period of the seasonal ranger-naturalist program of the National Park Service. He loved the visitors in Yosemite National Park, and they loved him...he became a sort of pied piper...To the many park visitor campers who came to Tuolumne Meadows year after year, he became "Mr. Tuolumne Meadows". To less experienced ranger-naturalists, he was a model to follow...It is very appropriate that an unnamed peak on the Sierra crest near the eastern border of Yosemite National Park should be named for Carl Sharsmith."
62) JOAN THOMPSON ARMSTRONG, Walnut
November 19, 2006: "I propose the formal name...Sharsmith Peak...to not only honor Carl Sharsmiths as an exceptional National Park Ranger but to provide a beacon for the many future hikers, rangers and outdoors people who will look up to this peak as a reminder of the true spirit of the mountains...what we need is that one Beacon on the map to continue to guide us."
63) JIM SANO, San
Francisco, California, former Yosemite/Mather District naturalist, now
President Geographic Expeditions, board member of National Board of the
Trust for Public Lands and National Council of World Wildlife Fund:
October 27, 2006: "I'm honored to join my former National Park Service colleagues in supporting naming Peak 12,002...for Dr. Carl Sharsmith...It's almost impossible to describe Dr. Sharsmith's wealth of contributions to the National Park Service...When asked by park visitors for what might well have been the thousandth time, 'What's the name of that flower?' or 'Can you tell me the name of that peak?' Carl would pause, reflect, and launch into a grand, intriguing soliloquy, pulling the name of the flower or mountain through the eye of the needle of nature, as John Muir wrote, and bringing all of the natural universe along with it. I envision a day when park visitors will gaze upon what is now Peak 12,002 in the alpenglow and ask, 'What's the name of that peak?' And what a story there will be to tell."
64) Gail Thompson-Strong, Pollock Pines,
California. Yosemite National Park visitor
October 27, 2006: "I request that your board approved the name Sharsmith Peak...This name is already in informal use..."
65) MARTIN ROSEN,
Kentfield, California, co-founder of Trust for Public Land:
October 29, 2006: "My wife, Joan, my children Dirk and Marika were first touched by Carl as ranger naturalist in Tuolumne Meadows forty years ago. He generated a personal, passionate and profound embrace of our Sierras and our earth that endures to this day. I went on to Co-found the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization that has conserved more than a million acres of land in forty states. My wife is a docent in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. My son is the founder of Marine Applied Research and Exploration, a nonprofit working to conserve ocean habitat. Each of these efforts are directly attributable to the touch of Carl Sharsmith. Naming a peak for this wondrous person would inspire generations to inquire about him and his work and his love of the land and perpetuate the learning that his life reflects today and into the future."
66) MONO LAKE
COMMITTEE, Lee Vining, California:
October 30, 2006: "We wish you luck with your effort."
67) MARTHA MILLER,
Yosemite National Park, California,
Tuolumne Meadows Lodge of Delaware North Parks and Resorts at Yosemite
October 26, 2006: "Please consider my personal request...to name the peak, Sharsmith Peak...for Carl W. Sharsmith...Carl was undoubtedly the most knowledgeable, experienced, inspirational Ranger-Naturalist I have ever known or who ever participated in the interpretation programs in the Yosemite High Sierra. Carl changed my life and my appreciation for nature, mountain climbing, the High Sierra...Carl is admired abroad and in our Natural Park System universally. He deserves a peak named after him."
68) MICHAEL ROSS, El
Portal, California, park naturalist, naturalist-author and Instructor Yosemite Adventures:
October 25, 2006: "The legacy of Carl Sharsmith stands alongside of John Muir, Francois Matthes, and Ansel Adams as one of the giants in recent Yosemite history...Carl was a mentor to not only my generation but also interpreters who were my parent's age...As years went on Carl became a celebrity as he appeared in films and articles about Yosemite. His wit and commitment to park values and preservation...won the hearts and minds of people throughout the United States...Carl was the ultimate ambassador for preservation and for instilling a love of nature. Whether it was a young Robert Redford in the 30's or a teenager from San Jose in the 80's, Carl touched everyone deeply. Yosemite has features named after people who merely passed through the Park and others who had nothing to do with Park history. There is no more deserving figure [than] Carl Sharsmith whose name should be added to the map. Toward the end of his life a group of younger naturalists asked Carl which feature he would like named after him. We suggested the unnamed 12,002 foot high peak north of Gaylor Peak. Carl was pleased with the suggestion...Since that time, that peak has been called Sharsmith Peak by a large number of people. It would be a great honor to Carl and a wonderful way to keep his ideals alive for future generations."
69) RONALD MASTROGIUSEPPE, Director,
Crater Lake Institute:
October 31, 2006: "Truly, for anyone to be in the shadow of this man was an indelible experience and I can think of no greater Honor to perpetuate Carl's Memory than by naming an unnamed peak, Sharsmith Peak."
70) REED JARVIS,
May 27, 2006: "Dr. Sharsmith was the finest example of what an interpreter in the NPS should be...to see his audience respond to him was like seeing the Gates of Heaven. We need to honor Dr. Sharsmith and all the people that he influenced by naming the peak after him."
FOR MORE SUPPORTING STATEMENTS SEE www.sharsmithpeak.org.
Additional statements may have been sent directly by individuals to the Board on Geographic Names.
This "Summary of Supporting Statements" page last modified 06/04/2018 09:13:09 AM. \name4carl\n4csupp.htm.
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