A delegation from one of Yosemites sister parks, Huangshan National Park in China, visited Yosemite National Park in early July of this year to reaffirm the Sister Park Arrangement between the two iconic national parks. The six person delegation from Huangshan participated in meetings with park staff, toured the park, and commemorated the visit with a dinner and signing ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley. Also participating in the signing ceremony and dinner were representatives from DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., Yosemite Conservancy, Naturebridge, and Ansel Adams Gallery.
Huangshan National Park and Yosemite, both World Heritage Sites, first signed a Sister Park Arrangement in 2006. The purpose of these arrangements is to foster understanding and education regarding conservation of land, managing a national park, and preservation of cultural and natural resources. Huangshan is located eastern China and features steep granite cliffs, distinctive species of pine trees, and unique bird species. Like Yosemite, Huangshan is well known throughout the world and receives millions of visitors each year.
In May of this year, two Yosemite National Park employees visited another Yosemite sister park, Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile. The two park rangers worked closely with the staff in Chile to share information about engaging young people in national parks and writing a strategic vision that guides park management. Yosemite and Torres Del Paine signed a sister park arrangement in 2007 and there have been several staff exchanges, as well as continued engagement, since the arrangement was signed. Like Yosemite, Torres Del Paine features spectacular rock formations, glacially carved landscapes, clear lakes, and numerous climbing routes.
Each park is already heaping huge benefits from the sister park arrangement, said Shauna Potocky, Yosemites Branch Chief for Education, who coordinated the recent visit. It was particularly exciting to work with Torres Del Paine on their strategic vision for the future.
Yosemite also has a sister park arrangement with Jiuzhaigou National Park in China.
National parks throughout the country have sister park arrangements similar to Yosemites. The National Park Service recognizes that sister park arrangements assist in the preservation and enjoyment of national parks and protected areas worldwide. This ultimately benefits irreplaceable park resources for generations of future visitors.