Sequoia National Park to host Colonel Charles Young Memorial Highway Dedication
In August 2018, California lawmakers passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 142, establishing the Colonel Charles Young Memorial Highway in Three Rivers, near the entrance to Sequoia National Park. The bill was authored by Republican Assemblymembers Devon Mathis and Jim Patterson.
The portion of highway to be designated is the three miles from Salt Creek Road to the Sequoia National Park entrance. The naming of the highway pays tribute to the memory of Colonel Charles Young, a distinguished American who dedicated his life to the service of the United States, including at Sequoia National Park.
Signs are reportedly in the process of being installed. They were paid for by donations from “nonstate sources.”
For an in-depth biography on Charles Young, read this series — Charles Young: The Road to Sequoia — by Jay O’Connell, first published in The Kaweah Commonwealth newspaper in 1996, then updated and republished in 2018.
— SPECIAL EVENT —
On Veterans Day 2019, the Colonel Charles Young Foundation and Sequoia Parks Conservancy will host a commemoration of the legacy of Colonel Charles Young and a dedication event in honor of the naming of the Colonel Charles Young Memorial Highway.
On Monday, November 11, a public event will highlight the history and importance of Colonel Young. This is a fee-free day for national parks, so the cost to enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon will be free that day.
“This is an important celebration for the National Park Service and the State of California,” said Superintendent Woody Smeck. “It recognizes the significant contributions made by the Buffalo Soldiers and then Captain Charles Young to early park protection and administration.”
The dedication event will take place from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Ash Mountain (one mile inside the entrance to Sequoia) across from the Foothills Visitor Center. There will be interactive activities and demonstrations about the Buffalo Soldiers’ history and demonstrations.
Presenters for the dedication program (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) will include Woody Smeck, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Dr. Joy Kinard, superintendent of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio (dedicated April 2, 2013, as the nation’s 401st National Park Service site); Assemblyman Devon Mathis; former NPS Director Jon Jarvis; Park Ranger Shelton Johnson from Yosemite National Park; and relatives of Colonel Young.