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TRIBUTE BY U. S. REPRESENTATIVE TONY COELHO ON DR. SHARSMITH                    Back to Home page    

On December 10, 1979, Congressman Tony Coelho of California in the United States House of Representatives entered a "Tribute to a Dedicated Public Servant", as follows:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with my colleagues a biographical tribute to Dr. Carl Sharsmith, who has served for nearly half a century as a naturalist-botanist in the Yosemite National Park area, which I represent. Dr. Sharsmith has been heralded by the National Park Service and by innumerable comments from individuals who have visited the High Sierra. I believe that it is fitting that this body likewise express its gratitude to this gentleman who continues to serve the public.

It is not easy to construct a brief biography on Dr. Carl Sharsmith. To state simply that he started his career as a Sierra Nevada botanist in 1930 and has been pursuing this as a naturalist, with the National Park Service over the following 49 years would represent a half-told story and would preclude a subjective assessment of the knowledge, joy, and the deep impression he has made on an estimated 400,000 visitors to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada.

...Sharsmith's unique presence became legendary among high-country visitors. Carl fascinated avid mountain enthusiasts on his week-long hikes and casual visitors at his evening campfire programs.

It is safe to say that no one ever forgot Carl Sharsmith... {Congressional Record, 12/10/1979.)

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD BESTOWED ON DR. SHARSMITH BY SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

In 1956, the Department of the Interior presented Carl its Meritorious Service Award, the highest award it can bestow on an employee. In the presentation, Yosemite National Park Superintendent John C. Preston made the following statement regarding Dr. Sharsmith’s meritorious service in Yosemite:

In his Citation from the Secretary of the Interior, Carl in some 25 summers of duty has been an inspiration to younger men, in the National Park Service, both permanent and seasonal. His comprehension of the aims and ideals of the Service is combined with an ability to impart this to others, both visitors and co-workers. Without reservation we can say, that the interpretive programs, nature walks, hikes and camp fires conducted by this Ranger Naturalist could be cited as an example of the ideals for which the Service should strive. At least two generations of park visitors at Tuolumne Meadows have enjoyed the friendly teaching of an outstanding educator and a great Naturalist. [John W. Bingaman, Guardians of the Yosemite, 1961.]

DR. SHARSMITH RECEIVED THE FIRST YOSEMITE AWARD
On June 26, 1980 Dr. Sharsmith became the first recipient of the Yosemite Award, which recognizes truly outstanding accomplishments and extraordinarily significant contributions to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Superintendent Binnewies noted this as a "singular honor. Added to [Carl's] previous laurels, this special award, which only a handful of Yosemite employees will ever share, acknowledges the phenomenally rich legacy he has given this park." (letter of August 11, 1990).

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LOIS CAPPS SUPPORTS OFFICIAL NAMING OF SHARSMITH PEAK
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..."

COLORADO STATE REPRESENTATIVE ANDY KERR (now State Senator) SUPPORTS NAMING OF SHARSMITH PEAK
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." [Now a Colorado State Senator, Andy Kerr continues his support--2/4/13.]

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