YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KFSN) --President Obama stood in awe of the sites Saturday in Yosemite National Park. At a briefing at Cook's Meadow, the President spoke about the importance of preserving and protecting Yosemite and all National Parks.
"How gorgeous is this day? This has to be the perfect way to spend Fathers Day," said President Obama.
With the majestic Yosemite Falls as his backdrop, President Obama was overwhelmed by the beauty of Yosemite.
"It is a park that captures the wonder of the world that changes you by being here. There is something sacred about this place."
Standing in front of a crowd of invited guests and the media, the President made it clear he couldn't get enough of this place.
"Just look at this scene. You can't capture this on an iPad, or a flat screen, or even an oil painting, you just have to breathe it in yourself."
In his address, he stressed the need to preserve and protect America's natural beauty and took credit for creating 265 million acres of public lands and waters during his terms in office. And he pointed out how doing so boosts the national economy.
"These parks help to drive our national outdoor industries. Boots and tents and snowmobiles, the outdoor industry supports 6 million jobs and generates $650 billion in spending every year. That's a lot of fleeces and headlamps."
The trip here prompted the President to reflect on his own first visit to a National Park.
"I remember being an 11-year-old kid the first time I saw a moose in a lake. First time we drove over a hill and suddenly there was a field full of deer. The first time I saw a bear and her cub-- and that changes you, and I want to make sure every kid feels that."
Among those invited to the event were Republican Congressman Tom McClintock and Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler. Both appreciated the president's visit, but both were disappointed he didn't talk about the bark beetle infestation that has deviated forests in the park and the surrounding area.
Both said they would like more federal help in dealing with what is becoming a huge natural disaster.
The President Saturday was hiking with his family to Glacier Point and other sites outside the valley floor.
They plan to leave Sunday