Yuppies Yearn To Yank Tourist Fun in Yosemite
My father was in the National Park Service. I know the beauty and majesty of Yosemite, a park that is owned by the people, and is, by law, deemed for use only for the people.
But the greenies are throwing a hissy fit and it looks like some of the fun that tourists enjoy could be going away.
With the onset of spring,
visitors are returning to see the waterfalls, granite cliffs and snow-capped
peaks of Yosemite National Park. But a 14-year-old lawsuit could soon force
sweeping changes and eliminate popular activities in one of America's most
beloved national parks. In the name of restoring the park's natural setting, a
new proposal by the National Park Service would ban bicycle and horse rentals
in Yosemite Valley and remove the ice rink at Curry Village. Swimming pools at
the Yosemite Lodge and Ahwahnee Hotel would be torn out. Rafting rentals on the
Merced River would end. The longest stone bridge in Yosemite Valley would be
demolished. Even the Yosemite Art Activity Center, where families learn water
colors, would go. The changes -- which will be discussed by park officials at a
public meeting Thursday in San Francisco -- are part of a new set of principles
for the park known as the Merced River Plan. The 2,500-page document, released
in January, comes after years of lawsuits over what should be allowed in
Yosemite Valley and the Merced River that flows through it. The plan calls for the removal of stone Sugar Pine
bridge, built in 1928 and located behind the Ahwahnee Hotel, because its
abutments impede the flow of the Merced River and cause erosion. It also
recommends rebuilding about 40 percent of the 406 campsites lost in a 1997
flood, restoring 203 acres of meadows and improving parking. Visitors still would
be allowed to bring bikes, horses or rafts to the park.
California Congressman Tom McClintock is fighting against these moves by the National Park Service. He joined me today on the show to talk about it: