David Brower and Yosemite
David Brower was an icon in the environmental movement. Speaking his name still draws reverence in many circles, even if he did err in not adamantly opposing the Glen Canyon Dam that pools Lake Powell. Yet Brower later admitted that mistake and, before he died, lobbied for the dam to come down.
Not long before he died Brower also went to bat for the Yosemite Valley, arguing in the fall of 2000 that the National Park Service's proposed management plan for the iconic valley was grossly flawed.
I am deeply concerned these days about Yosemite. I am old-fashioned enough to believe that national parks were not set aside to create profit centers for concessionaires nor to pad National Park Service construction budgets for park officials to shortchange the future, he wrote in a commentary that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Large crowds are seasonal, but new roads, hotels and parking lots despoil the park year-round.
To read the rest of Brower's words, skip over to Scott Silver's Wild Wilderness blog. Just as Brower acknowledged his mistake with Glen Canyon, it's not too late for the Park Service to admit its errors in planning development in the Yosemite Valley.