My interest in joining this forum are related to my concerns for Yosemite National Park and how the park intends to manage resources, moving forward, subsequent to the recent litigation, where the Ninth District Court has ruled in favor of Friends of Yosemite Valley, and their associates, of whom I have high respect for. As the late David Brower said, and I quote, "Yosemite should be a nature center, not a profit."
Mr. Brower was a staunch supporter of Friends of Yosemite Valley and of their efforts to protect the park. Had he lived on, I am confident that he would be celebrating the court's recent decision.
Yosemite will be the better for it. Fredrick Law Olmsted saw such a place and reported on it, while talking about how to preserve such an atmosphere for future generations, forever. But, no one listened.
Because the public didn't listen to the first park planner, Mr. Olmsted, we now have to manage multiple millions of people in all manners of lodging units, who need ever wider and straighter roads, and require resturants and creature comforts to the extreme.
Maybe we just need to remove the pavement, gravel the roads, put the tight road bends back in, and narrow them so that it isn't as easy to get there. You know, it used to take days to get there from the bay area. There may have been something good to say about that.
Either way, I am in favor of limiting visitation, not only for the protection of Yosemite Valley, and the rest of the park, but also for the restoration of the flooded campgrounds, if the park were to go back to the planners of the 1980 Yosemite General Management Plan (the GMP) and adhere to the extensive plans that were a part of that plan that had to do with all of the campgrounds. The GMP pulled campsites away from the river and seperated them, but used all of the old real estate of the since flooded campgrounds to accomplish what should have become a camping experience for more natural that anything before or since.
Long live the GMP, where it spoke of campground planning for Yosemite Valley, and hopefully, this court ruling will deal a death sentence to the old Yosemite Valley Plan which was rushed through to completing at the end of the Bruce Babbitt administration, a time when the then Yosemite Park Superintendent, Dave Mihalic, who was broght to the park by Babbitt to push through a hasty agenda, succeeded in destroying not only plans that were in the making for the park going back fifteen years, but also destroying the public confidence of all those who contributed to the public planning process going back to the mid 1970s, like myself.
To rebuild trust, the new park planners need to put the Yosemite Valley Plan back on the planning table for review, in order to gain the public's trust, and to do what is right for future park visitors. In the future, we can expect that the world population will explode, and wars may expand and the morals of future generations decay, but when all of the world around Yosemite spins to a demize, we can hope that Yosemite will be a preserved and protected from these outside influences.
We can only hope that this landmark decision by the Ninth District Court will protect Yosemite for future generations of campers, who will learn about nature the way John Muir would have recommended, from a campsite.