After years of drought, the Sierra is back on track. Snow-wise, that is. Winter 2015-16 has been particularly bountiful compared to recent winters, and by mid-February the Sierra snowpack was standing at 99 percent of normal, with more snow in the forecast.
Yosemite National Park
A soaring new 3D IMAX film premiered recently, showcasing the wonders of national parks from Katmai in Alaska to Everglades in Florida. Narrated by none less than Academy Award® -winner Robert Redford, the film was created by the National Park Service and Brand USA in honor of the Park Service’s 100th anniversary and is airing here and in 60 countries around the globe. Intended to showcase the best of our nation, the film falls woefully short as critics have pointed out, because it features only athletic, young white Americans recreating in pretty places.
If neither Delaware North Cos. nor the National Park Service blink in their standoff over trademarks to iconic place names in Yosemite National Park, don't be surprised if the dispute drags on into 2017.doi-petition_for_cancellation.pdf
Memorabilia collectors have an extra incentive to visit Yosemite National Park this year: new branding of the hotel once known as The Ahwahnee, a tent village now being called Half Dome, not Curry, and Wawona Hotel now known as Big Trees Lodge.
Delaware North Co.'s offer to assign trademarks to iconic properties in Yosemite National Park to Aramark Corp. pending determination of the "fair value" of those marks was rejected Sunday, with Aramark officials saying the trademarks "belong to the American people."
When last we left the trademark tussle at Yosemite National Park, the federal government had responded to Delaware North Co.'s claim for more than $10 million for not being compensated for trademarks it holds to names of iconic lodges in the park and other intangible property. Now Delaware North has fired back with an amended claim, alleging that the National Park Service low-balled the value of its property at Yosemite and changed the lodge names in a bid to "drive down the value" of its trademarks.dnc_amended_yosemite_claim.pdf
It's a good news, bad news story. The good news is that the National Park Service's revenues increased 15 percent between 2005 and 2014. The bad news is that the increase didn't keep up with inflation, and in the end total funding for the agency actually went down by 3 percent, according to an investigation by the General Accounting Office.
A petition drive launched soon after Yosemite National Park officials said they would change the names of historic lodges rather than entertain DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite Inc.'s request for $51 million in exchange for the trademarks and other intellectual property is gaining momentum.
Yosemite National Park officials, looking to avoid a costly trademark fight with DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, announced Thursday that it would change the names of iconic lodges in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel, for instance, would be known going forward as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.