Sunday, April 14, 2013

Times: Big Changes Planned For Yosemite

Posted By on Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

An ambitious plan would scrap some of Yosemite National Park's newer amenities in an effort to restore the park "to a more natural state."

This morning's Los Angeles Times reports that a $235 million, 15-year proposal—The Merced Wild and Scenic River Plan—would restore more than 200 acres of meadows and install new trails while jettisoning swimming pools, bike and raft rentals and an ice rink. The plan would also see a increase of camping sites.

The buildings and concessions are just too close to the Merced River, park officials said.

After a catastrophic flood in the late 1990s an appeals court judge admonished park administrators to eliminate development near the river, make the area less commercialized and restore the waterway to its wild and scenic roots.

"We've had days when 3,000 people came into the park and literally sat in their cars—their feet were not on the ground, they were not on trails, they were not in parking lots," said Kathleen Morse, Yosemite's chief planner. "They were simply trying to work their way through the valley to get back out."

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