Quote of the Day - Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.
Yosemite is in shut-down mode. There will be no $60 million construction project for the fishing lodge and possibly no $442 million in rehab after a 1997 flood of the park. The battle for our national parks has shifted from snowmobiles to you and me.
The question before the house is whether we'll be able to use the park. There are those who think that these improvements will result in a direct pass-along of the cost to improve the park. The government claims it's like taxes. We all pay, we all get to enjoy. No rate increases they say.
The Friends of Yosemite Valley filed suit against the government to stop it from passing along the costs by stopping the improvements.
Baby? Bath water?
Certainly our parks deserve to be protected. There are too many of us who access the parks, potentially destroying the fragile ecosystem. Precautions may prevent that damage, and stopping construction on a part of the park that's already got a hotel, campgrounds and a parking lot doesn't make too much sense to me, but then again, the last time I was there, virtually no one else was, and there was plenty of space.
Associated Press writer Garance Burke notes in this article, "In 1996, when the park had a record 4 million visitors, rangers shut gates when all parking spaces were filled. But last year, the nation's third-most popular park hit a 16-year low with 3.36 million visitors."