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Topic: Yosemite Valley Master Plan?, What's going on?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 11:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've heard a few radio reports about a new Yosemite Valley Master Plan, which would remove the stables (WTF?), ban bicycle rentals (again, WTF?), and eliminate the ice rink (why?).

What's the real story, and what does everyone think about this?


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 12:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's not a master plan like the one done in the early 80s. There are a number of management plans going on right now, implementations of goals laid out in that master plan one for the Tuolumne River Wild and Scenic River whose comment period just closed and another more complex and contentious plan for the Merced Wild and Scenic River whose comment period runs through about the middle of April.  These are the response of park management to a series of court orders resulting from lawsuits filed by people opposing the management plans first proposed in the mid nineties for the Valley.

That has dragged in a lot of looking at various commercial activities like bike rentals and the pools and ice rinks as well as High Sierra Camp capacity and commercial backcountry trips both guided on foot and horseback.

There's a lot of webpages on the park's site.

Merced:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/mrp.htm

Tuolumne:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/trp.htm

Everything else:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/index.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Note that they are not banning bicycles in Yosemite---just suggesting that there isn't a need for a vendor to rent those.  

I think that's true.  I am a serious cyclist, and I love riding in Yosemite.  But those rental bikes don't add much...and they do take up a lot of space.  You don't NEED a bike to enjoy Yosemite.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 7:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(balzaccom @ Mar. 25 2013, 5:08 pm)
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Note that they are not banning bicycles in Yosemite---just suggesting that there isn't a need for a vendor to rent those.  

I think that's true.  I am a serious cyclist, and I love riding in Yosemite.  But those rental bikes don't add much...and they do take up a lot of space.  You don't NEED a bike to enjoy Yosemite.

I disagree. Whenever we go to the Valley, we bring our bikes. Nothing fancy, not the carbon fiber road bikes, just the outdated mountain bikes. IMO, the best and most convenient way to get around the Valley, by far, is on bike. It's the quickest, you see more, and you can stop anywhere without creating a traffic jam.

I'd think the park service would be promoting bike use in the Valley as another means of reducing private vehicle use, congestion, and air pollution.

We went to the Valley ONCE without the bikes--never again.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 12:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Agreed. Reaching the Western end of the Valley is far easier on a bike.

I think the bike rentals just got caught up in a general. "re-examine everything commercial in the river corridor" that the court demanded. At least the rental rafts go IN the river and impact the riverbanks. Bikes? Just get people off the roads and out if the shuttles and cars. Which is a good thing IMHO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 1:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are, apparently, "conservation" groups and other special interests who seem as if they won't stop filing lawsuits against the NPS until Yosemite Valley is returned as much as possible to pre-white discovery status. No roads, no bridges, no restaurants, probably no private vehicles (which means no car camping). That's ultimately where this is headed. Let's save it so no-one can use it.

I, personally, think this would be a damn shame. Sure, present day Yosemite Valley is a Disneyesque experience in the summer, but what the hell, it's still a great experience. Leave it alone, let the people come and gawk, and hike, and climb, and ride bikes and horses, and paddle rafts, and ice skate.

What I find annoying is that I live a morning's drive away and have to wait in line like everyone else! We used to drive down there whenever we felt like climbing--knew how to work the system, which parking lot you could sleep in, how to scam on the campsites! The NPS LEOs have learned most of our tricks.

Most. But not all.  :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My family and I love Yosemite.  I have been twice and I live across the country.  Never stayed in the Valley and I have never seen a raft going down the river, but I have also never been in the height of tourist season for a reason.  The bikes serve a purpose and it seems that shouldn't be taken away as although I have never biked in the valley, I couldn't get my families bikes there from here.  Pools at the hotels, well, my kids played in the one at the Wawona and it allowed us to relax one evening after a long day up high so for sake of some families I think the option should be there.  I would think it would be beneficial to figure out a better way for mass transit in the valley.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 9:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EGreno @ Mar. 26 2013, 8:51 am)
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I would think it would be beneficial to figure out a better way for mass transit in the valley.

There is a pretty good shuttle bus system that gets people around the Valley, between the Valley and Tuolumne, the Valley and Badger Pass, and Wawona and the Valley. Still, the shuttle system, as good as it is, is a PITA, and wastes a lot of time that could be spent hiking around or climbing.

A big problem is the number of private vehicles going to and from the park entrance stations and the Valley, and I believe I've heard that steps have been implemented to reduce that. We always try to go in the 120 entrance before dawn and avoid all that.

Bikes should stay. People should be encouraged to park their cars and use bikes to get around the Valley, but some high percentage of the touristas probably haven't ridden a bike in decades, if ever. The Yosemite Medical Clinic would get pretty busy.

Horses also should stay. They have been a mode of conveyance around the western mountains for centuries. I have never had an unpleasant encounter with trail horses in YNP.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From what I have read, they are looking at returning the built up area to the wild as much as possible.  Maybe put the vendors outside the park?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My main gripe - (please consider keeping the pools, bikes, rafting, ice rink - all the amenities for the regular peon visitors), is the rampant two faced conundrum/hypocrisy with whoever runs the concessions today. They have targeted the removal of selected venues -  Those amenities designed for the rich seem sacred and above removal.

What's with that new gigantic condominium project that went up recently between Housekeeping and Curry?
I saw nobody complaining then when this million dollar addition - half for employees and half for the "Rich" visitors, was erected. Maybe these got a dispensation and were designated special wilderness condos?

What about the Ahwahnee footprint? In addition, why are none of the Ranger/big-wig mansions ever affected?

Seems to say - Screw the small guy while the rich get special consideration.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

IIRC they're expanding campsites under the preferred alternative.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:05 pm)
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IIRC they're expanding campsites under the preferred alternative.

Do you mean the down Valley and far off the river planned expansion...wow!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While it's informative to exchange ideas here and make suggestions or complaints, we can bet it's not being heard by those who WILL decide.

Maybe High Sierra Fan came across an effective avenue on the YNP website for commenting on the proposals to those who matter?

It's more fun to bitch, but it won't accomplish much.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Online form The comment period closes on 04/18/2013 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time.
:
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=50778

The various documents for the Merced River Plan (the Tuolumne is closed to comment)
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=50778

I've followed early plans (subsequently blocked and folded into this process by the lawsuits) which incorporated changes suggested in public scoping comments so they can have an impact. In part because there are often shockingly few from private individuals I suspect. For a mid-nineties Valley Management Plan I was one of 90 some odd comments..... and a lot of those were interest groups. Granted back then you got 20lbs. of books and an email address for comments but evenso.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Mar. 26 2013, 2:25 pm)
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:05 pm)
QUOTE
IIRC they're expanding campsites under the preferred alternative.

Do you mean the down Valley and far off the river planned expansion...wow!

This:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/upload/mrp-deis-sum-matrix-web.pdf
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 10:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Having attended the Mammoth Lakes meeting for the discussion of the Merced plan a few weeks ago, and having written dozens of comments (both as a private individual and as Admin HighSierraTopix)...concerned.
Alternatives (even those linked) seem to indicate:
Elimination and/or relocation of the 25 present backpacker camp sites and establishing a new 105 site - Tuolumne Lodge site - Near the old Yellow Pine site....off the river, off the bus route.
Stables will be eliminated - which seems foolish as they regularly supply the Merced HSC.  OOPS! BTW, Both Merced and Glen Aulin HSC's are also on the chopping block.
Ice rink - gone.
Bike rentals - gone.
Rafting - gone.
Pools - gone.

You are right, bitching here solves nothing -
Suggest writing in before the deadline.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All this "restructuring" likely has more to do with budgetary constraints secondary to a dysfunctional legislative branch at the federal level than with what's "best" for the park and its visitors.

It was all so different before everything changed.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 1:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yet the Hetch Hetchy dam still remains?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 10:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's hard for me to know how to feel about O' Shaughnessy dam. Sure, no doubt it was a travesty to build it. But ironically, one of the nicest things about the Hetch Hetchy backcountry is the relative lack of people. If the dam had never been built, or if it were to be deconstructed, that area would most likely be as much of a tourist circus as Yosemite Valley itself. In a way, the dam saved that corner of the park rather than ruined it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 8:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's a strange direction for the park to go for sure.
For previous posters, my understanding is they are NOT banning bikes from the valley....just rentals of them.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 12:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not even at all certain banning rentals will survive the comments period. If anything from an envirnomental standpoint bicycles are a cleaner form of transportation that many alternatives and they're provided comemrcially doesn't seem all that relevant overall. The rafts inpact the river so commercial rafting being restricted or otherwise managed has a certain sense, but bikes don't have that impact.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 4:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can bet that some bicyclists have ridden rampant in the meadows and that will be brought up as a justification to first ban rentals and then later ban all bicycles.

Not sure about the anti-equine motivation, although that's periodically been a source of contention in the multi-use environment.


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21 replies since Mar. 24 2013, 11:46 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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