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Yosemite NP Announces Public Review - Yosemite Valley Loop

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Yosemite NP Announces Public Review - Yosemite Valley Loop

Postby ERIC » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:03 pm

Yosemite National Park Announces Public Review Period for Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the opening of the public review and comment period for the Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment (herein referred to as Yosemite Valley Loop Road EA). The public is invited to review the document and submit written comments from December 5, 2005 through January 6, 2006.

The purpose of this project is to repair and resurface existing roadway pavement, rehabilitate or replace adjacent drainage features (e.g., culverts, diversion ditches, and retaining walls), and improve the condition of adjacent roadside parking along approximately 12.5 miles of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road in Yosemite Valley. All actions proposed in this project are located within the Yosemite Valley Historic District. No roadway widening (outside of the original road prism width of 22 feet), realignment, or changes to vehicular or pedestrian circulation patterns, as called for in the Yosemite Valley Plan (NPS 2000a), will be undertaken. Similarly, no changes will be made to existing speed limits.

The Yosemite Valley Loop Road EA identifies and analyzes three alternatives: Alternative 1-No Action; Alternative 2- Rehabilitation of and Improvements to the Roadway, Drainages, and Roadside Parking (preferred); and Alternative 3- Resurfacing the Roadway Only with Drainage Improvements. The Environmental Assessment, Public Scoping letters, and the Public Comment and Response Report for Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road project will be available for review on the park's web site at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning .

To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the Environmental Assessment, or a copy of the Public Comment and response report, and to submit comments:

Mail: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Fax: 209/379-1294
Email: YOSE_planning@nps.gov

Written comments should be postmarked no later than January 6, 2006. For information on this and other planning efforts in Yosemite National Park, go to http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning .



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Announces an Extension on the Public Review Period

Postby ERIC » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:59 pm

Yosemite National Park Announces an Extension on the Public Review Period for the Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment

Yosemite National Park News Release
December 20, 2005
For Immediate Release


The National Park Service (NPS) has received a request, from the public, to extend the public review and comment period for the Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment. In response to this public request, the NPS has extended the public review and comment period by 14 days.

The public review and comment period was initially scheduled for December 5, 2005 through January 6, 2006. Comments will now be accepted through January 20, 2006.

To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the Environmental Assessment, or a hard copy of the Public Comment and Response Report, and to submit comments:

Mail: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Loop Road Environmental Assessment
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Fax: 209/379-1294
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Postby SteveB » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:06 pm

Close the loop entirely past the first northern turn, remove the buildings, tear up all pavement, and make a single well-designed nature path back into the Valley, and I'll be happy... :D Disperse the walk-in campgrounds, make sure the trails are easily accessible to wheeled access (ie, wheelchairs, walkers, etc), and don't look back!

But, I'm sure I'm in the minority on this! :p
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Postby markskor » Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:21 pm

"Disperse the walk-in campgrounds, make sure the trails are easily accessible to wheeled access (ie, wheelchairs, walkers, etc), and don't look back!"
I fail to see the reason or rationale behind this statement. The Walk-in backpacker campground is the only civil campsite left for anyone needing a night in the Valley - before or after a hike. The dictionary defines disperse: To cause to vanish or disappear.
Thus, you seem to advocate conflicting strategies. On one hand, you seem to want the access to backpacker campsites gone – but if I read you right, you then want more drive-in site privileges. You also want wheelchair access to all major trails, but how far in on each trail would this action be feasible? I could see adding more drive-in sites, replacing the ones recently flooded out, limiting the length and RV access in some of the existing camps, restricting campfires, and providing better handicap access throughout the Valley, but reducing the backpacker’s camps…why?
I say, if the powers that control the park are really serious in trying to get Yosemite back to its pristine origin, then:
• Restrict all driving in the Valley,
• All overnight camping equipment must come in by bus – with their gear,
• Have a large guarded parking lot far back, away from the Valley proper
• Lose and/or re-locate the entire employee housing, both the over 200 “first-class” homes as well as the lowly employee tent cabins.
• Close down the Ahwahnee, the hotels, the cabins, the restaurants, and the tents
• Lose the pizza stands, the burger and ice cream kiosks, and the cafeterias.
• Plow up the roads

Well, you know that they are not going to close down any of these revenue stations…ever, so this entire display of rehashing out priorities is all just posturing. Are not these costly White Paper annual budget strategies just a pile of garbage, just designed to in some way, get money for special interest groups?
I am not sure of what the best answer for Yosemite should be, but I do know that Yosemite Valley is unique - a situation all to its own that deserves our protection. My idea of a master plan is to protect it, nurture it, and leave it alone as it now exists. It has evolved into a fairly good and livable situation, that if managed better, could be self-sufficient. It is a good idea to have access for all to enjoy it – handicapped or not, but I say any plan that does not also advocate the rights of the backpacker – the ones who do the least damage to the land - is flawed.
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Postby SteveB » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:10 pm

markskor wrote:"Disperse the walk-in campgrounds, make sure the trails are easily accessible to wheeled access (ie, wheelchairs, walkers, etc), and don't look back!"


First, I think you know exactly what I meant, and throwing in a stupid dictionary definition for a word that we all probably know is NOT what is meant is just dishonest conversation. But, if you're into dictionary definitions, here's 'disperse' from Merriam:

1 a : to cause to break up <police dispersed the crowd> b : to cause to become spread widely

... and YES, I left off the definition you already provided. Now, did I say "get rid of" when talking about the backpacker campsites, or did I say "disperse" (which anyone NOT looking for an argument would know that I meant "to spread them out")?

Second, I'm quite in favor of tearing up the roads inside the valley, and replacing them with paths that are wheelchair-accessible. I'm not the one posturing here with comments like "protect it, nurture it, and leave it alone as it now exists" (your words), because I think saying something like that means that you LIKE the traffic, you LIKE the smog, you LIKE the vehicle spewing crap that makes one cough on a warm day, and you LIKE the noise from vehicles like tour busses, armored cars, delivery trucks, and so on. You're into status quo, fine. I'm into returning the Valley to what it was once like. Who's posturing?

Your assumption that I'm in favor or removing the backpacker camps was plain wrong, and I think you intentionally posted it to get an argument. Whatever works for you. What I say and what I mean are the same: re-read what I wrote without the bad attitude and you'll probably understand it (assuming you don't already understand it).
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Postby Hikin Mike » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:59 pm

I like the idea of handicapped-accessable trails! I'd like to see a handicapped-only parking lot next to the Yosemite Falls trail. The only way for me to get there is to either park in the Lodge parking lot ("illegal"...but I've done it) or ride the bus. I'm not a big fan of the bus and I don't know how handicapped friendly it is.
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Postby markskor » Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:23 pm

Hey, back off Opie! Why get mad at me when you use the wrong word. You may have meant to say spread out, but you used a word meaning to get rid of - and then, when corrected - innocently I might add, you then even stoop to calling names -"stupid" and follow that up with swear words, IE "crap" to make your point. This is a friendly discussion forum.

Nobody attacked you, or your opinions. However, you go on to say that because I disagree with you and your sacred view point of things, I must then like traffic, smog, busses, etc... Your entire argument is flawed ...and what is with the pompous attitude?

All I said was that Yosemite Valley is unique, something that is one of a kind - and that the answers as to how to best proceed with the best use of the Valley entail making hard choices. I offer that all these new findings - as the one cited above - are hypocritical at best. You say that the goal is to return the Valley to “what it was once like" (your words), by making all trails wheelchair accessible, and then, continue by tearing up the existing roads. I guess the first Yosemite users (what it was once like) utilized many wheelchair ramps?

The best use of Yosemite Valley, an ~ eight mile by two mile canyon - would allow the continued greatest access, to the most users, to all parts, while still providing a basic minimum of quality experience. I agree with this, but until one considers all the commercial ventures inside of the Valley as fair game… why only consider the ones that just offend you. How are the handicapped going to get to close to Happy Isles without roads? How are the elderly going to see the park, if they cannot even get into the park? How are wheel chair trails and Valley pathways only going to solve the problems of traffic, smog, etc?

The Valley has evolved over the years, to where it is today - a series of compromise solutions that (at least attempts) to best serve its clients. Having spent over 40 years going to the park, I have seen changes. Some are for the good: Stopping the Firefalls, removing Valley gas stations, increasing shuttle bus routes, restrictions on campfires, rebuilding trails, etc.
Others are not so good: the Pizza/ ice cream deck at Curry, the refusal to rebuild campsites washed out by flooding, not enough backpacker campgrounds, refusal to limit RV use, moving the lowly employee housing out while allowing the higher priced ranger homes to stay. I am always amazed that the revenue stations, Curry, Ahwahnee, supermarkets, burger stores, rafting, the Tent city, (BTW, all non-existent when the park first opened – your basic premise), are never on the chopping block. All everyone calls out for is the removal of the roads. Sure, they also once threatened to remove the LeConte Library (Sierra Club), but only because of its affiliation, and the fact that it does not bring in any money.
I say there is not one real solution that will serve all. Should the park exist just for the elitists that can afford the Ahwahnee, or only for those who can afford to pre-reserve available campgrounds, 6 months in advance? Are the campsites just for RV owners? Should only those with backpacks have the only access? How about those who do not possess the means to carry, bring in, and then cook their own food? Is Pizza and ice cream important to the Yosemite experience? Did the early pioneers raft... or bicycle...or buy gifts? I say without these ancillary tourist draws, the traffic would be reduced - without tearing up any roads.

Compromise...and continue to look back...
Last edited by markskor on Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ERIC » Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:57 pm

Name-calling and personal attacks are not aloud here. I know this is a mild case, but I'm locking this thread down as a reminder to keep things civil. :thumbsup:
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