4/21/2003

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Yosemite National Park Oversight Field Hearing

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400  Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087  Fax: 360-687-2973  E-mail: alra@landrights.org
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE  Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-210-2357  Fax: 202-543-7126  E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands

Oversight Field Hearing
10:00 a.m. in Yosemite National Park
(Outdoors next to Residence 1, the former Superintendent's House between Yosemite Village and the Yosemite Lodge).   In case of inclement weather the hearing will be held in the East Auditorium in Yosemite Village).

The Implementation of The Yosemite Valley Plan:  On December 29, 2000, the National Park Service signed the Record of Decision for the Yosemite Valley Plan (YVP)/Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS).  The Record of Decision represented the conclusion of a lengthy planning process to provide direction for managing natural and cultural resources, facilities, and visitor experiences in Yosemite Valley for the next decade.

The purpose of the Yosemite Valley Plan was to present and analyze alternatives that took a comprehensive look at Yosemite Valley and provide specific actions to preserve Yosemite Valley's natural, cultural, and scenic resources, and to provide opportunities for high-quality, resource-based experiences for visitors.

According to the NPS, the Valley continues to be congested and overcrowded with more than a thousand park facilities (stores, homes, garages, apartments, lodging facilities and restaurants), and the Valley floor is bisected by approximately 30 miles of roadway which now accommodate a million cars, trucks and buses a year.  Critics of the YVP believe the NPS is exploiting the damage caused by the 1997 Merced River Flood to forward its own internal preservationist agenda to reduce access to the Valley, especially those day visitors who prefer to use their own cars.

In releasing the Final Plan, the NPS selected Alternative 2 - the preferred alternative - from the five alternatives offered.  Alternative 2 would remove further development from along the Merced River (including campgrounds) and move many facilities out of Yosemite Valley.

Invited Witnesses:

Panel 1:

Ms. Fran Mainella, Director, National Park Service

Panel 2:

Mr. Stephen Welch, Executive Vice President, The Pines Resort, Bass Lake, California

Ms. Peggy Mosley, Owner, Groveland Hotel, Groveland, California

Mr. Kevin Kelly, Vice President of Operations, Yosemite Concession Services Corporation, Yosemite National Park, California

Panel 3:

Mr. Allan Abshez, Camping Enthusiast, Los Angeles, California

Mr. Paul Minault, Northern California Regional Coordinator, The Access Fund, San Francisco, California

Mr. Jay Thomas Watson, California/Nevada Regional Director, The Wilderness Society, San Francisco, California

Mr. George Whitmore, Chairman, Sierra Club Yosemite Committee, Fresno, California



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