Category Archives: News

Meet the new Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke

Effective with the new Trump Administration, SAlay Jewell was replaced by Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior.  Jewell served  under President Obama.  One major accomplishment was the renaming of Mt McKinley in Alaska to Denali.  That is the classic native American name for the largest US peak.

Of note – she was previously the CEO of REI. No word on what she’ll be doing now.

Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke, new Head of Dept of Interior

Mr Zinke is a gun advocate, as you can see form the photo. He  played football at U of Oregon and was a Navy Seal for over 20 years, reaching the rank of Commander. Recently he was a US Representative from Montana.

He’s publicly said said that humans “influence” climate change, but did not acknowledge that human activity is the dominant cause of climate change.

In his first week of work, he’s removed regulations that had barred the use of lead bullets and lead fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges. Hmmm Lead is very bad for birds who injest it while eating prey.

Did you know that we are now up to 417 national parks?  Well NPS week is coming up, so you can hug a …

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Name change battle at Yosemite continues; no resolution in sight.

 Delaware North Company’s move to take the iconic names used at Yosemite for over a century is coming upon the one-year anniversary. The park had to stop using the names on March 16, 2016. This is when the DNC concessionaire contract ended and Aramark took over.

judge cartoon

Judge gives positive ruling to DNC on trademark case.

The names in dispute are: Curry Village, Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Badger Pass Ski Resort. Additionally, DNC trademarked any retail item that says “Yosemite National Park.” Really.  TShirts etc. might now say “Yosemite – California” or “Yosemite – home of big trees.” Sheesh.

READ the background to this story.

Both sides sued each other. Now the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in DC is involved. DNC tossed a legal maneuver onto the floor. They are saying that the way they came up with the $51M  valuation of the trademarks is their  intellectual property. The park is offering $3M.  Did you know it only costs $300.00 to file for a trademark?

They said if their methodology were made public, then they would suffer in future bids to manage other parks. A trade secret.

Bad news …. the judge, Patricia Campbell-Smith, agreed. She …

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Winter in full force at Yosemite | Hwy 120 closed inside the Park

The storms just keep rolling in at Yosemite. This week was a damaging one. Highway 120 – aka the Big Oak Flat road is closed below Crane Flat to the Big Meadow view area at the Foresta turnoff.  The crews will be fixing damaged to the roadway.

It will be closed until Feb 17, from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. You can still get in, but it will be tough going. Follow the road crew’s instructions.  Keep tuned as to the actual opening date. The work may be extensive and go beyond the 17th.

Other roads may be closed as more damage is detected. This weekend will be bad…so call 209-372-0200 for road conditions. You wanted snowpack? – You go it!

Men hiking in snow

Winter trekking at Yosemite

Winter is a great time there.  The Horsetail Fall light show is in full force. It was been seen already, so after the storms and the sun gets thru, it might be visible again. Or not.

Read: Don’t hike Half Dome in winter

In other news, there are three items that have not been in the news:

  1. The status of hiring a new superintendent.
  2. The progress of the Wilderness Plan.
  3. The status of
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