U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today formally introduced legislation for the National Park Service to acquire land in the northeast corner of Mariposa for the NPS to buy for it’s future use. The land had already been bought by the Yosemite Conservancy which has been holding it pending Dept of Interior acquisition. Formalities aside, the land is near the current County Visitor Center, at the junction of Highways 140 and 49.
The park recently moved many administrative functions to a building off Main Street. The new facility would house more workers, a new Visitor Center, as well as a possible park Museum. The current valley Museum is too small to display all of the artifacts the park has, so segmented shows are held periodically. It desperately needs a new building.
The Federal Committee on Natural Resources is the body needed to approve the purchase of the 18 acres. No price is hinted at. The bill idea has been floated since last December and this is a critical move to get things down the road. Many NPS employees and contractors live in Mariposa and face a 1 hour commute. Steve Medley, then head of the Yosemite Association died while driving to work on Hwy 140 a few years ago. Less people in the park will help with the impending Merced River Plan.
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