Yosemite Open House

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     Want free admission to the park on July 27? Just attend the Open House from 1 to 4 pm in the Valley Visitor Center. Apparently, it’s honor system when you enter the gate. The topics covered will be: the Half Dome Permit System, the Ahwahnee Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and Fire Management. That should keep you busy. I’m not too hopeful of any more beef on the Half Dome Plan. The will announce the public comment period for the Alternatives they are proposing soon – probably in August. It all has to be signed off by November, according to plan.

    Thre are a ton of Projects the park is working on and you could spend a lot of time reading them. Another one that is out is the Scenic Vista Management Plan. The Environmental Assessment was released this month and you can read it <HERE>. Get a big drink and some cookies, because it’s 297 pages.

     The point of this one is that the scenic views of the 1800’s have gone away due to the lack of fire suppression, intrusion of conifers and lack of trimming. There are 5 alternatives proposed and I’ll leave the reading to you. We may have buzz saws humming before too long. Topping the sites that may get obstructions removed are: Washburn Point, Valley View, Olmsted Point, Tunnel View, East end of El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall view, Hanging Valley interpretive sign, Stoneman Meadow, Sentinel Bridge, Bridalveil Fall View, Big Oak Flat, Glacier Point, Pothole Dome, Clark Range view, Wosky Pond, Clouds Rest view, Church Bowl, Hutchings View and Stoneman. But the list goes on with about 200 total candidate sites.

A better Vernal Fall view coming???

     I talked at length today to Paul Rogers, the San Jose Mercury Environmental reporter who is doing a story on this for publication this weekend. The Valley and park are NOT was they were  when it was made a National Park. The scenic vistas have become obstructed and this comprehensive plan goes way beyond random pruning. You might recall the two huge trees that ruined every Tunnel View shot? Gonzo a couple years ago. I’m OK with it. It’s time for the park to get a haircut. And you?

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, But the fruit of the lemon is impossible to eat.” – Trini Lopez 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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4 Responses to Yosemite Open House

  1. Andy says:

    297 pages…. Wow. I wonder how many people worked on that?
    Probably more than will read it. 🙂

    • mrhalfdome says:

      These are offical documents that have to consider everything. Usually done on contract to the DOI. I am pretty impressed with the detail. Of course, a lot of it is boilerplate from other programs. But there are a lot of facts included. the appendix is a good read.

  2. Maureen L says:

    At this point, it’s a done deal. Public comment closed last fall.

    I don’t think of myself as highly intolerant of the recreational activities available in Yosemite that are in no way connected to the unique features of the park, like swimming pools and high-end dining and the Wawona golf course. I avoid them and work around them. I think I am OK with this plan as long as it really incorporates ecological values as well as scenic ones.

    It seems ironic to be that the park is considering taking out the Half Dome cables to improve wilderness experience while at the same time planning to “improve” viewsheds (what a back-formation from watershed!) and tourists’ happy snaps.

    None of the improvements of scenic vistas involve wilderness areas. So, I guess if it’s not wilderness, the park can manage for stunning views by calling this an “outstanding recreational values.”

    They carefully say that old growth trees and trees that predate the establishment of the near-by vista site won’t be removed.

    But it’s not like they’re saying “burn the Valley the way the Awahneechee did for the health of the meadows and the oak trees,” but rather “let’s take out the trees that obscure sight lines.”

    The goal of making the Valley and the park as it was in 1890 is a rather elastic standard that each of us can use in our own ways. It covers a range of things from improving the health of the banks of the Merced River all the way to restoring Hetch Hetchy.

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