A major program at Yosemite called the Half Dome Stewardship Plan will determine the long term management of the famous cables. They were installed in 1919 by the Sierra Club and are maintained by the National Park Service.
For three years, excessive crowds have been regulated by a permit system. In 2012, a lottery for 400 daily permits was established. In March, virtually all the permits were distributed. Late season hikers can try for a 2-day advance mini-lottery.
The final Dept of Interior Approved Plan should be released before winter with a limit of 300 daily permits favored by Yosemite. The Finding of no Significant Effect document (FONSI) should be out shortly. (Where “shortly” is an undefined time period.)
The Planning Group solicited comments this year and hundreds submitted them. Now you can read ALL the comments in a newly released 531 page PDF. I must warn you – it is huge and will keep you up late at night for weeks to come. One group submitted about 4,000 cloned “form letters” that support the park’s recommended alternative, 300 daily permits. I have supported the same number as this year – 400. This meets all the requirements and allows more visitors to do the hike. When reading, you will see an ocean of look-alike comments from comment number 561 on. Save yourself some time – they are all the same, but must be included. Personally, I think if you are passionate about something you will take the time to write your own words.
You will also see a large black area. Identifiable human names etc. were taken out by the park.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I wonder, wonder who - who wrote the Book Of Love.” - The Monotones
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com