Delaware North Companies’ claim of $51 million for names of the properties (trademarks, etc.) is the ugly side of capitalism. As George Whitmore of the Sierra Club, which originated in Yosemite under John Muir, states, “How is it possible to own history?” This suggests that the trademark laws should be legally challenged and revisited for purposes of historical value to the American public.
The national parks around Fresno are the crown jewels of California. It is incomprehensible how a New York.-based company can dictate California heritage. It is another example of an oligarchy in America rather than democracy. Democracy would claim these “national parks” for Americans.
If Delaware North, a multi-billion-dollar American company, were to become savior rather than raider, Yosemite and other national parks could be restored to natural beauty rather than greedy corporate stock-holding companies abusing the landscape, attracting millions more people for profit.
The right thing to do would be to donate the $51-plus million —$25 million to Yosemite National Park for restoration and $25 million to Yosemite Nature Conservancy — for the same goals. People don’t realize that the Yosemite of today is not ecologically the same as prior to the 1850s, before the California Gold Rush.
Daniel B. Brubaker