Letters to the Editor

Park Service must get serious about river plan

Thank you for the informative article "Federal court halts construction in Yosemite." The federal court in Fresno has been listening to the arguments on both sides on the validity of the Merced River Plan for several years now. The plaintiffs' attorney said it very well: "Development has proceeded in the absence of a valid Merced River Plan, placing the construction cart before the planning horse." The court agreed.

The judge acknowledged that the plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that the activities the National Park Service labels restoration have been anchoring other construction projects, calling into question the visitor capacity for the Merced River corridor.

It has been difficult for me to understand how the park service can do such a great job of managing visitor capacity at Ellis Island, the Washington Monument, Mammoth Cave, Mesa Verde, rafting on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, to name a few examples, and have such a difficult time dealing with day-use automobile congestion in Yosemite Valley.

The vast majority of park service employees are extremely competent, good humored and dedicated people. I hope park service leadership will roll up its sleeves and implement the court order without undue delay.

Ron Mackie, Ahwahnee

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