Gene Rose stated in his article on Yosemite in the (Jan. 20) Bee, “Our national parks have become pawns of the politicians and money changers.”
I have enjoyed his books on Shaver Lake and Orland Bartholomew but find that in this case, he is offering an unfair and distorted view of the National Parks Service in general and Yosemite in particular. There has always been a tension between access and preservation.
In recent years, permits have now been required for a day hike to Half Dome to avoid overcrowding. A beautiful pavilion was built to replace the dilapidated structures at Glacier Point. A new bridge in Wawona replaced the long-term “temporary” Bailey bridge.
There was a needed restoration project at lower Yosemite Falls. The asphalt parking area of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is being removed. There are other venues scheduled for removal like the ice rink in Curry Village.
In fact, the vast majority of Yosemite Park visitors never take to the trails leading out of the valley into wilderness areas of the park. The few areas these millions of people visit annually require adequate infrastructure. Yosemite and the other national parks are the people’s parks.
Dale Matson, Fresno