Yosemite Park's recently released Merced River Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement has successfully disappointed many who, in their frustration, look to blame the plaintiffs in the Merced River Plan lawsuit. Instead, all should be thanking the plaintiffs -- including the Madera County Board of Supervisors and the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce who signed on as "Friends of the Court." Otherwise, major portions of the now-rescinded Yosemite Valley Plan would have resulted in:
Closing part of Northside Drive resulting in two-way traffic on Southside Drive.
Permanent reduction of Valley campsites to 500 including complete removal of North Pines Campground.
Day-visitor parking in the east Valley reduced to 550 spaces.
About 500 daily bus roundtrips in/out of Yosemite Valley with buses arriving at a 22-bay transit center in the Valley -- About one every 1.4 minutes during peak hours. Talk about congestion, air pollution, noise pollution and view pollution.
And as an outcome of the lawsuit, the public now has the opportunity to comment on the new Merced River Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement in hopes to further influence and protect Yosemite's future. Comment deadline is April 18.
So yes, thank you to the Merced River Plan plaintiffs.
Lou Aceto, Oakhurst