From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Yosemite Valley Plan Hit By Radanovich Bill

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
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Yosemite Valley Plan Hit By Radanovich Bill

The  Yosemite Valley Plan is cracking more every day.  You are the reason why.  Keep up those letters and phone calls.  And all those volunteers who have stood out in the heat at the gates of the park.  Your work is BEGINNING to pay off.

Below are two articles and a copy of Radanovich’s bill;  

-----Bill would add campsites and parking – Stockton Record

-----Rep. Radanovich Moves To Block Yosemite Valley Plan

-----HR 2715

Clearly Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) is moving in the right direction.  His bill seeks to fix SOME of the campsites damaged in the flood of 1997.  Not all.  But some.  That is good.  But it needs to go farther.  They need to fix ALL the campsites damaged in the flood.  Otherwise hundreds of campsites will be lost.l

In addition, Radanovich seeks to add substantial parking to the meager amount allowed by the Yosemite Valley Plan.  It is not nearly enough.  They had 6,000 parking spaces before 1980.  Then it went down to 5,000.  3,500 parking spaces were documented in the early 90’s.  The Radanovich bill would bring the parking back up to 1,200 from the 550 the Park Service wants.

Radanovich’s bill would also indirectly make is more difficult for the Park Service to justify the massive busing plan the park has in mind when the NPS attempts to close Yosemite Valley to cars.

You need to call Congressman Radanovich and congratulate him for standing up to the loud and vocal minority special interest groups seeking to eliminate people from Yosemite Valley.  Encourage.  Tell him you’ll stand behind him.

But tell him you want the 3,500 parking spaces back and ALL the campsites restored from the flood.

He needs to go the whole way.  Not half way.

He needs to lead the effort to really restore Yosemite for families, the handicapped, elderly and children.  

Just tell him you’ll support his efforts to restore campsites and parking.  Don’t bang on him for not going to whole way .. . . .  yet.  This is a team game and he is leading the way.  But make it firmly clear that you want the whole job done.

Let’s all row the boat together.


-----1.  CALL and FAX  NOW – Call Rep. Radanovich at (202) 225-4540 or call the Call Capitol Switchboard at  (202) 225-3121 or the temporary FREE NUMBER (800) 648-3516.   Then ask for the staff person who handles Yosemite National Park.  

-----2.  Please make sure you send a ONE PAGE fax with your comments to Rep. Radanovich.  Send it to FAX (202) 225-3402.

-----3.  Call your local newspaper to discuss the issue.  Ask who covers Yosemite National Park.  Tell them all the campsites should be replaced and the parking moved back to the 3,500 that existed in the early 90’s.  Families and children should not be deprived of camping in Yosemite.

-----4.  Call ANY radio talk shows you are familiar with.  Bring up the subject of forced busing and loss of campsites and parking in Yosemite.

SPECIAL NOTE:  You would help this effort a lot if you would send us a short note with the names and phone numbers of local radio talk shows in your area.  We’ll put them on a list and them to others.

Bill would add campsites, parking
Yosemite Valley 

Staff and wire reports
Published Thursday, July 17, 2003 

WASHINGTON -- A California congressman has introduced a bill to authorize new campsites and more parking in Yosemite Valley, a move environmental groups say circumvents an already contentious plan in place. 

"This bill will help preserve the character of Yosemite while making it more accessible for the people that the park was created for," U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, said. 

Under the bill, some sites in the Upper and Lower River campgrounds that were hit by a major flood in 1997 would be rebuilt. The bill also would prohibit shuttle bus service from remote parking outside the park and add parking spots inside at the Camp 6 area. 

Jay Watson, California regional director for the Wilderness Society, said Radanovich, who became chairman of the House National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands Subcommittee last year, is jeopardizing the Yosemite plan. 

The $441 million restoration plan includes a call for fewer campsites on the valley floor and parking spaces inside the park. Officials also want to provide shuttle service from parking lots outside the park to cut traffic. 

"This is the worst kind of political meddling in day-to-day management of a national park,"' Watson said. "He's really looking to undermine the heart and soul of the park's plan." 

But Radanovich said the bill is a way to help "preserve the natural beauty of Yosemite while making sure people are welcome to enjoy the park." 

Radanovich, whose district includes Yosemite, also targets environmental groups with whom he has clashed frequently by requiring the removal of the historic LeConte Memorial Lodge. ::: Advertisement ::: 
The stone building, once managed by photography legend Ansel Adams, is operated by the Sierra Club under a special-use permit. 

Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said park officials had no role in drafting the legislation and still were coming up to speed on the details. Geoff Embler, a spokesman for Radanovich, said Radanovich did not have a specific number of parking spaces in mind with regard to the Camp 6 area, which already has about 450 spaces, Gediman said. 

"That would be clarified through the hearing process," Embler said. 

A study done earlier this year estimated the cost of replacing campsites on the valley floor at $130,000 per site, but Radanovich said at the time those numbers were not accurate and wanted a second look. 

Embler said the revised cost estimate hasn't yet been made available. 

A total of 361 campsites were lost during the 1997 flood, and Radanovich said during a visit to the park in April that he wanted to see 144 of those sites restored. 

Max Stauffer, a spokesman for a group known as Visitors and Communities for an Open Yosemite, said Wednesday that rebuilding those campgrounds is important to people of average means. 

"So many people find it impossible to get accommodations in the park that are affordable," said Stauffer, who lives in Fish Camp. 

Stauffer said the campgrounds damaged in the 1997 flood and never rebuilt "historically were places where a family could spend in Yosemite and get a natural experience without a great deal of expense. We always felt it was a real disservice to the people of the (Central) Valley and the state -- and even to those from out of state and internationally -- not to restore those campgrounds." 

The current valley plan calls for those former campgrounds to be restored to a more natural state, and those areas would be open to day-use only. 

Watson said rebuilding those sites for overnight camping would wipe out "the single largest restoration plan in the entire valley plan." 

Embler said the bill is scheduled for its first subcommittee hearing a week from today. 

Rep. Radanovich Moves to Block Yosemite Valley Plan
By Eric Bailey
Times Staff Writer

July 17, 2003

SACRAMENTO — A Republican congressman from California has reignited the fight over a Clinton-era plan to ease the human imprint on Yosemite Valley, saying it too greatly favors the environment over visitors.

Rep. George P. Radanovich (R-Mariposa) introduced legislation this week that would block National Park Service plans to slash day-use parking by one-third and encourage the public to swap private cars for clean-air buses to reach the valley.

The measure (HR 2715) also would scrap an environmental restoration effort along the Merced River. The Park Service plan calls for returning to nature two abandoned riverfront campgrounds wiped out by flood six years ago. Instead, Radanovich proposes that the Park Service at least partially reconstruct the campgrounds so more visitors can stay overnight in Yosemite Valley.

Radanovich said the bill, which was expected to be debated next week by the parks subcommittee he chairs, sought to strike a balance between protecting the park and assuring public access to one of America's most cherished natural treasures.

"This bill will help preserve the character of Yosemite while making it more accessible for the people that the park was created for," Radanovich said Wednesday. Environmentalists countered that Radanovich's measure would virtually undo the Yosemite Valley Plan, which appeared to be a done deal when it was approved in December 2000 after years of debate and thousands of public comments.

"This will cut the heart and soul out of the Yosemite Valley Plan — habitat restoration being the heart, parking and vehicle reductions the soul," said Jay Watson of the Wilderness Society. "These changes would leave the plan a hollow shell."

Watson said efforts to rebuild the Upper and Lower River campgrounds, which once provided about 350 campsites, would undo efforts to restore the mix of riverbank flora, meadows and oak woodland trampled during a century of public use.

Junking the transit proposal, he said, would leave the valley teeming with cars, particularly on busy summer weekends when traffic can approximate the maddening gridlock of Los Angeles during rush hour.

Radanovich said such concerns had been overblown.

He wants to see a 150-foot buffer along the Merced River, but allow construction of about 144 campsites beyond that line of demarcation. An additional 200 campsites could be established outside the valley to help offset the spaces wiped out by the 1997 flood, he said.

As for the ballyhooed shift to a transit system that would ferry most day-use visitors into the valley, Radanovich said it simply wasn't warranted. He said several planned improvements in the valley's road system would be enough to stem problems for the foreseeable future.

Instead of a 550-slot day-use parking lot called for by the Yosemite Valley Plan, Radanovich wants parking for 1,200 cars. If attendance swelled as expected in the coming decades, the Park Service could investigate other solutions, Radanovich said, suggesting that "the time will come, maybe, when it might be feasible to put a monorail into Yosemite."

Radanovich's legislation was greeted warmly by activists mounting a last-ditch fight against the valley plan. The Yosemite Valley Plan has struck a chord of discontent among some merchants and residents in the park's gateway communities. They fear that it would prove yet another blow to park attendance, which has been on the decline since 1996.

      Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times


HR 2715 IH 


1st Session

H. R. 2715
To provide for necessary improvements to facilities at Yosemite National Park, and for other purposes. 


July 14, 2003
Mr. RADANOVICH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources 


To provide for necessary improvements to facilities at Yosemite National Park, and for other purposes. 

  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


  (a) AUTHORIZATION- In order to facilitate the administration of Yosemite National Park, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, under such terms and conditions as the Secretary may deem advisable, to expend donated funds, funds collected from user fees, or appropriated funds for the planning, design, construction of, and related activities for, essential facilities for Park and concessions administration and visitor use outside the boundaries, but within the vicinity, of the Park. Such facilities and the use thereof shall be in conformity with approved plans for the Park. Such facilities may only be constructed by the Secretary upon a finding that the facilities are necessary for Park operation, and that the location of such facilities would--

    (1) avoid undue degradation of natural or cultural resources within the Park;

    (2) enhance service to the public; or

    (3) provide a cost saving to the Federal Government.

  (b) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS- The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements with local governments or private entities to undertake the activities granted under this section. The Secretary is encouraged to identify and use alternative funding sources to supplement any Federal funding used for these facilities.


  (a) AUTHORIZATION- The Secretary shall allocate amounts made available under section 1(a) to carry out the following activities:

    (1) Planning and restoration of low-impact camping at upper and lower river campgrounds. The Secretary may use amounts appropriated to the Secretary for flood recovery in the Yosemite Valley to carry out planning (including environmental documentation) and development related to the activities required under this paragraph.

    (2) Construction and maintenance of the maximum amount of parking available at Camp 6 and adjacent previously impacted lands.

    (3) Cooperation and participation (including the provision of technical and financial assistance) with governments of counties located in the vicinity of Park for the preparation of county general and specific plans related to determining the feasibility of locating park administrative facilities, visitor services and facilities, housing, or other facilities necessary for Park operations outside the boundaries of the Park. Not later than December 31, 2003, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a description of the actions that the Secretary has taken under this paragraph.

    (4) Consistent with the projects described in paragraphs (1) through (3), development of traffic management and traveler information services, signage, and circulation improvements.

    (5) Provision of housing for employees of the Federal Government and employees of concessionaires related to the Park who are required as a condition of employment to reside in Yosemite Valley. Notwithstanding the last sentence of section 814(a)(8) of the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996 (16 U.S.C. 17o note; 110 Stat. 4192), for employee housing requirements outside of Yosemite Valley, the Secretary shall use partnerships with private entities whenever practicable and cost effective, including through leases and lease agreements. Guarantees to carry out this paragraph shall not apply against the limitation in the last sentence of such section 814(a)(8).

    (6) Entering into and carrying out cooperative agreements with the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System Joint Powers Authority to transport employees of the Federal Government and employees of concessionaires related to the Park to and from the Park for the purposes of their employment.

    (7) Removal of the Le Conte Memorial, a private special use, from the Park and restoration of the grounds of that memorial to its natural state.

  (b) PROHIBITED PROJECTS- The Secretary may not allocate amounts described in section 1(a) to implement a shuttle system which uses remote parking facilities or includes operations outside of the boundaries of Yosemite Valley.


  For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply:

    (1) PARK- The term `Park' means Yosemite National Park.

    (2) RECORD OF DECISION- The term `Record of Decision' means the record of decision entitled `Final Yosemite Valley Plan Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement' dated December 29, 2000.

    (3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.


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