Yosemite Valley plan, released three years ago and expected to cost about $440
million over a decade, is designed to improve visitor experience in the valley.
Plans for a "more natural Yosemite" calls for an approximately 50
percent reduction in the number of rooms, cabins and campsites for overnight
accommodation, the removal of historic bridges, roads and parking spaces at
scenic spots, with parking centralized in a 550-car lot at Curry Village. This
would help to reduce the effects of park crowding and traffic congestion.
Because of parking space cuts, most visitors would be bused into the valley
after leaving their cars in out-of-valley car parks. The plan is very much alive
and being implemented, although a judge's ruling in November 2006 stopped
construction projects, with an appeal pending.
There are 15 projects that comprise the first phase of implementation, and these
include a redesign of trails and approaches to lower Yosemite Falls, building a
new Indian cultural centre, removing a dam on the Merced River and buying new
Visitors take in views of the lower falls at the newly
restored Yosemite Falls area.
A $13.5 million
restoration project at Yosemite Falls offers tourists wider trails and a larger
viewing area from which to observe the highest waterfall in North America. Yosemite falls restoration
The Visitors Centre to be
relocated out-of-valley close to the car parks.
The valley plan would
return 176 acres along the Merced River to natural habitat and restore its
Some camp sites and cabins
removed from highly valued natural habitats such as river areas.
Camp fires restricted.
Stables and trail-rides
The only petrol station in
the valley closed.
Park employees to be rehoused in
accommodation outside the Park.
Court to hear arguments on how much protection Yosemite
National Park needs
Judge's ruling in November stopped construction projects; appeal pending
Debate: Should number of visitors be limited to protect park's resources?
Opponents say if access limited, park will be playground for the rich