For the past two years, permits have been required to scale Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. One citizens group would like to see those permits dropped.
Mason Harrison, founder of savehalfdome.com was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Harrison, who currently lives in Washington D.C., grew up in the Motherlode and graduated from Summerville High School.
According to Harrison, he and his friends spent several Summer days and nights hiking in the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park and climbing Half Dome.
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans journey to Yosemite National Park with many wanting to summit Half Dome. But Harrison claims the right to summit it, is being taken away.
According to Harrison, the National Park Service has needlessly closed the Half Dome Trail to thousands of individuals, citing overcrowding.
Hiking the Half Dome Trail requires a special permit which Harrison claims is virtually impossible to obtain.
“Failure to obtain proper government paperwork before hiking can now result in a $5,000 fine or up to 6 months in jail” said Harrison.
“To make it worse, park officials are considering a plan to close the Half Dome Trail altogether or continue the current permit process which has already denied access to thousands of families, hikers, backpackers and casual visitors.”
Harrison is adamant that the National Park Service was established to allow people to enjoy their natural heritage and “now is not the time to deny thousands of Americans access to one of the most popular hiking trails in California”.
Harrison is not seeking donations on the website but would like people to “sign-up” so that he can keep people updated on the next thirty day Park Service comment period.
Harrison would like people to speak out and tell the National Park Service to re-open the Half Dome Trail and even add a third cable to the route.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.