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Community Packs Congressional Yosemite Hearing

More than 100 people packed the Yosemite Valley VisitorĀ“s Center East Auditorium Tuesday morning for a special Congressional hearing on the controversial Yosemite Valley Plan. U.S Congressman George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, headed up the congressional panel that listened to a variety of comments on the $441 million plan.

Local business leaders like Peggy Mosley, who runs the Groveland Hotel in Grovleland, says the plan will likely harm the economies of small towns that surround the park. Mosley says the proposal to use buses to move visitors in and out of the park will be particularly harmful, because people won´t be able to afford the cost of bus tickets. She adds that people would much rather have the freedom to use their own vehicles to move around the park.

Local environmental activists like John Buckley, who heads up the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center in Twain Harte, says the Yosemite Valley Plan is a balanced approach to the possible restoration of campsites that were wiped out in a 1997 flood.

The panel will use the testimony given today in making their decisions about the plan.