Sonora, CA – District Four Republican Congressman Tom McClintock has called the final draft regarding the Merced River “a relief”.
The National Park Service released the Merced Wild and Scenic Final Comprehensive Management Plan today. Earlier drafts had sparked controversy over amenities being taken out of Yosemite National Park and tearing down the historic Sugar Pine Bridge. McClintock even spoke out on the issue at a congressional hearing in July of last year.
Here is a statement by Congressman McClintock on the today’s final draft plan released:
“The National Park Service has come a long way toward meeting the concerns expressed by park visitors, recreational groups, and local business and community leaders. I am particularly gratified that the final report has rejected radical proposals to close many traditional tourist amenities at the park, including swimming pools, raft and bike rentals, horseback riding stables, and ice skating and lodging facilities. The plan retains the historic Sugar Pine Bridge, maintains retail services to accommodate park visitors and minimizes the loss of campsites and parking – all significant improvements from the draft report.
“Although I remain concerned about some aspects of the plan, my first reaction is one of relief. Yosemite Valley belongs to the American people for the express purpose of ‘public use, resort and recreation.’ The final draft appears to go as far as it can within current law to continue that tradition. It is a victory over those who would replace the park’s mission with an exclusionary policy of ‘look, but don’t touch.’
“I appreciate the NPS leadership for responding to the strong desire of so many Yosemite visitors to retain these facilities and services. I look forward to working with them and the gateway communities to expand and protect opportunities for all Americans to enjoy our beautiful Yosemite National Park.”