Yosemite, CA –Public pressure has pushed Yosemite National Park to extend its public comment period on the Merced River Draft Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. One of those who called for a 90 day extension was Congressman Tom McClintock.
McClintock was Thursday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Last Friday, the Congressman sent a letter to the National Park Service’s Superintendent, Don Neubacher.
In the letter, McClintock argued that the plan was over 4000 pages and people needed more time to digest it. Click here for an earlier story on McClintock’s extension request.
Park Officials says a record number of comments pushed them to extend the public comment until April 30, and extra 12days.
McClintock says that’s not long enough, “I think that it falls far short of a good faith effort to involve the public in this comment process. It seems to me the National Park Service has already determined the outcome, it’s just going through the formalities. I think Congress is going to have a lot more to say about this in the coming days.”
Yosemite National Park Spokesperson Kathleen Morse says they had to draw the line somewhere, “The comment period has already been 40 days longer than mandated by policy. Typically it’s a 60 day period and we went out from the beginning with a 100 day comment period. Additionally, we received 25,000 comments which is unprecedented. Given the balance of the evidence and the time we are looking at to get the plan completed, we had to strike that reasonable balance. That balance was between cutting off the comment period and beginning to work on the input versus extending it to solicit more comments.”
The Park Service’s preferred alternative calls for the elimination of bike rentals, horseback offerings, a skating rink, pool, and a historic bridge.
Click here to see the complete alternative plan.
Click here to comment on that plan.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.