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Gussying up Mother Nature

July 22, 2007

Re "Yosemite needs its plan back," Opinion, July 17

As the debate rages over how Yosemite will spend the $200 million appropriated by Congress to "rebuild" after the 1997 flood, consider this: The projects completed in recent years, such as the Yosemite Fund's rebuilding of the Yosemite Falls area, are reason enough to question any further development in the Yosemite Valley. This natural wonder has been defaced into a Disneyland ride complete with restrooms large enough to qualify as a single-family home. The existing lodging in the valley, with the exception of the Ahwahnee Hotel, is in terrible condition.

The first order of business in Yosemite Valley should be to improve the existing facilities, not add to the problem.

Mark Van Uden

Mission Viejo

My wife and I go to Yosemite Valley two or three times a year. I have been a frequent visitor over the last 20 years and first visited the park in 1965. Perhaps the fact that I have nearly always lived in Southern California has clouded my perspective, but I really have not one "horror story" about overcrowding in the valley.

Without question, there have been instances of long lines at the village market and traffic disasters, and restricting campfires to evenings-only was wise. But I cannot imagine that major alterations in our ability to travel in the park are necessary, at least based on my 80 or more trips to the valley.

Michael Barton

Huntington Beach

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