Peter Lizdas: Yosemite belongs to all Americans

July 10, 2013 

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock claims that a majority in his congressional district, which encompasses the boundaries of Yosemite National Park, are opposed to the current plan for Yosemite Valley.

This claim is based on responses registered in "telephone town hall meetings, convened by robocalls from his congressional office to constituents" — which of course is laughable. (Do you think there just might be a teensy bit of sampling bias there?)

But more to the point: Yosemite National Park, although its bounds may be within McClintock's district, belongs to all of the people of the United States, not to a small number of local commercial or other special interests.

As such, in making any plans for how this national treasure is to be administered, the Park Service has an obligation to base its planning on a truly national consensus, not on the interests and preferences of a small number of individuals who just happen to live in proximity to Yosemite.

Ice cream cones and swimming pools are fine, but they are not why people from all over the world visit Yosemite (thereby injecting much money into the local economy). For McClintock and his ilk, there is always Disneyland.

PETER LIZDAS

Merced

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