YOSEMITE By Any Name is Still the PEOPLE'S PARK
A critical appreciation, and a review of former Yosemite Superintendent Robert Binnewies' new book, Your Yosemite: A Threatened Public Treasure
BOOM: A Journal of California
June 16, 2016
They may change the names, but they can’t take Yosemite from us.
Or can they?
48 Hills (October 21, 2015)
CounterPunch (October 23, 2015)
Last week, on Thursday, October 15, we were driving east towards Curry Village in Yosemite Valley on Southside Drive just after dark when we saw a one-word roadside sign that said “INCIDENT.”
Within seconds we found ourselves driving by a raging fire on the south side of the road. There were hundreds of hot spots burning in the eerie darkness, and numerous tall trees burning brightly 20 feet, 30 feet, maybe 50 feet up their trunks. Danger cones were set up to keep us out of the right-hand lane on this one-way, two-lane road, leaving us only the left lane.
A scattering of firefighters and their vehicles were around, but nowhere near enough to keep the panic from growing about our safety. Cinders were swirling about in the wind, on both sides of the road. The smoke grew thicker and thicker, slowing us down to a mere crawl, until we could see nothing at all except the dim red taillights of the vehicle six feet in front of us. We had to hope that the car in front of us was still on the road, because the road had become invisible. At times even the rear lights of the car in front of us disappeared from view...
Another Delaware North Outrage in the Making:
TURNING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK into a CASH COW
April 1, 2015
Delaware North – the management company that runs the lodging, food and retail concessions at Yosemite National Park – has been in the news lately, claiming that it owns the rights to place names in the park such as Camp Curry, Yosemite Lodge,
the Ahwahnee Hotel, the Wawona Hotel, Badger Pass and more. Check out the December 24, 2014 article in the East Bay Express. [UPDATE: See "Who Owns Yosemite?" in SFGate, September 24, 2015.]
On a trip to Yosemite last January I learned that 80 affordable cabins in the heart of
Camp Curry – cabins that had served visitors well for decades – have been removed, along with over 100 tent-cabins. This follows years of rumored behind-the-scenes agitation by the private management companies that run Yosemite to remove less expensive lodging in favor of building more higher-priced hotel-style projects.
There is an under-the-radar plan in place to build upscale “cabin/hotel” rooms in Camp Curry, and likely more to come in Yosemite Valley.
KARL MARX, the KAWEAH COLONY,
and the FOUNDING of YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
How Southern Pacific Railroad killed a socialist colony in the Sierras
August 27, 2014
There has been considerable hoopla this summer around the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln putting his signature on the Yosemite Grant Act of 1864. Lincoln set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias for public use and preservation. Yosemite subsequently became a national park in 1890.
Missing from this commemoration are the machinations of corporate power brokers, specifically the Southern Pacific Railroad, in the founding of Yosemite National Park. The very same legislative act that created the park in 1890 also destroyed a socialist experiment in collective living and enterprise – the Kaweah Colony – that had been organized by socialists and labor activists based in San Francisco.