Final Yosemite Valley Plan Promises to Reduce Traffic and Development and Restore Natural Habitat

November 14, 2000 - Adoption and full implementation of the Final Yosemite Valley Plan by the National Park Service offers hope that future visitors will bring home memories of a place that lives up to its reputation as an icon of America’s natural heritage, according to one of the nation’s largest environmental groups.

"At long last, the Park Service appears poised to protect Yosemite Valley’s incomparable resources by reducing access by private cars, providing clean-fuel shuttles and buses, eliminating unnecessary development and restoring the Merced River," said Johanna H. Wald, land program director of NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council). "Adoption and implementation of a strong plan will be a great gift for the park and the public."

NRDC mobilized its members to send letters, faxes and emails urging the Park Service and Department of Interior to adopt a final plan that would give the valley the strongest protections possible. They called on the government to:

  • Drastically reduce the number of private cars in the valley;
  • Remove as many parking spaces and as much unnecessary development, such as administrative offices and staff housing, as possible; and
  • Restore Yosemite Valley’s riverbanks, meadows and other natural habitat.

"For too many people, the Yosemite experience has been one of traffic jams, overdevelopment and smog-marred vistas," said Wald. "We commend the Park Service for committing to undo this damage and protect the valley’s resources for people and wildlife."