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Re: Yosemite Merced River Litigation Settled After 10 Years

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avatar Yosemite Merced River Litigation Settled After 10 Years
September 30, 2009 11:36AM
Yosemite Merced River Litigation Settled After 10 Years
Date: September 30, 2009

The Friends of Yosemite Valley (FOYV), Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government (MERG), and the Department of the Interior /National Park Service (NPS), Yosemite National Park jointly announce the completion of a formal Settlement Agreement in the lawsuits concerning the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP). The settlement resolves litigation on Merced River planning begun in 2000, and also resolves the complaint challenging the Yosemite Valley Plan. The parties to the litigation are pleased to have come to a final agreement.

The settlement marks the beginning of a new planning process, which will lead to a Comprehensive Management Plan for the Merced River in Yosemite National Park. Please visit the NPS Yosemite NP planning website (at http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/newmrp.htm) for more information about meeting locations and how to get involved in the planning process.

"With this Settlement complete, the National Park Service is looking to the future and will move forward with preparing a new CMP that will continue to protect and enhance the Merced River for the enjoyment of future generations" stated Acting Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.

"We are optimistic. We agreed to this settlement to establish a new process and focus, ideally leading to a positive and protective management plan for Yosemite's Merced River. We are hopeful that the new Merced plan will be focused on protection, putting the River and its values first" stated Julia Olson, attorney for plaintiffs FOYV and MERG. “The Yosemite Valley Plan is now rescinded and there is a three year time frame hopefully free of legal disputes over projects in Yosemite” Olson continued.

"We now have a new opportunity to bring people together, to finally discuss how to optimize a natural Yosemite experience for the most people possible, while recognizing that Yosemite is finite" said Greg Adair, Director of Friends of Yosemite Valley. "This took a decade of hard work, really. We're grateful to the Courts, and Magistrate Judge Snyder for making this possible” continued Adair.

"The NPS is committed to completing the new CMP with the continued involvement from all of those who contributed to the previous plan, as well as with input from all who care about Yosemite" stated Uberuaga.

A Brief Summary of the Settlement:
  • Initiates a new process for the creation of a Merced River Plan, pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA)
  • Provides guidance on procedures, process, and content for a new Merced River Plan
  • Rescinds the Yosemite Valley Plan
  • Rescinds plans for Yosemite Lodge, Curry Village, Valley Campgrounds
  • Begins a new public dialogue on the question of user capacity
  • Encourages ongoing maintenance and safety activities
The Settlement Agreement can be viewed in its entirety at:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/litigation.htm. See also http://www.merg-mariposa.org, and http://www.yosemitevalley.org.
avatar Re: Yosemite Merced River Litigation Settled After 10 Years
October 01, 2009 12:11PM
I remember hearing someone in Yosemite NP's media relations talking on the radio about the settlement. Apparently one of the things the park management would like to see in a new plan is more campsites to replace the ones that were damaged in the flood. I'd certainly welcome that, along with showers at the NPS managed campgrounds.
avatar Re: Yosemite Merced River Litigation Settled After 10 Years
October 01, 2009 06:04PM
Quote
y_p_w
I remember hearing someone in Yosemite NP's media relations talking on the radio about the settlement. Apparently one of the things the park management would like to see in a new plan is more campsites to replace the ones that were damaged in the flood. I'd certainly welcome that, along with showers at the NPS managed campgrounds.

But overcrowding (and subsequent pollution) in the valley is an issue and wouldn't be solved by having extra campgrounds. It's too bad rehabilitation of existing facilities had to go down with this settlement. Guarantee you there will be another lawsuit in three years...
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