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Re: Yosemite National Park Announces Availability of the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Environmental Assessment for Public Review

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Yosemite National Park Announces Availability of the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Environmental Assessment for Public Review
Date: August 9, 2011

Yosemite National Park announces the release of the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA will be available for public review and comment from August 8, 2011 through September 9, 2011. The EA addresses the future disposition of 72 structures that were previously closed by the Yosemite National Park following rockfall events in 2008. A digital copy of the EA is available on the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CurryRockfall. The public is also invited to discuss the project with park staff on August 31, 2011, at the park’s monthly Open House at the East Valley Auditorium behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Rustic hard-sided cabins, with and without bath and built in the 1920’s, make up the majority of the structures in the closed area. Six other structures include the Foster Curry Cabin (Tresidder Residence), associated visitor support structures (e.g., restrooms, shower house), and two non-historic structures.
The EA evaluates the No Action Alternative (keeping the rockfall zone closed to use; no action to treat historic structures) and four action alternatives. The action alternatives include Alternative 1 – Remove All Structures, Alternative 2 – Retain the Majority of Historic Structures, Alternative 3 – Retain Most Historically Significant Structures and Representatives of Architectural Types, and Alternative 4 – Retain Structures with Structural and Historic Integrity.

The National Park Service has identified Alternative 1 - Remove All Structures - as the Preferred Alternative as it would maximize safety for park visitors and employees and eliminate the need for administrative access to the closed area. This alternative would entail documentation of the historic structures, salvage of historic materials for reuse, removal of all structures remaining in the rockfall zone, installation of interpretative materials, and allowing the area to return to its natural state.

The preferred method for submitting comments is through PEPC at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CurryRockfall. Printed and CD copies of the plan will be available at the Open House on August 31 or can be requested (available in limited quantity) by emailing Yose_Planning@nps.gov. Comments may also be submitted via postal service and postmarked by September 9, 2011 to: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park, Attn: Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project, PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389.
How about another alternative:

Alternative 5 – Relocate (disassemble and rebuild) historic structures (i.e. Foster Curry Cabin (Tresidder Residence)) to a more suitable location within Curry Village and build replacements cabins for all the other guest cabins (with and without baths) that need to be removed because they reside in the rockfall zone.
The Modesto Bee version of this story:

....Now Yosemite National Park officials are seeking permission to remove the century-old lodging and a few other historic homes to keep visitors from trespassing to view the structures, which are slowly deteriorating because of the elements, vandals and nesting animals.

"It's become an attractive nuisance," park spokesman Scott Gediman said. "If there's a fence there and some reason to go over there, they will."

Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/14/1816262/yosemite-eyes-removal-of-cabins.html#ixzz1V6T8JqX2

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
The Modesto Bee article noted the following:

Modesto Bee

In August 2009 more than 300 guests at the park's Ahwahnee Hotel were evacuated after tumbling boulders from the 1,600-foot Royal Arches formation landed in the parking lot. Dust from the avalanche temporarily obscured views of Half Dome.

So why doesn't the Park Service also shutdown the Ahwahnee, since it appears that it too is in a rockfall zone?

I'm really disappointed that the Park Service doesn't appear to be making any plans to replace the guest accommodations lost at Curry Village due to them being in a rockfall zone.
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