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Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations
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sheesh


Jul 6, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations
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For all of you out there in cyberland who may be planning a First Amendment protest at Yosemite National Park, for the fourth of July weekend, park management allowed a group demonstrating against the Yosemite Valley Plan to approach visitors who are in line with their car at park entrance stations to hand out materials and talk with visitors about their issue.

Prior to this event, the designated demonstration area was on the Mall just outside of the park Visitor Center. The allowance of this particular group to exercise their first amendment rights at this location was based on political factors, as Chuck Cushman, a wacko access to everywhere activist who could cause political and press damage, was heading this demonstration. Cushman said he was going to demonstrate at entrance stations regardless of what park management said, and park management did not want to arrest Cushman, which would become a political nightmare.

This was an ad hoc decision by the park Superintendent, Mike Tollefson, and the Superintendent's Compendium was not updated to reflect this decision. Park management meeting notes and internal emails will verify this decision.

Therefore, if you are planning a demonstration at Yosemite, you now ave the ability to carry out your demonstration at park entrance stations and the ability to directly approach visitors as they wait to pay their fees. Federal officials cannot make a decision that benefits one group while denying another that same right.

Personally, it was a bad decision by park management that sets a disturbing precident.


mewalrus


Jul 6, 2003, 6:18 PM
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Re: Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations [In reply to]
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What better place to protest?
Sounds like an ideal spot to me.

What was he protesting for?


sheesh


Jul 6, 2003, 6:43 PM
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Re: Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations [In reply to]
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It was actually a "they'.

Local businesses are against the Yosemite Valley Plan which is intended to be a guide to rebuild the Yosemite Valley after the 1997 flood. Local business are primarily against any kind of transportation system to and within the park.

Chuck Cushman was hired by these local businesses. He is NOT a local; rather he is a hired gun ($1,000/day) to drum up attention that has been associated with the the BlueRibbon Coalition and other "wise use" groups who believe all federal lands should be open to unfettered access, including wilderness.

I bring the issue of protests being allowed at the entrance stations for folks in the climbing community who might be planning a protest event in the future to know that they can now do so at entrance stations. While park management will probably at first deny your request, press on with your request, as they can no longer deny you this ability given this precedent.

Peace


oldandintheway


Jul 7, 2003, 10:39 PM
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Re: Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations [In reply to]
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The issues of the Yosemite Plan are multi faceted, ranging from access, private property and environmental impact. It goes far beyond the Valley. My first comment is: Read the plan. Secondly, consider there are other perspectives.

Access concerns severely restricting the means of access to such a point as to seem almost elitist. This is contrary to the stated purpose of the National Park System.

Private property concerns primarily involves the community of Wawona which was surrounded by the Park service in a land swap with the Department of Agriculture. These landowners can trace their titles back to the original land grants. Now under the color of authority the NPS wants to seize and impact private property from the titled owners, the real locals if you will.

The "Park and Ride" areas targeted for development will have a negative impact on the environment by requiring development on previously undeveloped land. Ask the folk of Fish Camp how they feel about turning their little town into a parking lot. To accomadate relocation of concessionaire and park employee housing out of the Valley, a large meadow at the south end will be subdivided...adjacent to the South fork of the Merced.

This plan was envisioned before the flood..it was merely an excuse to act. There is so much more to Yosemite than the Valley in terms of natural wonder, history, and politics but so few ever bother. Keep an open mind. Yes I do believe the natural areas need to be preserved and certain regions need to recover before access is permitted. I personally wouldn't mind if the coffee stand, and pizza stand all disappearred.

BTW, the pro plan folks have actually been out there lobbying for months before the "First Amendment" issue was forced upon the NPS as quid pro quo.


sheesh


Jul 8, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Re: Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations [In reply to]
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Nice post, Old. Good to have some additional information on the subject of the YVP. My persuasion? Yosemite is everything a National Park should not be. It is central park (interesting Olmstead had a hand in both), managed for vistiors and not resources, and should be given back to the State of California for them to develop as they see fit. I mean, this park spends less than 4% of it's $24 million dollar base budget on Resources Management activities. Less than 4%! Shameful.

I posted this topic to give folks the information that no matter your issue, you can now exercise your right to free speech at entrance stations, a WILD departure from the NPS norm. This opens all sorts of possibilities for activists no matter your persuasion.

BTW: Whoever moved this thread, thanks. I wasn't sure where to post :)

Peace


iamthewallress


Jul 8, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Re: Yosemite First Amendment Area at Entrance Stations [In reply to]
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Please read the Access Fund response to the YVP. If I was in town over the fourth, I'd have happily taken my turn handing out pamplets at the entrance station.

http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/~kmhay/valley_plan.htm


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