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Yosemite National Park's tourist amenities at stake

Yosemite National Park is shown in this undated file photo.
May 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A plan to rid Yosemite National Park of many of its tourist amenities is causing uproar, pitting the National Parks Service against some California lawmakers.

The plan would eliminate many bike, raft and horse rentals. It would also remove two lodges, an ice rink, and swimming pools.

The plan was drafted by the National Parks Service to protect the Merced River, but it has angered Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock, whose district includes Yosemite.

"Yosemite was set aside 150 years ago by legislation signed by Abraham Lincoln for public use, resort and recreation for all times," McClintock said."It was not supposed to be a private preserve for environmentalists and the National Parks Service."

Proponents say the plan follows guidelines mandated by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Environmentalists claim the amenities not only harm the river, but distract from the park's natural beauty.

A final decision is expected to be made in July.


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