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Yosemite May Reduce Hiking Permits To Half Dome

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Half Dome

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (Phillip A. Russell)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS / AP) — Yosemite National Park officials say lowering the number of permits to Half Dome is the best option for maintaining the wilderness character at the popular hiking spot.

Officials recommended a 300-per-day limit in their draft of the Half Dome Trail Stewardship Plan released Tuesday, following years of study.

Last year, officials instituted a lottery system that allows 400 hikers per day to tackle the 400-foot ascent up the granite shoulder of the dome.

Before that, as many as 1,200 park visitors would attempt the popular hike each day, creating congested and dangerous conditions on the cables that provide handholds on the slick granite.

Public comment on the report will be accepted through March 15.

Other options on the table range from requiring no permits at all to removing the safety cables.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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