SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— National Park officials could get an earful at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Thursday night at a public comment meeting to examine a plan to eliminate bike and horse rentals in Yosemite Valley.
Among other major changes in the 2,500 page Merced River Plan, the push to restore the park’s natural setting could mean eliminating a lot of popular activities, including the suggested closing of the ice rink at Curry Village and the swimming pools at the Yosemite Lodge and Ahwanhee Hotel. They would be ripped out while rafting rentals on the Merced River would end as well.
The plan is based on a 1999 lawsuit meant to protect the river. Some environmental groups are applauding the move saying they don’t want to see Yosemite Valley turned into Disneyland, but others have said they came to support the park because they grew up biking and rafting in the area.
“When you stop bike rentals, you stop the kids from exercising; from possibly seeing the showpiece of the world—The Yosemite Valley in a way where they use their body,” said KCBS and Chronicle Outdoors Editor Tom Stienstra.