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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Yosemite - Letters to the Editor - San Jose Mercury News

June 27, 2014
Press Release

Letters to the Editor from Congressman McClintock to the San Jose Mercury News regarding Yosemite


The letter below was submitted to the San Jose Mercury News in response to an editorial published on June 27th, 2014:

The Mercury News once again misrepresents my position on expanding Yosemite Park.  I have repeatedly said that I support the expansion provided that public access is explicitly guaranteed and that taxpayers are protected.

For the last two years, I have fought the Park Service’s attempts to ban traditional recreational activities at Yosemite.  Although it has backed off its threat to ban bicycle rentals, it is still proceeding with a large number of additional restrictions on such popular activities as horseback riding, camping and rafting.

That’s why I have been working with the committees of jurisdiction and proponents of this bill to assure there are explicit legal guarantees that these uses can continue. 

I’m sorry that the Mercury News is unwilling to help, but to say that I am opposing the plan is simply and flatly untrue.

 

The letter below discusses an article that was published May 17, 2014 in the Mercury News titled “Yosemite National Park Expansion Stalls in Congress:”

Paul Rogers reports that I am “standing in the way” of the annexation of a 1,500 acre parcel for Yosemite Park. In making this claim, he deliberately ignored the position that I expressed in writing: “I want to be sure the proposal remains a future option once these issues (of public access and use) are resolved.”  My position is one of conditional support – not unconditional opposition.

Mr. Rogers’ well-earned reputation for bias is why I insist that our communications be in writing, and even that seems to no avail.

John Muir’s vision for Yosemite was for public use, resort and recreation, yet today, public access is increasingly restricted.  His promise must be redeemed.

This proposal has been around for many years without action by Congress. Contrary to Rogers’ claim, there is no prospect that the property will be developed in the foreseeable future, which gives us time to make sure that any addition to Yosemite is done in the public interest and that it guarantees the public’s access and use.