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#25768 - 07/08/12 07:17 AM Yosemite Bridges
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Please excuse this non-Whitney post, but fans of Yosemite might be interested. Our advid enviromentalists now want to remove historic stone bridges over the Merced river.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/arti...ee6176419850299

A few of us used to boulder on the sides of the Stoneman Bridge, when the Valley rock was too snowy and icy for safe climbing. It provided some nice moves and tranverses. Rating? Silly and desperate.

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#25769 - 07/08/12 08:09 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Why do people apologize for writing non-Whitney posts? Where some people may be focused on Whitney, I've never seen anyone complain about non-whitney posts.

I think that most here understand that the website is for Whitney afficionados rather than "all whitney, all the time".

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#25770 - 07/08/12 08:52 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: tdtz]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Perhaps I should apologize for being overly polite, but I won't.

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#25771 - 07/08/12 09:27 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
They have gone a bridge too far.

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#25823 - 07/10/12 08:04 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Harvey Lankford]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Time to start reading the latest plans and comment again, for whatever it's worth. At least it gives you standing if you want to get more involved later and it's a chance to vent against nonsense - which there's plenty of.

It appears the real plan is to give the river a demolition permit to jump banks and wildly destroy scenic facilities in the valley.

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#25831 - 07/10/12 02:30 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: SierraNevada]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
I didn't realize the river needed permission to change its course.
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#25840 - 07/10/12 05:47 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: MooseTracks]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1550
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Of course not: it asks for forgiveness, instead.


Edited by saltydog (07/10/12 05:49 PM)
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#25842 - 07/10/12 06:02 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Harvey Lankford]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2213
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
They have gone a bridge too far.

At Mono Lake, some of the natural geological formations have been damaged by tourons. As in abridged tufa.
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#25844 - 07/10/12 07:29 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: MooseTracks]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
I didn't realize the river needed permission to change its course.

I know you're just pulling my moose leg here but I'll pretend otherwise...

Yes, the river needs a permit to chart a new course, or more accurately, to stop people from taking action to save property and keep it where it is. Some would love to see the mighty Merced River destroy all signs of human presence thereby restoring Yosemite Valley to a wild and scenic hidden paradise with only a rough foot path from Modesto. That might sound great to a hiker, but think of how many people want to protect wilderness after experiencing Yosemite, even if it is on a paved trail with an ice cream cone. This is the best outdoor experience many people get. Or maybe they think the river can just jump around willy nilly and 3 million people can cross on log rafts each year whereever the river happens to be. What are they thinking, taking out the bridges? And why is Yosemite Park being governed so much by the Merced River anyway? The river is a great asset, but who goes there to see the river meander through the valley? We're not talking about the waterfalls or wild portions upstream and downstream of the valley, they want to take out the historic bridges in the valley.

There is a fringe element out there who would like the river to do their bulldozing for them like the flood of '97 destroying campgrounds, but I hope the plans are more reasonable than that. I better stop venting and read the plans.

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#25845 - 07/10/12 07:52 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
BryanB Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 49
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
This is a tough one, because I can understand where both sides are coming from. That being said, if there is something wrong with constructing bridges over rivers, the group should focus their effort on preventing new ones from being built. They are just wasting time, money, and making people upset by targeting bridges (especially historic ones) that already exist to be destroyed. It might also be better for them to target bridges that have fallen into disrepair or pose some sort of threat to public safety.

Although, I suppose they are seeking attention and trying to make a statement by targeting a bridge many people are familiar with.

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#25847 - 07/10/12 08:43 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: SierraNevada]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
I didn't realize the river needed permission to change its course.

I know you're just pulling my moose leg here but I'll pretend otherwise...



Kind of. But how you put your speculative statement above insinuates exactly what I said.

I don't want to demolish the existing structures. I use them just like everyone else, and that includes historic structures like my vacation home in EVO Basin:







Reading the plan will be a good start.
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#25853 - 07/10/12 11:35 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wish we could see those pics of your vacation home. Flickr seems to refuse to show them. Edit: thanks to links below, the pics above should show now.


For a long time, I supported environmental-oriented organizations. But it is environmental extremism like this that has convinced me to stop. The unreasonable demands like removing existing historic and beautiful structures, the continuing trends to lock more and more people out... It needs to stop.


Edited by Steve C (07/11/12 08:41 AM)

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#25859 - 07/11/12 06:27 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Steve C]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Steve, that's weird. My flickr settings are wide open...

Well, it's an extra step, but here are links:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621/7546168598/in/set-72157630520657136

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621/7546183532/in/set-72157630520657136/

Hurm... strange...
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#25860 - 07/11/12 08:02 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: MooseTracks]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Laura,
I have been reading the plan and commenting, just not recently. My last comments were against the proposal to remove Merced High Sierra Camp in Segment 1. Maybe you agree that horse and mule impacts are too great resupplying it, but I say leave it alone, it doesn't effect the river. I don't recall seeing any big issues in Segment 2 Yosemite Valley and I didn't think bridge removal would be seriously considered. This section is considered recreational and the river should not be dictating how the Park is managed. The Park should be free to manage floods and provide safe public access to the river as best they can, in my opinion.

It's hard to keep up with each of these issues and the process in general. I had to input my email address to comment, but they didn't bother to let me know about new reports or deadlines for comment periods. I see I missed a comment deadline on April 20th.

It's bothersome to me when a law is abused to achieve someone's idea of a "greater good." I'm all for environmental protection, but the relentless expansion and complicated process is getting crazy. They are using "river protection" for authority to limit access to the National Park. That may be technically legal, but it seems like a major overreach to me.

======================================================
"The plan will state the kinds and amounts of public use which the river can sustain without impact to the values for which it was designated. Studies will be made during preparation of the management plan and periodically thereafter to determine the quantity and mixture of recreation and other public uses which can be permitted without adverse impact on the resource values of the river
area."

Q: Will user capacities limit my access to the river or park?
A: User capacities identify how much use can be accommodated, while protecting and enhancing river values. Capacities for different alternatives are combined with a variety of management strategies and tools, including measures that are designed to prevent use from exceeding capacities. For the alternative that is adopted, if use exceeds capacities, use limits would be needed.

Q: Will establishing user capacity for the Merced River prevent me from being able to drive my vehicle into Yosemite Valley?
A: Options for addressing traffic congestion may include restrictions (such as a day-use reservation system) on private vehicle access to the Valley at times when parking areas are filled to capacity. This is dependent on the supply of parking provided in each alternative. Although a stated goal of the park's 1980 General Management Plan was to eliminate the use of private vehicles from the Valley, the MRP will amend this plan and establish new guidance for public access to the river corridor and Yosemite Valley.

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#25861 - 07/11/12 10:09 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: SierraNevada]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
It is typical of those who are devotees of the "religion" of environmentalism to forget that human beings are also part of nature. We do not somehow stand apart from nature, as if nature is some kind of machine we have to keep well oiled, or it will break and fall apart. Nature is a wonderful self-adjuster; it will continue to recover and make allowances for our tinkering...in spite of our fears.

I wonder how many environmentalists and their attorneys would like it if it was decided, in the best interests of the "health" of the San Francisco Bay, to remove the Golden Gate and SF-Oakland Bay bridges? Or...to bulldoze their beautiful Marin County bay-side condos, because they might be polluting sea-otter habitate? Not many...

No matter what a person or organization claims as their world-view, unless they are willing to follow their philosophy to its logical conclusion, they are being intellectually dishonest. It seems to me that the logical conclusion of the environmentalist world view is that humans return to their pre-historic way of life, and remove all signs of human progress and go back to the Stone Age. How many environmentalists would be willing to do that? I know a couple who might be willing for a few weeks or days at a time, but not for a life-time.


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#25862 - 07/11/12 11:40 AM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
BryanB Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 49
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
^ where's the like button? :-)

like!

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#25863 - 07/11/12 12:20 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Amen

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#25864 - 07/11/12 12:29 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1550
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
This discussion presents an interesting opportunity. I read the initial article linked to above a couple of times, and compared the content of the article with the discussion that followed. I don't find much correlation.

There is no law suit involved, there is no consideration of increasing any risk of the river overflowing (in fact one consideration is reducing flooding of the bridle path arch in the Stoneman) there is no hint of changing the river's course or allowing it to change.

There is no domination of the discussion by any extreme position on either side, and in fact the proposals in the plans under consideration for removing Stoneman are in the minority.

The way I do the math on the information in the article, there are five draft plans under consideration. One of them calls for no bridge removal, and only two call for removal of Stoneman. So three out of five draft plans would not touch this bridge.

There is no mention of a single environmental group advocating removal of the bridge, only that it is under consideration in two of the five draft plans. There are plenty of quotes and identification of groups and individuals advocating for historic preservation.

Now look at the discussion that follows this, about destruction of campgrounds and other facilities,


"the real plan is to give the river a demolition permit to jump banks and wildly destroy scenic facilities in the valley."

"Some would love to see the mighty Merced River destroy all signs of human presence thereby restoring Yosemite Valley "

"There is a fringe element out there who would like the river to do their bulldozing for them like the flood of '97 destroying campgrounds"

"This section is considered recreational and the river should not be dictating how the Park is managed. The Park should be free to manage floods and provide safe public access to the river as best they can, in my opinion"

"It seems to me that the logical conclusion of the environmentalist world view is that humans return to their pre-historic way of life, and remove all signs of human progress and go back to the Stone Age."

How did these extreme statements come out of mere consideration of of a particular action in two plans out of 5? They bear virtually no factual or reasonable relation to the story. And the story, if you read it carefully, is mostly manufactured by the reporter. Contrary to the rhetoric, Nothing is "slated for removal".

And no, Bob, with all due respect, you can't hold me or anyone else accountable for what you choose to characterize as the "logical conclusion" of a particular proposition. That's the classical fallacy of reductio ad absurdum. It can be applied to any position, and it won't wash, even in the massive deluge apparently about to be unleashed by the radically irresponsible act of removal of a bridge abutment.


Where's the balance, folks? The process of considering these plans is inherently one of balancing natural and artificial values, a process that NPS is continuing here and has been pretty damn good at in the past, and to which the radical posturing in the preceding discussion contributes little.

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#25865 - 07/11/12 12:37 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: Bob West]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
The latest "river restoration" plan is a rehash of the previous General Management Plan that got stalled in the courts during construction. But the graphics keep getting better each iteration, got to give them that.

It bothers me when they go from river protection and restoration, which is great if done correctly, to protecting "river values." That's a big leap, an overstep in my mind.

It's the "river values" clause that supposedly authorizes them to do just about anything near the river: from removing facilities, housing, campgrounds; to limiting access; to setting quotas all in the name of protecting "river values."

I see this one ending up in the courts also, depending on how far they go and who gets screwed in the final plan.

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#25866 - 07/11/12 12:48 PM Re: Yosemite Bridges [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Salty Dog,

I admit, I did take this off course a bit with the flood control stuff. It's not written up in these alternatives, but flood control is an underlying basis for "river protection." And the campgrounds that were destroyed in the floods of '97 were never rebuilt, which is an example of how that event was used to get what some people wanted.

Let's get back to a more focused discussion of the actually items in the alternatives if this thread keeps going.

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