GRA wrote:Tony, I think you and Reg should feel free to provide all the technical, cost, environmental, scenic, archaeological, cultural, etc. impact data to the NPS, which will save the Federal government oodles of cash through avoiding an unneeded study. After all, what do the people at NREL know that a few of us amateurs (well, I used to get paid for this kind of thing, albeit at a much smaller level) don't?
Well, I think we could all do an admirable job at estimating "back of the napkin" costs. Clearly, these guys do not much besides "study", which I'm not a big fan of. Dragging up estimates from DECADES ago seems disingenious, but I did work for the US government... I do know how "the study" is the job, and serving the people is low on the list.
1) Get the best data
2) Make a decision
3) Fund the decision
4) Execute the plan
In this case, 'serving the people' tends to be the major delay factor, as the public gets to weigh in, and in the case of a well-loved park like Yosemite with a major metropolitan area nearby, the public comments and reaction to any changes tend to be vociferous. For instance, one of the recommended changes in the Valley Implementation Plan in the late '90s was to move some employee housing across Northside Drive from Yosemite Lodge, to get it out of the flood plain (the Jan. 1997 flood caused a lot of plans to be heavily revised). However, they were talking about removing a large glacial erratic boulder next to Camp 4 (the climber's camp) that generations of climbers have practiced on. To say that the climbing community had a strong negative reaction to this idea is putting things mildly. In fact, this was the last major legal fight David Brower got involved in before his death. The boulder's still there, and I don't know where they've moved the employees.
So, everything moves slowly and incrementally because so many people care about the place and have very strong feelings about it. Everyone has their say, lawsuits get filed or not, and the Park Service has to listen. For anyone who's interested, they're getting ready for the public comment period on a couple of major aspects of the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (I'm on the mailing list for all the Yosemite Management Plan stuff), which will include suggested changes and options for backcountry visitor and stock use, and the link below has dates, times and locations of webinars and public meetings for discussion and public comment:
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com ... ebb7f9734a
Wilderness Stewardship Plan Public Involvement Opportunity
Here's the main link, which includes the documents describing the proposed changes as well as the options: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHom ... ctId=47112