Occupy Yosemite National Park

Categories: Announcements, Open Mic, Reflections

I want to suggest another place that needs to be Occupied and this is our Public Lands, including, and especially, Yosemite National Park.

While people are driven into homelessness they are being chased by US Rangers from our Public Lands more and more, except the wealthy.

I suggest everyone in CA and USA comes to Yosemite National Park with their tents to begin “Occupy Yosemite” in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street movement.

Currently, this National Park is essentially occupied by the Wealthy foreign citizens (mostly wealthy tourists from Europe) who take up camping limit times that belongs to Americans, in the one of the most beautiful places of California and US–and overcrowd Yosemite Valley, which is reminiscent of a busy city street filled with Western European languages and is extremely polluted–while less well-to-do Americans are slapped with camping limits and Ranger harassment. Since wealthy foreign tourists can throw money like $500 for a climbing lesson to fill the pockets of certain private companies that profit off National Park, their invasion is allowed to continue. Time to begin protesting this issue. Hotels cost $90+ near Yosemite, which again, are filled by the wealthy Europeans, not Americans. This land is an occupied land. Yosemite tourist demographics does not reflect the demographics of surrounding state of California and, for that matter,  US demographics–there’s hidden racism. On top of that, to get hired as a Ranger at Yosemite, one has to have blond hair,  pretty much.

Also, National Forest Service had raised the camping fees to up to $25 and State Parks to up to $35 which is going to filter campers by income. The only “campers” I saw in some beautiful campgrounds in National Forest recently were wealthy snowbirds (mega-RV owners who pollute the air in the forests with their generators and disturb the peace) who weren’t Californians even, in part because of raised cost of camping. So, everyone should take their tent and come there and camp and OCCUPY the lands that belong to the public. While people are chased out of their homes…. their raise camping fees to limit their access to nature and public lands. Homeless people who have nowhere to go are chased off Public lands. Money? They’ve sold land to PG&E, they have private concessionares profiting on those public lands. They are selling the land for private housing development in Yosemite National Park (Yosemite West). They need to be re-occupied.

Don’t forget that Yosemite Valley had known the riots in the 70s (camps set up by youth were crushed by US Rangers, who continued harassment of those who looked “different” or who looked like a “hippie” after the riots–until they made a mistake of harassing a Senator’s son at Yosemite Wawona entrance). Ranger harassment of “different” people continues to this day, and I had witnessed that.


4 Responses to “Occupy Yosemite National Park”

  1. A Teacher

    Yosemite is for the 99% (but please, not at the same time!)

  2. A Teacher

    You might do your homework before raging. Several studies by various universities all conclude that 70% of all of Yosemite’s visitors are from California. If you only visit the seven square miles that comprise Yosemite Valley during the summer, don’t be surprised to hear a variety of languages! If you find this offensive, there are plenty of places in Yosemite’s 1,189.5 square mile to find solitude. 93% of Yosemite’s acreage is federally-designated wilderness, and that there are 800 miles of trails in the park (including lengthy segments of the Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails).
    Furthermore, Yosemite is an International Heritage Site, which suggests that rather than hording the beauty for Californians only, it should be enjoyed by people of all color and creeds. International visitors have no special privileges in the park. In fact, they are at a distinct disadvantage because of the ridiculously complex reservation system that we all must suffer with.
    To claim Yosemite for Californians’ exclusive use qualifies you to join the elite 1% club. Granted, there are some serious concerns about overuse, but to blame on the invading hordes of international visitors is irresponsible and xenophobic.
    To encourage people to “Occupy Yosemite” will destroy the very beauty that you seem to so appreciate. Hmmm.

  3. submo

    There are plenty of Rangers in Yosemite that are not as you describe, all “white with blond hair”. Sheldon Johnson, an African-American NPS Ranger in Yosemite, has been featured on Ken Burns National Park documentary.
    The problem with the park is that it is being “loved to death” by hoards of visitors.
    You sound xenophobic to me, in your complaints against people from Europe visiting Yosemite. Maybe you should check yourself…racism goes both ways.
    The housing development is on lands that have been held privately since before Yosemite was a National Park. In other words those lands are not part of the park.
    The land in Yosemite controlled by PGE has been under their watch since the early 20th century. They use the Hetch Hetchy damn to produce power for San Francisco.
    I f you occupy Yosemite Valley how will you eat? How will people bring you food to support yourself? How long could you live in a tent in January temps in Yosemite?