Yosemite National Park is so many things to so many people, it's hard to know where to start. It's an iconic symbol of California and of our national parks. It was the birthplace the Sierra Club and other important arms of the environmental movement. It transformed my personal relationship with the outdoors. It's so important to me that for more than 10 years I have been on the board of directors of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a non-profit that is working to move San Francisco's water storage tank out of the other spectacular valley inside the national park.
But Yosemite is a park in crisis. Its visitation numbers have skyrocketed in the last 20 years, and little has been done to mitigate the impact of all these people. Projects at one of the biggest waterfall viewing points at a grove of Giant Sequoias have sought to move cars further from sensitive natural areas, but otherwise the congestion increases unmitigated, to the point where I've started telling people not to visit at all in the summer.
So when I found out about that a new NPR podcast called Yosemiteland would be addressing all these issues and more, I was beyond excited. So far I've listened to the first three episodes. They're short but packed with info on how visitation is impacting the park and its inhabitants. Definitely check it out. I think it will be an important part of the discussion on this incredible place.