Skift Take

This is a national park development plan that would make naturalist/author Edward Abbey and his fictional anti-development Monkeywrench Gang happy.

An ambitious plan to restore and improve the health of the largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park is moving forward with the release Thursday of an environmental impact statement for the project.

The tourist site at the south end of the park includes asphalt parking lots that cover the sprawling roots of the giant trees, as well as tram service and roads through the grove.

Park officials hope to restore wetlands, remove the parking lot, reduce noise and add shuttle service for visitors to reach the trees.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman said the three-year project will be paid for by $20 million from the Yosemite Conservancy and $4 million from the National Park Service.

Officials hope to break ground for the park’s 150th anniversary next June.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

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Tags: development, national parks, yosemite

Photo Credit: Yosemite Falls is framed by colorful foliage on the valley floor. Bruce Chambers / Orange County Register/MCT