"Yosemite Plan Would Ease Traffic, Shut Ice Rink"

"FRESNO, Calif. -- Visitors might miss the 1920s-era ice skating rink in the winter or the summer bike and raft rentals, but they'll likely be glad to hear that a plan released Tuesday to protect the river that runs through Yosemite National Park won't reduce the number of daily visitors."

"For years, the possibility has existed that access to the third-most visited national park would be decreased under the court-ordered effort to protect the Merced River, which received congressional 'wild and scenic' designation in 1987.

But park officials tried to balance the needs of visitors against the activities and development in Yosemite Valley that have contributed to degradation of riverbanks and water quality.

The long-awaited final draft plan by the National Park Service Planning Department calls for keeping the number of valley visitors at its current 19,900 a day, while adding shuttle buses to reduce traffic and altering some roadways to reduce congestion that can be as bad in the summer as cities see during rush hour."

Tracie Cone reports for the Associated Press January 8, 2013.

Source: AP, 01/09/2013