From: Brian H Ouzounian
To: Don Neubacher
Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 4:50 PM
With much appreciation, I briefly inspected the new sewage lift station relocation project at North Pines Campground on December 3, 2011. Most of what I inspected was an improvement from the previous above ground lift station at the lower, down-river, end of the campground, which is now underground at the campground entrance. YNPS employee Glen Rothell deserves credit for a project well done from my view.
To my dismay, however, a new split-rail fence was installed along the Merced River from the existing about 200 feet down river to the Tenaya Creek junction, prohibiting any public access to the Merced River. Based upon my information, this was not part of the new lift station project nor was there any public notice or discussion with regard to its installation.
Previously I have strongly objected to the installation of the existing fencing and now make objection in the strongest terms to this installation/extension. Public access is not to blame for the erosive affects of this riverbank. I am witness to this as I have camped in this section since 1955. Additionally, when the posts are installed, the digging of the holes destroys the root system of the trees. Moreover, this is still an unwarranted barrier to public access and done so without public process.
It is incredible to me and those I represent that the YNPS proceeds with such disdain of the public interest and flagrant lack of discretion.
My understanding is that there is no provision in the "Settlement Agreement" that allows this fence to be installed (only the planting of willows, alders, and herbaceous plants along 300 linear feet) and that no new Categorical Exclusion has been issued authorizing its installation. I ask you to remove the fence at once, at least until the New Merced River Plan is completed. I believe it is appropriate to put the question out to the public if this device is warranted.
Brian H. Ouzounian
Co-Founder Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition