With all the changes taking place in Yosemite today, it’s hard to keep up. The changing of the guard has come quickly. From the moment I first heard about the seemingly hostile takeover, to the actual moment I saw it take place, was less than 4 months. 4 months to wrap my mind around a new look, a new guard and new names. While in Yosemite this past weekend, there was a rush on merchandise by park visitors, myself included. All merchandise in the park stores with the name Yosemite National Park were 50% off. It was like they were trying to rush out items for Thanksgiving to get ready for the influx of Christmas gear. Unreal how quickly we can push out such an iconic name. This is the headline I awoke to this morning, Yosemite’s Iconic Attractions Renamed in Trademark Battle.
All around the park were Aramark vehicles, the new sheriff in town. DNC uniforms still present on park maintenance and hospitality staff. The feel of the park still the same, NPS personnel walking among park visitors, the folks at Degnan’s Deli still making awesome sandwiches and offering up park chatter about the best places to photograph the wildlife.
As much as the park worked at normalcy, there was a feeling of impending changes and those changes took effect at 12:01 this morning. Iconic park locations with new names, old faces in new uniforms, it’s rather sad that what we all took for granted, seems to be no more. It is beyond belief that what we were told belongs to the people, never really did. What our tax dollars paid for was maintenance on our beloved Yosemite National Park that always carried a for sale sign.
How sad a world we live in where nothing seems sacred. Nature in all her splendor, held hostage by corporate America, whose bottom line is power and greed. I am not picking sides on who is right in this mess, it serves no purpose. One day, hopefully before there are billboards standing next to Yosemite Falls and corporate logos on the park shuttle, we will come to our senses and understand that our natural spaces need less corporate shenanigans and more focus on keeping these spaces wild and free for future generations. Until then, I encourage you all to love on nature and embrace the beauty that still remains.