I got to finally make it up to Yosemite for the first time since moving here! (It was my birthday, thank you all for the birthday wishes!). This is Yosemite Falls, the 2425 feet tallest waterfall in the United States. Because those ones in Hawaii…come on, really? Hawaii isn’t real. Anyways… Oh also there’s taller ones in Washington. Washington is in Canada right? ok ok, i'll stop. Nobody’s ever heard of a better waterfall.
Public Notice: Hundreds of people have died in Yosemite Falls. At the top there’s this shallow sleepy looking river that’s going across glass smooth granite and everyone wants to wade out and take a selfie…if you slip, and lose your grip, there’s nothing to hold onto, not a rock, not a stick. It’ll carry you down a quarter of a mile and straight into space. People try to make chains and rescue? They die too. It’s a killer. All of those waterfalls in the park are killer, best observed from a safe distance. If you go to Yosemite, just don’t win the Darwin Award, ok?
Ok HERE’S THE RANT: The park at the valley does not look like this picture at all actually, I have some serious stuff to talk about. It’s a death trap. This summer or next summer, mark my words, people are going to be burned to death in a wildfire that makes its way into Yosemite valley. The Park Management is going to be criminally liable for this. I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was downed trees and sticks and litter EVERYWHERE, so thick that no firefighter could walk through it, no bulldozer operator could put a fire line through safely, NOTHING. It’s spring now and fire danger is nonexistent, the Park Management should have hundreds of guys out there cutting up the wood and clearing it out…instead: nothing. In the summer Yosemite will burn. It’s inevitable. There are no great ways in or out of the park that could keep traffic moving through in case of emergencies, and the addition of several roundabouts in the park, far from being great traffic control measures are accident catnip forcing people to negotiate right of way with no clear signals. Imagine negotiating a roundabout in thick traffic while your tires are catching on fire and smoke is so thick that you can’t see your hand in front of your face! The roads don’t have enough clearance from the forest to be survivable in a fire. You’d be stuck in traffic, and you’d die in flames. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. The Park could simply greenlight having campfires now, when there’s snow on the ground, and the campers would clean things up at no cost to the Park Management whatsoever. I’m not holding my breath. If it was me, people would be going to jail. They are defrauding the public with negligence. And the situation has deteriorated to the point that a fatal fire is practically inevitable. This is the wealthiest National Park in America, and what exactly is the management doing with this money? I’d call for a congressional inquiry if I was in congress. This has been going on for years and now it is a death trap. If it’s summer time, don’t visit. Whoever is responsible for doing this to Yosemite National Park are incompetent, criminally negligent, and deserve to be punished. But someone please change your ways before people needlessly die!
Anyways this painting is my vision, I’d have Yosemite a different way, with the trees thinned out to a healthy spacing, thus ensuring that a drought year doesn’t kill thousands and create this deadfall problem. I’d cut down the underbrush to just grass, and then I’d either fire or graze that grass every year to keep it low and safe, like was done in the 1800’s. I’d install stoplights on the roundabouts to manage traffic in emergencies. I’d cut down the trees to ensure a 50 foot clearance on either side of the roads, and 200 feet on any steep downhill slopes where fire could create a chimney effect and kill drivers on the road. The thinned trees would give a better view of the beautiful natural features from the valley floor, and fewer inexperienced or physically unfit hikers would be tempted to climb the hiking trails to get a better view. There would be fewer deaths over the falls. I’d enlist the public in the cleanup. I’d mark off sections with red tape to clean and allow campers to take firewood from. I’d send a hundred chainsaw crews through for the next two months cutting the wood into manageable chunks in place. When summer starts and campfires are no longer safe I’d bring in crews of loaders and trucks and drag the wood out of the park, piece by piece. Only after that’s done would I start logging the dead trees, one by one, and cleaning them up as they go. It’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done in that park. This is a national treasure with scenery that is unbelievably beautiful. It belongs to the public. Truly, having a catastrophic wildfire burn all that dead wood would greatly improve the safety of the park, but I can’t recommend. Visit in the winter and drive safely.
TLDR: Whew that’s a long rant. Here, have a snappy little comic instead.
Wow beautiful rant! And I agree with your rant. I've hear that a lot of the serious wildfires are really due to poor management and not necessarily because the air is hotter. I'm glad we don't have that issues on the east coast
What a beautiful piece of art! And thank you for sharing this story about Yosemite Nationalpark, I didn't know that the situation is like that. I hope it will change in the future with people just cleaning up their litter for a start!
It's mostly tree litter, I should have specified, dead pine needles, small dead sticks and twigs, thousands upon thousands of hanging dead branches 'widomaker' deadfalls. Thousands of standing dead trees. Lots of dry fuel for a forest fire. I wish the park all the best getting ready for fire season this summer, I hope they take the danger seriously. Thank you!
Thank you! I hope your trips were great ones! Even seeing the deterioration of the trees on the ground can't possibly detract from the grandeur of those beautiful granite cliff faces. I had an amazing day there!