"Without a doubt Yosemite is a trendsetter at the forefront of issues, good or bad, in having this debate," said Mike Marshall, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a group hoping to restore one of Yosemite's valleys that has been dammed and used as a reservoir for about 100 years.
Most of the media attention has focused on a few recreational activities that would close or be limited: the skating rink would close, one or two swimming pools would close, and commercial outfitters would not be allowed to rent bikes or rafts, although those activities could continue with visitors' personal equipment.
The plan also calls for major restoration of the river banks, protecting meadows, revised traffic routing to improve congestion and alleviate impact to the river, and changes to parking.
In the midst of a 90-day comment period, the plan has drawn criticism from both sides. Some, like Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican from Granite Bay, have likened the restrictions on recreation to harassment. Others say the park should take greater steps toward restoring the wilderness.