The smell drifted through the valley of smoke and it was weird hiking up to this warm sight for the first time. I had so many questions with no park rangers around to answer them. But I knew this was a controlled fire and just caught a couple images and pushed on knowing I could research it later. This is what I found out. “Part of the reason Yosemite was set aside in 1864 as a national park was because of its awe-inspiring panoramas afforded by its open meadows. During the past 147 years under federal protection, however, many of the park’s trees have grown to staggering heights. And that’s the problem: park officials say that they are now so tall that they are obstructing the grand, iconic views. To solve the problem, the “Scenic Vista Management Plan” was adopted, which, essentially, gives the park the right to chop them down. They will then be scrapped for firewood and wood chips.
Starting late 2019, thousands of trees will be cut down in Yosemite to provide better views of the famous granite faces, such as El Capitán and Half Dome, and the breathtaking waterfalls, such as Bridalveil or Yosemite Falls, that ring the valley.
In accordance with the Scenic Vista Management Plan, the majority of the cutting—mostly of Ponderosa pines and cedar trees—will take place along roads, overlooks and turnouts in seven square miles of the most heavily visited sections of the valley. Only trees younger than 130 years old will be cut, and no giant sequoias will be included in the culling. The work may go on for as long as 10 years, since cutting will only be allowed during the months of September and October in order to avoid disturbing bats and birds.”