- Los Angeles Times -
Thousands of younger pines and cedars will be cut down this fall to restore many of the park's original scenic vistas that in previous decades were managed by natural and controlled fires.
The granite walls of the Yosemite Valley are illuminated by stars and the moon on a clear winter night. The stand of evergreens at the base of the cliff would obscure such a view for most drivers and visitors.
National parks tend to be a tree hugger's paradise. Layers of federal laws, strict park service rules and even the disapproving scowls from some visitors prohibit so much as driving a nail into a tree, much less cutting one down.
But it's getting a bit crowded in Yosemite, where more than a hundred years of prompt firefighting have allowed towering pines and cedars to clog the park's meadows and valleys. These days, you can barely see the granite for the trees.
That's about to change. Yosemite National Park officials say thousands of trees will be felled to preserve the iconic views of the park's waterfalls and the craggy faces of El Capitan and Half Dome.
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