Yosemite National Park officials have drafted a plan to reopen as early as June. The famous Sierra Nevada landmark, which drew 4.4 million visitors last year, has been closed since March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan to reopen hasn't officially been made public yet, but it calls for opening the park some time in the next few weeks, with some significant changes. KQED’s Mina Kim spoke with Paul Rogers, the managing editor of KQED Science and a reporter on environmental issues for the Mercury News, about what people might expect when the park is open again.
What still needs to happen for Yosemite to reopen?
Paul Rogers: Yosemite's acting superintendent, Cicely Muldoon, has said she hopes to open again sometime in the next few weeks, but she doesn't have an exact date because she still needs to get approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior. She's also rolling the plan out among local officials to get feedback.
Muldoon has told park employees that Yosemite couldn't really open until nearby local counties moved to stage three in Gov. Gavin Newsom's four-stage plan for reopening. Many of those counties are nearing that stage now.