Yosemite Seeks a More Diverse Visitor Base

Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2011

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For more than 60 years, the National Park Service has been trying to reach out to African Americans and Latinos. But its 395 parks, monuments, waterways, historic places and recreational areas remain largely the province of white Americans and tourists from around the world.

In an interview, Park Service Director Jon Jarvis reiterated an old lament: Parks must attract a more diverse slice of the American public or eventually risk losing taxpayer support. Yet only about 1% of the nearly 4 million people who visit Yosemite each year are African Americans.

So officials were elated earlier this month when they learned that two groups of African Americans, the one from Grace United Methodist and one from the Inglewood Senior Center, were touring the park on the same day.

That meant there were more than 65 black Americans on the valley floor on the same day, an event so rare that ranger Shelton Johnson–who is of African American and Native American descent and has worked in Yosemite for 18 years–called it “possibly unprecedented.”

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“After decades of wringing our hands over the diversity issue, the needle is finally starting to move in a positive direction,” Johnson said, acknowledging that there still was a long way to go.

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  • Alexandra

    If it ain’t broke–don’t fix it!

  • gg

    Thankfully, these demographics aren’t going to change. Yosemite is questionable because of the areas reserved for drug-growing Mexican gangs. But it still has plenty of peaceful spots for AR posters on a day trip. Northeasterners cannot do better than Acadia National Park in & around Bar Harbor, Maine. Fabulous for day trips or week long stays. In the summer, Bar Harbor imports black & Asian student workers but they mostly disappear after Labor Day. Fall foliage in Acadia! Polite white residents & tourists, spectacular sights, cheap lobster, no blacks. The season is just about over now, & “3 season” cabins are closing down, but think about it for next Spring or Fall (Summer is way too congested).

  • June

    Why don’t you people leave well enough alone? Why do you want to introduce “diversity,” which in turn will bring a trashing of historical spots and people who could care less about America’s culture and traditions.

  • Anonymous

    Time for an outreach program. Perhaps the Afro-Americans have never heard of Yosemite. Or are afraid to come because of some racist event that occurred in California a hundred or more years ago. Or perhaps they don’t where California is, or that blacks are allowed there. Clearly some governmental agency should be appointed to be sure that blacks get sufficient funding to be able to go to Yosemite. And, like the USDA Pigford settlement, it appears that the US Park Service has kept blacks out for over a decade, and money should be paid to their living ancestors.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like an ok place to visit, NOW. It could be 1% better, though.

  • Daniel

    I wonder why in all those sixty years,why the government didn’t reach out to White-Americans to visit the parks? How much was spent on this lost cause?,will the feds now bus them in because they can’t afford the gasoline?.

  • Anonymous

    What a great occasion! Will it be commemorated with a statue?

  • Anonymous

    To do this you will need:

    A. Hold a hip-hop or rap concert, free admission of course.

    B. Set up basketball courts….a lot of them.

    C. Hold a free BBQ, for minorities only.

    D. Capture Bigfoot, for their safety.

  • Anonymous

    Just stop it! Yosemite does NOT need blacks or mexicans for that matter. Diversity destroys even our once safe parks and mountains. Forget about roving bears we would have to fear the roving black/brown gangs!

  • AmericaFirst

    Why is this a bad thing? Individually, some may be fine, but as one who has been in tours with groups of blacks, I can testify that in groups they are loud, noisy, disrespectful, intrusive and, often, dismissive of the (physical) environment.

  • Seneca the Younger

    Blacks do not like camping. Ask them yourself, they don’t deny it. Must be why I love camping so much.

    Why does Yosemite want more black visitors? Are they itching to hire more security for a larger budget? Like we need blacks in beautiful parks littering and blasting rap there.

  • Anonymous

    You gotta love the national parks. Virtually no blacks.

  • Anonymous

    If blacks don’t care about the great outdoors, why force them to “act white”? Only white liberals could come up with that.

  • Anonymous

    If they get 10 percent blacks it will be like 10 percent blacks in a school or workpalce; crime, rapes, sexual harassement, lawsuits against the park and vendors, loud obscene music, loud senseless arguments.

    The hispanics cause a lot of problems in the S. California state and national parks. Blacks will be blacks. Just one more thing destroyed.

  • Anonymous

    Ever been to a museum during the week when the school buses pull up and kids from 10 or 12 schools get out? The blacks run, wrestle, scream, fight, tear into the street, nearly get run over, scream foul language and carry on like the blacks they are.

    The other races behave well. They are quiet, talk in normal tones, stay in line, wait for directions from their teachers and in genreal behave like civilized beings.

  • Jeddermann.

    Well, unless we have more Bantu, more Mexicans, more Ecuadorians, more Cubans, more Chinese, more of everything, something is very wrong. We just must have more and more of every nationality and race and creed and national origin, and what else or there is a problem. Merely whitey just will not do.

  • Murgatroyd

    Parks must attract a more diverse slice of the American public or eventually risk losing taxpayer support.

    Making National Parks more diverse is a sure way to lose taxpayer support — white taxpayer support that is.

  • Standard Bearer

    Hasn’t anyone told Mr. Jarvis that there is no such thing as race? So it doesn’t matter if blacks aren’t showing up, because there’s no such thing as blacks.

  • Anonymous

    only about 1% of the nearly 4 million people who visit Yosemite each year are African Americans

    Who cares what blacks think? They are NET TAX CONSUMERS. Subtract government transfer payments and government salaries and they do not contribute one zinc penny to the economy!

  • Lilith Whyte

    “Parks must attract a more diverse slice of the American public or eventually risk losing taxpayer support.”

    How so? The tax burden in this country rests primarily on the shoulders of Caucasians.

  • Bernie

    As I recall, Asians and Hispanics visit parks in proportion to their populations. Only blacks have zero interest in parks and the outdoors. Naturally, this is a crisis that requires our attention, guilt and – of course – tax money.

    For some reason, I cannot imagine Asians, Hispanics and Arabs wringing their hands about blacks not wanting to go camping.

    Why do we pander so much to blacks? Anyone who has spent any time around them knows they have no interest in camping, NASCAR, classical music, hockey and the like. Their interests are limited to the NBA, NFL, hip-hop and Tyler Perry movies. Why hector them about going to a park?

  • Eric

    For more than 60 years, the National Park Service has been trying to reach out to African Americans and Latinos.

    What a strange place this country has become. If someone tries something over and over for 6 decades with no result, I would consider that person insane. This sums up the entire western world.

  • sbuffalonative

    “Parks must attract a more diverse slice of the American public or eventually risk losing taxpayer support.”

    This is a government mandate?

    They’re keeping track of which ‘social constructs’ use these parks and government money will be withheld if they don’t increase the number of minorities?

    When was this enacted?

  • Detroit WASP

    Ironically most blacks hate wildlife, the woods, camping, gardening.

    I heard Ted Nugent talking about American Indians on the radio. Ted is a huge bow hunter. Ted said he travels the country’s Indian reservations teaching Indians how to bow hunt. Ted claims they have no clue how to hunt or survive in the woods.

  • Anonymous

    Great. Coming soon to a national park near you, shouting, screaming, fighting and copious amounts of litter. Hopefully Old Faithful wont get clogged by all the discarded Cheetos bags and grape drink containers

  • Jim

    Install beer machines, open a welfare office and accept food stamps, problem solved.

  • Andromeda

    What? They intend to use my tax money to lure people to the park based on ethnicity? Do these people have nothing better to do than to invent new ways to waste money? Apparently not.

  • Mike H.

    Implying that without diversity parks would lose taxpayer support implies that the majority of taxpayers would be non-white.

    That implication had me in stitches. Consider the following –

    South Africa isn’t even 10% white. As of 2005, whites in South Africa made up over half of the top-income group.

    “Black people are entering the economy at a stiff pace, but of the economically active middle class (the country’s biggest tax contributors), blacks only account for 1%.”

    Source:

    http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Million-whites-leave-SA-study-20060924

  • Jenny

    Hale said she’d always viewed Yosemite as “a country club for white folks.” Sure, it looked majestic in photographs, she said, “but I never felt that I fit into Yosemite’s design. I never saw people who looked like me.”

    Yep, it was a country club all right, sleeping bags on the ground with no tent, eating hot dogs and watching the fire fall at night while listening to a bad recording of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette Eddy singing “Indian Love Call.” Wonderful memories of growing up years – but country club? What a laugh. I’ll be sure to tell my children and grandchildren that there is one more thing they are responsible for, black people choosing not to go camping.

  • SunnyvaleSal

    I once visited Yosemite when a “do-gooder” group brought a large group of inner city youth to enjoy the beauty of nature to which they were under exposed in the hood. Believe me they had no desire to be there.

    The girls spent 70% of their time in the restrooms applying make-up and talking loudly about boys. They also complained about the food, their cabins, and most of all that there was nothing to do. They would have spent more time parading around the boys, but their adult chaperones (all White) discouraged this. The adults tried to get them to go on hikes, etc. but the girls resented this. Really, hanging around the mirrors of the women’s restroom was the preferred place to be!

  • HH

    Good God! This same article in one form or another appears somewhere about once a month anymore. Give it up already – obviously Blacks don’t want to go to parks…and that is a blessing for those who do! Leave it alone!!

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, a “reach out” to most of these coddled and spoiled groups usually results in a “push back” towards those who generally know how to behave in public.

  • Deadindenver

    Affluent liberal Whites always lament the lack blacks but there actually much better at separating the races (for themselves) then the folks who read this board. Just check out liberal college towns like Boulder, CO, hang out in Portland, OR watch who goes in out of very security protected high rise apartment/condo’s along the miracle mile in Chi town on NYC. For affluent White liberals a black is only very occasional blip on the radar and then it’s a token Obama type. The National Parks are becoming a last bastion for middle class Whites, the affluent s can always escape, but notice how the liberal affluent s constantly attack the White middle class where we hang out.

  • Anonymous

    Over 65 black church ladies from a senior center may very well be just fine, an exercise in perfectly civil diversity. On the other hand, over 65 black “youts” with saggy britches, sideways hats, ghetto blasters with obscene rap lyrics at full volume, playing “beat Whitey”, and otherwise indulging in all their normal fun activities is just NOT the kind of experience people are looking for when they visit a National Park.

    Fortunately this will remain a “possibly unprecedented” happening, given that in general, blacks loathe camping and everything it entails, and hiking to view scenic wonders or wildlife is too much like hard work.

  • Anonymous

    Blacks and Latinos don’t want to visit National Parks. This should be encouraged.

  • Anonymous

    There are many Mexican campers in the state and National parks in the Southwest. Some are reasonably nice, and some leave trash everywhere. I’ve seen some whites do that as well. Sometimes there are trashy looking people with loud music doing drugs, et, or disgusting yuppies flicking lit cigarettes into the forest. Of course the whiter a place is, the cleaner and safer it will be. There will always be bad apples though. Urban youths would simply hate national parks. They would be bored out of their minds.

    My favorite state park is Zuma beach in Malibu. On summer weekends, it is crowded with Mexicans and other from the LA area. Blacks tend to avoid beaches unless in an urban area. Mexican families camp out there for the day or longer. They of course destroy the place. The left wing local and state politicians have enacted a smoking ban and $1000 littering fee in Malibu. I can only laugh. After a weekend, the beach is covered with litter, dirty diapers, cigarette buts, styrofoam, roaches (marijuana), etc. It’s completely lawless.

  • Seek

    Libertarians for years have been advocating dismantling the National Park System. Aside from environmental grounds, I oppose such a step on (white) self-preservation grounds. Thank heaven for Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smokies, Ouchida and other national parks and forests; we have a safety valve and a blunting of the secessionist impulse.

  • Anonymous

    “As I recall, Asians and Hispanics visit parks in proportion to their populations”

    California hispanics love the state and national parks around here.

  • Roy

    Liberals don’t really care if blacks visit these places or not – they just hate the idea of white people doing something together as a group.

    If whites suddenly stopped going to these wilderness areas then liberals would never consider encouraging blacks to visit them instead.

  • Zach Sowers

    If the park rangers would merely spray paint gang signs all over the half dome I’m sure ‘African’ -Americans would stand up and take notice. Replacing Smokey The Bear with “Crackey The Pitbull” might also help draw the young ones in.

  • Cliff Yablonski

    Yes bring in blacks, hispanics, and watch our wholesome, clean, safe family “Leave It To Beaver” atmosphere disappear, all for the sake of Celebrating Diversity because Big Brother says it is good for us.

  • Anonymous

    38 — Anonymous wrote at 2:17 PM on November 1:

    “As I recall, Asians and Hispanics visit parks in proportion to their populations”

    California hispanics love the state and national parks around here. ”

    Yes, and they fly Mexican flags and stare at any whites that show up.

  • Peejay in Frisco

    On my last trip to Yosemite, we were driving by a camp that had a high percentage of blacks. I called it the Ghetto.My bro in law cracked up something fierce.

  • margaret

    Read the enitre article. The church lady trip was a set up. As sson as the ranger started his talk the ladies demanded that he talk about the one and only black (buffalo) soldier posted in Yosemite back in 1903. They go on and on about how rude the ranger was about it.

    It was only the indians who called the black cavalry buffalo soldiers. The military and Whites called them either soldiers of the whatever battalion or n**** soldiers.

    It was the black buffalo soldiers who were involved in the alleged horrible holocaust of the wounded knee battle known as wounded knee massacre by revistionist marxists. Maybe an indian activist can give a talk at Yosimite about the black buffalo soldiers who killed the indians after the wounded knee battle.

    This thing is the most obvious set up. Note the picture of the elderly black woman. Note her arrogant stance and expression. Testostorone overload at her age.

    First church ladies with their arrogant demands that the ranger not make his regular talk but read from some black history text about a few hundred soldiers who spent most of their time in Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

    We’ve al seen this. First church ladies and cute little children,

    then court orders, then massive programs. The environmentalists have a total lock on the parks. They are a very powerful White group. If the feds want to end the funds for the parks the only argument they will have against the environmentalists is that the parks, like safe neighborhoods and schools are White privilege that must be destroyed.

    Remember the Sierra Club. For a century it advocated national parks, spaces empty of humans and animals. In the late 60’s early 70’s believe it or not, a hysterical faction of Sierra club actually advocated a moratorium on all immigration to California. They of course were speaking of native born Americans moving from the midwest, south and northeast for better jobs, life style and climate.

    Then Soros bought the Sierra club and they have turned into hysterical of massive illegal immigration to California.

    This church lady thing reminds me so much of the quota system.

    How could Whites be harmed if 13 percent quotas were imposed?

    Then as soon as quotas for blacks was imposed it turned into affirmative action for the entire non White population of the earth.

    The ladies claimed they encountered some glares. I’m sure ADL SPLC will get into it and file lawsuits against Yosemite and the ranger who gave his standard talk instead of expounding on the one black soldier stationed there in 1903.

    The enemy has the cities,schools and universities, goverment, much of medicine, the media, publishing and they just finished their mopping up operation for control of the military. They are enroaching on the suburbs with section 8.

    They ceasessly search for Whites to destroy. The national parks are the latest on their search and destroy list.

  • Anonymous

    Blacks do not like the outdoors. Blacks do not volunteer fir charity, nor do they donate to charities. They do not donate organs nor give blood. The list is both telling and revolting. What amazes me that liberals think a society with more Blacks will be more liberal. Oh yeah, if you consider a mad rush to worry about only material goods and indiscriminate sex as liberal.

  • Anonymous

    Thankfully inner-city feral, white hating blacks don’t know that when they go camping, white people are virtually defenseless, sleeping in the open or in thin tents, etc. Camping is still one of the main things white families can do without fear of marauding packs of blacks spoiling the fun.

  • john

    Just what our national parks need. Loud, trash-leaving, drunken blacks.

    Fear not, however. They’re not about to visit the wilds of this nation now or anytime soon. They be snakes in them places!

  • Katmandu

    California hispanics love the state and national parks around here.

    They sure do. They love to grow pot in the safety of the state and national parks. Hey, no problemo! If the feds show up, light the place on fire.

  • Anonymous

    “California hispanics love the state and national parks around here.

    They sure do. They love to grow pot in the safety of the state and national parks. Hey, no problemo! If the feds show up, light the place on fire.”

    “The feds”, you mean the DOJ? They will probably smoke a few joints with the drug dealers, and sue any white law enforcement officer who tries to stop them.

  • Sureesh

    I’ve taken many family Yosemite many times. About 80 percent of the campers were white. The rest were an even mix of Asians and Hispanics. I never saw a single Black tourist there. Why can’t the liberals be happy that there are Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Hispanic tourists? Why is everything about Blacks?