Kurt Hildebrand

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October 9, 2013
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Yosemite shutdown prompts protesters to picket Tioga Pass

About two dozen protesters and reporters showed up on Oct. 4 at the Tioga Pass gate to Yosemite National Park to protest its closure.

Organizer Stacey Powells said hundreds of people drove by to try and get into the park, and many stopped for photos with the protesters.

“I felt so bad for all the foreigners who stopped to tell us that they saved for years for their U.S. National Park vacations only to be turned down at the gates,” Powells said.

Powells said her group was met by Yosemite rangers who helped them set up.

“They were only too happy to help get the word out that these shutdowns are hurting everyone,” she said. “After telling the group where to park, they told them they should protest just outside the east gate right next to the Caltrans sign which blinked ‘Park closed due to government shutdown.’”

Powells said two men from Scotland and a family from Australia told stories of saving for years.

“A husband and wife from Spain said that they lost over $10,000 and their trip was ruined because of these shutdowns,” she said.

Mono county supervisor Bying Hunt and his wife Joanne also joined the protesters at the east gate.

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The Record Courier Updated Oct 10, 2013 12:15PM Published Oct 9, 2013 08:08AM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.