Yosemite Facelift

By Germanm

Oct 8, 2007 12:09pm

ABC’s David Muir blogs about this week’s Key to Success: It is rare a reporting assignment offers a front row seat to a view as breathtaking as the one we experienced during our recent trip to Yosemite National Park. Producer Wonbo Woo and I found ourselves in the passenger seats of a small plane as our crew photographed the sun rising over Yosemite Valley and as our pilot circled above the storied El Capitan. It is no surprise the largest granite monolith in the world draws more than three million visitors to the park every year. As part of our series Key to Success, we visited Yosemite to take a closer look at one accomplished climber’s biggest challenge yet and it had nothing to do with the next cliff he’ll climb. His name is Ken Yager and he’s been coming here since 1972. The park’s beauty and countless cliffs have kept him coming for decades, but during that time it has been impossible for Ken to ignore something else. Yager has been disappointed and frustrated with the growing human footprint left on the park by the three million plus visitors every year. He began what is now called the “Yosemite Facelift.” Over one long September weekend this fall, nearly 3,000 volunteers collected 42,000 pounds of garbage from 13 miles of roadways and 80 miles of trails, corridors and riverways. What they found was remarkable. Through word of mouth, Ken’s work has drawn larger crowds every year and ours was a mission to learn more about how a premise so simple could have an impact so grand on America’s third most visited national park.
UPDATED Oct 09 @ 1:00p ET: We shared your comments with David and he tells us he is not related to John Muir.

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