New CA law proposed in response to Yosemite name dispute

New CA law proposed in response to Yosemite name dispute

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Yosemite’s Wawona Hotel, shown here in the 1920s, was renamed “Big Trees Lodge” today due to a trademark dispute between the National Park Service and Delaware North, the company that previously held a concessions contract at Yosemite National Park.; Credit: Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento, CA

The 125-year-old, world-renowned Yosemite National Park is undergoing some big changes today. The park’s “Ahwahnee Hotel” is now “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.” “Curry Village” has been renamed “Half Dome Village.” And the souvenirs in the gift shop that used to say “Yosemite National Park” now can only say “Yosemite.” The name changes taking effect today are the result of a trademark dispute between the National Park Service and Delaware North, the concessions company that recently lost its contract to operate some of the park’s most iconic sites. The dispute has sparked widespread outrage and now some new legislation, proposed by California State Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova). Cooley’s bill would protect landmarks in California state parks from similar name disputes.

“To have a legal dispute force a name change is shocking in and of itself, and then simply, I think most people feel these [names] are a part of our California heritage. It’s like somebody is taking something that belongs to the people of California. It’s unthinkable, appalling, horrific.”

To hear the full interview with Assemblyman Ken Cooley, click the link above.