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From Charlottesville to Yosemite

The Ahwahnee Resort in 1980 (George Rose)

Daniel Duane has an fascinating piece in yesterday's New York Times on genocide of the Yosemite Valley's natives and the alternative of their names with Anglo ones, and all of it begins from a trademark dispute. After detailing the killing and renaming of locations in Yosemite carried out by California militia, Duane explains each the authorized dispute and the complexity of the identify difficulty:

The latest furor over the identify of the Ahwahnee started in 2015, when a subsidiary of the Delaware North Company, which operated the park’s accommodations, eating places and outlets for greater than twenty years beneath a authorities concession contract, misplaced its contract to Aramark (no tragedy there — the burgers have been legal). The federal government says Delaware North quietly registered the logos for the names on the resort and the opposite locations and is now demanding cost for his or her use. The Nationwide Park Service got here up with new names and instructed Delaware North to get misplaced. Now there’s a federal lawsuit.

I dearly hope Delaware North loses, however I additionally hope that the Nationwide Park Service sticks with the brand new names, nonetheless ridiculous — and, whereas they’re at it, modifications dozens of others. My vote can be to vary Tenaya Lake to Pywiack Lake, relabel Yosemite Valley itself Ahwahnee and sprinkle the park with new historic plaques saying issues like “On this spot, in 1851, American militiamen shot Tenaya’s son within the again, let him bleed out within the grass, then dragged Tenaya up to take a look and loved watching him weep.” 

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