Yosemite Set to Remove Homeowners From Property Surrounding the National Park

by Quentin Blount
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A few homeowners who live near Yosemite National Park are being forced to move this weekend without any kind of compensation.

Residents of the El Portal Trailer Park found out back in December that their leases would be terminated by Yosemite National Park come March. Well, Outsiders, that deadline is here. The Park is not allowing anyone to live in their homes past 11:59 p.m. on March 13.

It turns out that many of the residents in the trailer park actually own their homes, but they lease the land from the park. Luke Harbin’s mom is one of the homeowners who will be affected. She’s lived in the mobile home park for nearly four decades and has been working in nearby Yosemite.

“We’re all stressed. I see my mom cry every single day. It’s not right,” he told the Fresno Bee.

What many of the residents say they need is some kind of compensation for their longtime homes. Not to mention many of them have worked in Yosemite for decades and are getting close to the age of retirement. As a matter of fact, just to live in the mobile home community, residents were required to work for Yosemite or its park partners. Nonetheless, nothing has been provided to them.

Homeowners Trying to Get Meetings with Yosemite National Park Officials

As it currently stands, Yosemite National Park hasn’t held a group meeting with the homeowners who are affected by the move. Instead, they have promised individual meetings upon request. Harbin and his mom were able to finally get a meeting with Yosemite officials and other staff members with the National Park Service. However, he says that they made his mom cry.

“My mom broke down in tears in front of them. I called them all heartless because they don’t have a heart. They don’t have a heart. The way they were talking to my mom, no heart.”

Harbin can’t believe that the park doesn’t have enough money to help its longtime workers in the mobile home park who are about to be displaced.

“Don’t tell me that they don’t have any money,” he said. “They got tons of money. This park is just a cash cow.”

Park officials did grant Harbin’s mother a 30-day extension to get her belongings out. But it’s safe to say that he isn’t exactly optimistic about what will happen to the little community.

“We live in fairy tale land where apparently the superintendent is queen and she can do whatever she wants here.”

As for others in the community, they have been trying to get an extension for themselves, but to no avail.

“We’re not getting a response from the superintendent, and we’re at the twilight hour,” one person said. “March 13 is the date that was given, so we need the response now.”

Outsider.com