No, There Should Not Be a Starbucks In Yosemite!

Image via AP.
Image via AP.

Nature is one of the few remaining places where a person can escape to empty their minds of the criminal injustice plaguing nearly every corner of the world today. A tree has never sexually harassed anyone; that rock over there never exploited its employees, and I don’t know of a single insect to have subjugated a minority group. On that basis alone: No, damn it, there should not be a Starbucks in Yosemite. Fuck!


Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition to keep the coffee juggernaut out of one of the country’s most picturesque national parks, after shrewd observers noticed a job listing for a Starbucks general manager at the Yosemite Valley Lodge.

“Multinational corporations have no place in our National Parks,” the petition says. “The Park will lose its essence, making it hardly distinguishable from a chaotic and bustling commercial city.”

I recognize that opening a Starbucks in the lodge is not the same as constructing it at the summit of El Cap or inside a hollowed-out black bear, but our national parks should be a place of respite from the consumerist bullshit to which we’re unendingly subjected in urban life. Is there not a single place on the fucking planet a person can go anymore without having to order a drink using insidious corporate jargon?

No. Yosemite Hospitality Marketing Manager Lisa Cesaro told the Fresno Bee that the petition wouldn’t stop the plan from moving forward.

“We are trying to enhance the visitor experience,” Cesaro told the Bee. “This is just one of the many improvements we will be making in the coming years.”

Say what you will about the quality of Starbucks coffee or what sort of nominal positive impact it says it has on the globe: It also has a habit of inserting non-compete clauses into its leases that prevent any other establishment, including mom-and-pop stores, from serving coffee. I hate that! I don’t want to think about that while I am hiking! I don’t want to think about ANYTHING while I am hiking!


As one petition-signer put it:

“National parks are not city malls. They are the only place that we can go to experience the natural beauty of the world, and to get a glimpse of what it’s like to see the Earth at its most, currently, unadulterated form.”




the north is full of sparkling snow

I have mixed feelings about this- I love coffee. Love it. I live near Seattle, in a more or less rural area, yet I can walk a few blocks to get a good latte. With a 5 mile radius I have lots of choices in my lattes. I am in no way coffee deprived.

In a lot of the country, there’s not many coffee choices at all. On a ski weekend with my sisters, my younger sister melted down when she realized there were no lattes to be had the next morning. Or, yes, there were- 40+ miles away. A cousin recommended she try Jolt Cola, instead. She did not think that was funny. At all.

I notice on a Find Your Starbucks locator, there is no other Starbucks nearby at the proposed Yosemite location. So, to me, it’s fine. Is it my favorite place to get coffee? No. Will it have an ok enough latte? Yes. It’s like McDonalds- it’s not the best hamburger, but it’s the same at every McDonalds. It’s predictable.