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What's Happening?

There's always something fun to do with great events in California's Gateway to Yosemite.  To see what's going on, visit our Calendar of Events

For news and information about what's going on, visit our Press Room. For other news including the latest specials and promotions, visit our Specials Page    or check out the Newsletter Archive. You can sign up for our Newsletter List and we'll send your our monthly mailing with the latest events, news and discounts. For up-to-date information on Yosemite, check out the Daily Report below, straight from the National Park Service.


Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Thursday, March 26, 2015

 

WEATHER

Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Sunny. Highs 70 to 80 at 5000 feet...55 to 65 at 8000 feet.

Tonight: Clear. Lows 41 to 51 at 5000 feet...32 to 42 at 8000 feet.

Friday: Sunny. Highs 72 to 82 at 5000 feet...56 to 66 at 8000 feet.

Friday Night: Clear. Lows 42 to 52 at 5000 feet...32 to 42 at 8000 feet.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 68 to 78 at 5000 feet...52 to 62 at 8000 feet.

Saturday Night Through Sunday Night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers. Lows 41 to 51 at 5000 feet...31 to 41 at 8000 feet. Highs 68 to 78 at 5000 feet...52 to 62 at 8000 feet.

Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 68 to 78 at 5000 feet...51 to 61 at 8000 feet.

Monday Night Through Wednesday: Mostly clear. Lows 39 to 49 at 5000 feet...28 to 38 at 8000 feet. Highs 66 to 76 at 5000 feet... 50 to 60 at 8000 feet.

 

Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa

 

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

 

Reminder: Last Chance to See Mmmbeth Today!

The FREE live theater event featuring students from Balanced Rock's El Portal drama class will occur on Thursday March 26 at 7pm at the Community Hall in El Portal. All are welcome; please join us for a fun performance. (A. Davis)

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Vernal Fall Water System Opening

The Vernal Fall water system and comfort station will open for the season on Friday, March 27.  The composting toilets located at Emerald Pool, Nevada Fall, and Little Yosemite Valley remain open all year. (K. Kirk)

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Ansel Adams Gallery Closed Monday

The Ansel Adams Gallery will be closed Monday, March 30 through April 3 while we move out of the Wilderness Center and into our newly rehabilitated building.  We will continue to offer our regularly scheduled camera walks and classes during this time.  Thank you for your support and we hope to see you in the gallery. (TAAG)

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CORRECTION: Delaware North Early Seasonal Openings

Glacier Point Gift Shop was mistakenly included in the seasonal opening list and will NOT be opening this Friday, March 27th.  We apologize for the confusion. (E. Callahan)

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Yosemite National Park Ranger Robert “Rob” Lewis Receives Pacific West Region Harry Yount Award - News Release

Lewis is One of Six Finalist for Prestigious National Award

 

Media Contacts: Scott Gediman 209-372-0248; Kari Cobb 209-37-0529; Ashley Mayer 209-372-0824

 

Yosemite National Park Ranger Robert “Rob” Lewis received the Pacific West Region Harry Yount Award, given annually for excellence in “rangering.”  Lewis was recognized for his overall impact, record of accomplishments, and excellence in traditional ranger duties.  He will be considered, along with six other National Park Service (NPS) regional award winners, for the National Harry Yount Award.  This prestigious award is one of the highest recognitions a ranger can receive.  

 

Ranger Rob Lewis was recognized for consistently performing at a high level in a multitude of duties of a National Park Ranger.  These include performing technical high angle rescues, swiftwater rescues, and structural and wildland firefighting.  Additionally, Lewis is a park medic, crisis negotiator, firearms instructor, and coroner.  Due to his extensive technical training, he also has the knowledge and skills to patrol NPS lands via horseback, helicopter, motorboat, snowmobile, motorcycle, ski, raft, and canoe. 

 

Lewis’ leadership skills have allowed him to participate in numerous rescue missions, in Yosemite and other national parks, such as negotiating individuals from committing suicide, high angle technical rescues off of El Capitan, swiftwater rescues, and many others.  Additionally, he has helped return stolen cultural artifacts to Sequoia National Park, restored underwater resources at Virgin Islands National Park, returned healthy sea turtles to the Caribbean Sea that were captured by poachers, and helped dart and capture goats at Glacier National Park to further scientific research. 

 

“We are thrilled that Rob Lewis has received the Pacific West Regional Harry Yount Award, “stated Kevin Killian, Yosemite’s Chief Ranger.  “Rob has a rich history in Yosemite National Park, having worked here from 2007 to 2011, and then returning to Yosemite in 2015.  He is respected for his leadership skills and all around ability.” 

 

Lewis grew up in Akron, Ohio, and has worked in multiple national parks across the country.  He started his law enforcement career in Sequoia National Park in 2000, and has since worked at Glacier National Park, Virgin Islands National Park, returned to Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is currently back at Yosemite National Park.  Prior to serving as a Park Ranger, he worked as a rafting guide, in sales, and as a volunteer in Yosemite in 1999  Currently, Lewis serves as the Yosemite Valley Shift Supervisor in Yosemite National Park.  His wife is also a Law Enforcement Ranger and lives in Mount Rainier National Park. 

 

Lewis, along with the other six Regional Harry Yount Award winners, is one of the finalists for the National Harry Yount Award.  The national award will be presented in Washington, D.C., later this month. (K. Cobb)

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Yosemite National Park Kicks-off 125th Anniversary Celebration - News Release

Ranger Gabriel Lavan-Ying named Honorary Chairman of anniversary with over 300 students in attendance at ceremony at Yosemite Falls

 

Yosemite National Park kicked-off its celebration of the park's 125th Anniversary with a ceremony at Yosemite Falls today.  The theme of the event was Youth of Today: Park Stewards of Tomorrow. Approximately 500 people attended the event, 300 of whom were students from the Yosemite region and Sacramento. The guest of honor was Gabriel Lavan-Ying, better known as "Ranger Gabriel." Ranger Gabriel was named an Honorary Yosemite National Park Ranger last June through a visit arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Ranger Gabriel addressed the crowd and was named Honorary Chairman of the park's 125th Anniversary Celebration by park Superintendent Don Neubacher.

 

"The focus of today’s celebration and next year's Centennial of the National Park Service is on young people. The students of today will be the park stewards of tomorrow and we are making every effort to connect young people to national parks, an integral part of America's heritage," stated park Superintendent Don Neubacher. "We are so pleased that Ranger Gabriel was here to help us kick off the Anniversary. He is truly an inspiration to us all, and we're honored that he agreed to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the year-long Anniversary celebration."

 

The event also featured five students, from third grade through university, reading letters to the future stewards of Yosemite National Park. Other highlights included the Yosemite Mounted Patrol and the serving of commemorative cakes. After the brief ceremony, all of the students in attendance participated in educational activities related to Yosemite National Park and the importance of its preservation.

 

Yosemite National Park would like to thank NatureBridge, Delaware North at Yosemite, Yosemite Conservancy and the Ansel Adams Gallery for their generous support of the event.

 

Editor’s Notes: On October 1, 2015, the park will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Yosemite National Park. President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation, thereby creating the nation’s third National Park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land including Tuolumne Meadows, the park’s high country, Hetch Hetchy and lands surrounding Yosemite Valley.

 

Ranger Gabriel visited the park through the Make--A-Wish Foundation, which granted Ranger Gabriel's wish to be a Yosemite National Park Ranger! Gabriel suffers from a life-threatening illness, but keeps an amazingly strong attitude, both physically and mentally. During Gabriel’s visit to the park he performed many duties that are done on a daily basis by Yosemite Park Rangers, including putting out a fire, conducting a search and rescue operation, going on a nature walk, etc... Ranger Gabriel is actively raising money for other kids to realize their wish, just like he did. So far, "Team Ranger Gabriel" has raised over $14,000, which will pay for two kids to make their wish a reality. Ranger Gabriel and his family just participated in the Orlando, Florida “Walk for Wishes.” (A. Mayer)

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Volunteer Request

Handy with bicycles? Field Interpretation is looking for a volunteer interested to repair a few bicycles. Parts can be ordered, but we need help with bike fixing skills. Schedule would be flexible. If interested and available, please contact Sharon Miyako 372-0338, sharon_miyako@nps.gov (S. Miyako)

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Thank You from Emergency Services

Yosemite Emergency Services would like to thank all of the Yosemite community for rallying together for the search efforts for Michael Dahl earlier this week. We had searchers and support personnel turn out from multiple divisions, and many varied work groups from all over the park, the Degnan's deli staff got hit very hard with food orders, the DNC structural fire engine staffed our helipad all of Sunday afternoon, campgrounds accommodated hordes of neighboring county resources on very short notice, Interpretation and PIO came out on a Sunday night to lead the social media effort, and many Valley residents put up with low level helicopter flights over their houses for several hours on Sunday. 

 

You may have heard that our subject was found alive, and is now in stable but critical condition. It is not likely he would have survived another night out. Thank you to all of you who stepped up and gave from your operations, whether through your time, your resources, or by releasing your employees to assist. Many residents stopped our searchers to say thank you and to encourage them Monday. It was a real pleasure to see the greater community support and effort, and you are all very much appreciated. (L. Hendy)

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Live Ethics Training - April 8 2015

I'll be facilitating the annual Servicewide "Ethics Chat" for the WASO Commercial Services Office. Interested park staff are invited to attend the presentation, which will be in the Mariposa Admin Conf Room on Wednesday, April 8 from 12:00 - 1:00. The Conference Room will be the only venue available to non Concessions Management staff. Attendance will be on a "first come" basis - and email "reservations" are greatly appreciated. Bring your lunch- or grab lunch in town - and come on down! (T. Hawkins)

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New Deadlines for Obtaining Ethics Office Approval

ALL WAGs (DI-1958) and DI-2000s MUST be submitted at least 24 prior to the travel or event for which you are seeking advance ethics approval. Failure to meet the deadline "will result in the inability to obtain Ethics Office approval." Please ensure that you comply with this mandatory guidance when preparing these documents. (T. Hawkins)

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Do You Want a New Speed Bump in El Portal?

Community members have suggested the addition of one more speed bump in old El Portal on the hill section just above the community hall in front of the Davenport residence in order to slow cars down.  The El Portal Planning Advisory Committee will be voting on this issue at our April meeting.  

 

What do YOU think?  Send your thoughts to the committee chair, Michael Ross at meross@att.net before April 14 or attend our meeting to voice your opinion: Tuesday, April 14, 7pm at the El Portal Library.  In the meantime, drive SLOWLY down the hill to protect all our two-legged and four-legged friends. (K. Wallace)

 

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RECENT NEWS

 

Delaware North Early Seasonal Openings

With the early arrival of warm, spring weather, the following seasonal units will open this weekend. Happy Isles Snack Stand will open on Thursday, March 26th, but the rest will open Friday, March 27th.

 

Happy Isles Snack Stand (Open Thursday, March 26th)

11:00am - 5:00pm

 

Curry Village Pavilion

Dinner 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Breakfast (starts Saturday, March 28th) 7:00am - 10:00am

 

Curry Village Bar

Mon-Fri 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Sat/Sun 12:00pm - 10:00pm

 

Curry Village Bike Stand

10:00am - 5:30pm (last bike goes out at 4:15pm and all bikes in by 5:15pm)

 

Wawona Hotel Lodging & Dining Room

Dinner 5:30pm - 9:00pm

Breakfast (starting March 28th) 7:30am - 10:00am

Lunch (starting March 28th) 11:30am - 1:30pm

 

Village Sport Shop

10:00am - 5:00pm

 

Village Grill

11:00am - 5:00pm

 

Habitat Store

Thurs-Sun 11:00am - 4:00pm

 

Crane Flat Grocery

9:00am - 5:00pm

 

Glacier Point Gift Shop

*The Glacier Point Gift Shop was incorrectly included in a list of early seasonal openings in the March 25, 2015 Daily Report. Please note that the Glacier Point Gift Shop will open for the season at a later date, as approved by the National Park Service.

 

Yosemite Valley Stable

2 hour rides at 9am, 12pm, & 3pm - Office hours 7:00am - 5:30pm (E. Callahan)

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Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for March 25th, 2015

New snow: 3 inches

Total settled snow depth: 0 feet as of March 25 (at 8,600 feet)

High temperature: 56°F, March 20

Low temperature: 22°F, March 21

 

Skiing/Snowshoeing Conditions and Weather: Okay, ski season is over for all but you diehards. If you are willing to strap your skis on your back, you can find skiable snow above 9500 feet. But, it is by no means hiking season yet unless you want to post-hole in 1 ½ feet of snow on north-facing slopes above 9,000 feet. Patchy snow exists elsewhere, especially in the shade of the trees. Snowshoes are still a necessity in most places above this elevation. From Saddlebag Lake Road to a mile east of Tenaya Lake, the road is approximately half snow, half pavement. If you are snowshoeing/hiking please realize trails are not obvious in places and navigational skills are a must. Come prepared for any type of weather. We did get three inches of new snow this week. Every flake helps!

 

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the avalanche advisory for this area of the Sierra Nevada go to www.esavalanche.org for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center. The avalanche danger in the Tuolumne Meadows area and along on the Tioga Road including Lee Vining Canyon is low.  

 

Wildlife: Northern flickers became quite vocal this week, making sure all of its neighbors are awake first thing in the morning. Mountain bluebirds are finding their nesting snags. The song sparrow is singing in the willows along the riverside and the Cassin’s finch, from the tree-tops. It is quite the chorus of many other species as well: pine siskin, red crossbills, brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch, mountain chickadee, Clark’s nutcracker, common raven, and American robin. Now that the snow is patchy or firm, it is hard to see the tracks of all the mammal species, but the coyote has been spotted almost daily in Tuolumne Meadows.

  

Questions: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open! There is an ample supply of firewood and 10 bunks that are available on a first come, first served basis.  There is power but no public phone service in Tuolumne this winter.  We can be contacted via email at Robert_Pilewski@nps.gov, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared; don't count on electricity or phone service at the ski hut. (R. Pilewski)

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Missing Hiker Found Alive in Yosemite National Park - News Release

Michael “Mic” Dahl was Missing Since Saturday, March 21

 

Missing visitor, Michael “Mic” Dahl, was found alive this morning, at approximately 11:00 a.m., in Yosemite National Park.  He was spotted by visitors on the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail. The visitors recognized him from the missing persons flyer.  Dahl was found approximately a quarter mile east of the Lower Yosemite Fall trail, in a large boulder field below Sunnyside Bench.  Dahl sustained multiple injuries and is being transported to a local hospital via ground ambulance.

 

Dahl was reported missing by a group of friends on Saturday night, March 21, 2015, after a short hike to Lower Yosemite Fall.  His last known location was at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall in Yosemite Valley.  Approximately 50 search and rescue crew members have been searching for him since the initial report was received. 

 

The park received assistance from, and would like to thank, Madera, Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Marin County Search and Rescue and the Auburn office of California Highway Patrol. (K. Cobb)

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Wawona Area - Soupbowl Prescribed Fire

Ignitions of the 111 acre Wawona area prescribed were completed on Sunday March 22.  Yosemite and CAL FIRE Mt. Bullion fire crews will continue mop-up and patrol of the area through this week. This prescribed fire project continues with Yosemite Fire Management’s goal of providing defensible space to Yosemite communities.   

 

Drivers are urged to use caution due to smoke that may continue to be present along the Wawona Road.  Although the community has been clear of smoke Monday, there may be light smoke visible this week. For further information concerning smoke updates, please refer to Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District at:  http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=1434. (G. Wuchner)

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Day Camp for 7-12 Year Olds June 15 - 19, 2015

Kick off the summer right with learning and fun in Yosemite! After school lets out, NatureBridge will host Yosemite is Our Backyard - a day camp specially tailored for the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of the Yosemite area community. Campers meet with NatureBridge field educators daily at 8:45 a.m. in Yosemite Valley and embark on days filled with games, exploration, and learning. Volunteer as a chaperone for the program and your child can participate for half price. Financial aid is available for families in need of assistance. For more information, contact Madeleine Patton at 209-379-9511 ext 25, email yosemitereservations@naturebridge.org, or visit our website at naturebridge.org/backyard (M. Patton)

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WFR Recertification courses in El Portal August 2015

This August, NatureBridge will sponsor two WFR Recertification courses at the El Portal Community Hall August 24-26 and August 28-30. More information and registration instructions can be found on the NatureBridge website at naturebridge.org/wfr. (M. Patton)

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Mariposa County Alerts
As Yosemite prepares for what is shaping up to be another busy fire season, you can begin to prepare by signing up to receive notifications from the Mariposa County Emergency Alert System. This communication system allows you to receive emergency notifications to your personal cell phone any place you have a signal for a text message. Alerts may include emergency evacuation notices, road closures, and weather related emergencies. Early notice may give you time to collect your personal property in the event of an evacuation, or simply save you time in the event of a road closure. 

 

Please take a moment to sign up by following the Nixle link at:

http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=82 or by texting your zip code to 888777 (L. Hendy)

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30th annual California Trails & Greenways Conference

April 22-24, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge, Fish Camp

A partnership with CA State Parks, the California Trails & Greenways Conference provides trail professionals, advocates, volunteers and users with a venue for sharing practical, up-to-date trail management and advocacy skills; as well as a forum for networking and building support for accessible, inter-connected, and sustainable non-motorized trail systems. Offering 28 educational sessions in effective trail program management, funding opportunities, volunteerism, partnerships and more. Learn more: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24151 (E. Williams)

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Rental on Triangle Road
FOR RENT: Studio with washer and dryer, propane heat. Nonsmokers only; no pets. $550 month; deposit $300. 4934 Triangle Road (just off from Hwy 140). Call Carole @ (209) 966-6748.​ (Y. Radanovich)

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

 

Fire Alarm Installation for the Valley and El Portal Daycare Facilities

Starting Monday night March 16th, crews will begin updating the fire alarm system in the El Portal and Valley Daycare Facilities.  So if you see lights on in the daycare, please understand that it will be crews working between March 16th and March 31st.  They will start working in the El Portal Daycare for the first 6 days and then move to the Valley Daycare.  Crews will be working nights and weekends over this 2-week time period to minimize impacts to these operations.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact Michael Pieper (209) 200-1131 or Keasha Blew (209) 325-6386. (M. Pieper)

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Update For Big Oak Flat Tunnel Repairs

Construction crews have had a slow start, but are now planning to start with the actual road delays on Monday morning, March 16th with single lane traffic control. They will be installing portable traffic lights and we are trying to keep the delays to a minimum, so the delays will vary, but should not exceed the maximum delays noted below:

 

Sunday evenings from 10:00 p.m. to Friday afternoons at 4:30 p.m.

-10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., 2 hour delays

-6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 15 minute delays 

-8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., 30 minute delays

 

 The project is still scheduled for completion by Memorial Day, 2015. (M. Pieper)

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West Yosemite Lodge Parking Aims to Open by Memorial Day

Starting the week of March 16, 2015, park crews will begin construction of a 300-car parking area west of Yosemite Lodge. This site currently accommodates transit bus and oversized RV parking. The West Yosemite Lodge parking project will provide additional day-use parking and help alleviate traffic congestion and crowding in Yosemite Valley as described in the Merced River Plan.

The parking area design retains vegetated islands between rows of gravel parking spaces. This spring, park crews will import crushed aggregate base rock and facilitate opening the parking area prior to Memorial Day weekend. In 2016/2017, a contractor will install wheel stops and split rail fencing, coat the primary access driveways and outermost circulation loop with asphalt, build hardened pedestrian pathways, and construct a comfort station and bus stop. Temporary portable toilets will be available during the first phase of construction. There are no roadway delays anticipated. Please contact Michael Pieper (209-200-1131) or Jim Donovan (209-379-1450) with questions or concerns. (L. Acree)

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Temporary Safety Closures of Roads After El Portal Fire

In order to maintain the safety of park visitors, community members, and allow fire management operations to continue unimpeded, the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park has closed the following areas until further notice is given.

 

The Old Coulterville Road is closed to motor vehicles from the Flying Spur intersection to the park’s boundary with Stanislaus National Forest.

 

The Foresta Road is closed to motor vehicles at Foresta Falls to the park’s boundary with Stanislaus National Forest.  It is also closed to motor vehicles in El Portal at the intersection of Granite Street to the park’s boundary with Stanislaus National Forest. (K. Killian)

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