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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, October 30, 2014

 

WEATHER

 

WINTER STORM WATCH: The National Weather Service in Hanford has issued a Winter Storm Watch for heavy snow and strong winds...which is in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon for the southern Sierra Nevada above 6000 feet from Yosemite to Kings Canyon.

 

* Snow and Elevation...2 to 4 inches above 5500 feet by Saturday

  morning with 5 to 10 inches above 7000 feet Friday night.

* Winds...West 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph.

* Locations include...Yosemite National Park...including Tuolumne

  Meadows...Tioga Pass...Wawona...and the South Entrance as well

  as Kings Canyon National Park and Huntington Lake.

* Timing...Snow will begin Friday afternoon and continue overnight

  before tapering off Saturday afternoon. The heaviest

  accumulations will occur Friday evening through early Saturday

  morning.

* Impacts...This is the first significant snow expected for the

  season. Anyone with outdoor plans should take caution...and

  travel may be difficult due to snow covered roads. Also carry a

  winter survival kit. Further statements including advisories...

  watches and warnings may be necessary.

 

Yosemite Valley

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. 

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 44. 

Friday: A 50 percent chance of rain, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Rain. Low around 38. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Nighttime low around 25 with 20 percent chance of showers. 

 

El Portal

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. 

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of rain, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 44. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Nighttime low around 30 with 20 percent chance of showers.

 

Wawona

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 76.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 42.

Friday: A 40 percent chance of rain, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63.

Friday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Saturday: Showers likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Nighttime low around 30 and 20 percent chance of showers.

 

Tuolumne Meadows

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 60.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.

Friday: A slight chance of snow before 11am, then a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. South southwest gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Friday Night: Snow. Low around 25. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 37. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Nighttime low around 17 with 20 percent chance of snow showers.

 

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

 

All Employee Meeting & Fall Luncheon Today

In recognition of and with appreciation for all of your hard work, the ELT invites you to enjoy lunch following the 10:00 a.m. All Employee  Meeting! 

 

October 30th 2014    

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Yosemite Valley

Auditorium

 

Menu

Sierra Lands Grass Fed Beef Chili & Veggie Chili (with all the fixings!), Seasonal Fruit, Veggies, & Crackers with Homemade Spreads

 

*This is a sustainable event! Please bring bowls & spoons if possible! Thanks!

 

This event is made possible with the generous help of our partners at the Yosemite Conservancy – thank you! (K. Calder)

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Fall Bear Ceremony, Saturday November 1st

The American Indian Council of Mariposa County is preparing for the Fall Bear Ceremony occurring Saturday November 1 in the Village of Ahwahnee behind the Valley Visitor Center. Please remove all vehicles from the parking area located between the AT&T building and the Search and Rescue building in Yosemite Village by Saturday morning to facilitate parking for the event. (J. Hoeflich)

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Fall Color Advisory

With day length an hour shorter than last month, colors are changing rapidly now on many deciduous trees. Areas of dogwood along the Big Oak Flat Road and Wawona Road display pale oranges to vibrant pinks. Swaths of California black oaks paint echoes of former frequent fires across mountainsides. Brilliant yellow maple leaves still over Southside Drive between Pohono Bridge and El Capitan crossover will be splashed in the gutters after our first strong storm. For more information, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/fall-color.htm (B. Mattos)

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Valley Uprising Showing Thursday

Come see Valley Uprising the new Yosemite climbing documentary by Sender Films. It will be shown at 6:00 pm, Thursday October 30th in the Auditorium behind the Visitor Center. This showing is for the Yosemite community and is free of charge. Courtesy of the Yosemite Climbing Association. (K. Yager)

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Yosemite Valley Daycare Halloween Parade

This Friday the adorable youngsters of the Yosemite Valley Daycare will take their annual trek around the Valley offices in costume! We will leave the daycare at 9am and follow our usual route starting with the temporary admin building, followed by the NPS Firehouse/LEO and all the way to the DNC General Offices and the Garage. Keep your eyes peeled for our little ghosts and goblins and please remember to drive extra safely if you see us on the roads! (J. Modrak-Killian)

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Thank You from the El Portal Child Care Center

A big THANK YOU to all in the El Portal Maintenance Complex for your generosity, costumes and warm greetings! With love from a princess, a witch, a rooster, a police man, Superman 1 and 2, a turtle, Anna, a cow, a pumpkin, a monster, a Care Bear, Spiderman 1 and 2, a lumberjack, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, a bunny, and a cat. (E. Davenport)

 

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RECENT NEWS

 

Lottery Now Open for Historic Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite’s Backcountry - News Release

Yosemite Conservancy is Accepting Online Reservation Lottery Forms Until November 19, 2014 for Experienced Skiers to Stay Overnight at Ostrander Ski Hut

 

Media Contacts: Pete Bartelme (Yosemite Conservancy) 415-664-1503; Jennifer Miller (Yosemite Conservancy) 415-434-1782

Scott Gediman & Kari Cobb (National Park Service) 209-372-0248

 

Yosemite Conservancy announced today that it is accepting online reservation lottery forms for the 2014-2015 season at historic Ostrander Ski Hut, the cherished rustic stone cabin used by experienced cross-country skiers who make the strenuous 10-mile journey from Badger Pass Ski Area to Ostrander Lake in Yosemite National Park.

 

“Trekking to Ostrander Ski Hut offers an unforgettable winter adventure with an overnight stay at the historic cabin nestled on the edge of a glacier cirque, beside stunning Ostrander Lake,” said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy. “It’s the perfect winter retreat to leave crowds behind and head into isolated backcountry with breathtaking views of Half Dome, the Clark Range and Mount Hoffmann.”

 

Yosemite Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, manages the two-story stone ski hut overlooking Ostrander Lake at 8,500 feet. Built in 1941, Ostrander Ski Hut was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, which includes properties that embody qualities of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering or culture.

 

Ostrander Ski Hut is suitable for individuals or groups up to 15. It is staffed by a full time hut keeper and is typically open mid-December through the end of March. Facilities include single bunks with mattresses, community cookware stocked in a common kitchen, wood for heating, solar powered electric lights for evening use and two outdoor toilet facilities. Nightly rates range from $35 Mon.-Thurs. and $55 Fri.-Sun. Yosemite Conservancy donors receive a $10 per night discount. Proceeds collected from the ski hut are used to operate and maintain it for future generations to enjoy. In 2013, the hut’s water tanks were replaced, original countertops of sugar pine were refinished, and stone mortar and lodgepole pine beams were repaired.

 

Due to Ostrander Ski Hut’s popularity, early reservations are awarded based on a random lottery system. Lottery applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. PST on Nov. 19, 2014. Results of the lottery will be emailed by Nov. 24. Starting on Dec. 1, 2014, remaining reservations can be booked by calling 209-379-5161. Reservation information, equipment lists and a description of facilities can be found at http://www.yosemiteconservancy.biz/facilities-reservation.

 

Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $81 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at www.yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-800-469-7275.

 

Editor’s Note: For photos of the Ostrander Ski Hut, please email Pete Bartelme at pb@prstrategies.com (A. Mayer)

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Date Set for Judi Weaser's Memorial Service

A celebration of Judi Weaser's life will be held at the El Portal Community Hall on Friday, November 7th at 3:00 pm.  Judi was the Branch Chief of Vegetation and Ecological Restoration for the Resources Management and Science Division.  Please bring an appetizer or sweet treat to share if you can.  YEA will provide a beverage service after the memorial. The family requests donations to SPCA be considered in lieu of flowers. (L. Mazzu)

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Winter Storm Warning and Hydrology

A winter type storm will impact much of Central California Friday and Saturday. Strong southwest winds will develop ahead of the storm front resulting in gusty winds and blowing dust. Snow levels will quickly lower friday night with several inches of snow probable over the Sierra Nevada above 6000 feet. Shower activity is expected to continue through Saturday. Stable conditions return to the area on Sunday, with warming and drying trend through early next week. 

This predicted storm will be the first significant precipitation event of the wet season. Impacts to watershed function and hillslope stability were sustained from the El Portal Fire in areas upslope of the Old El Portal community. According to post-burn hydrologic models, chance that this storm could induce flooding, sediment, and/or debris flows, in Old El Portal is present. Home-owners, residents, and visitors within the Old El Portal area are advised to remain updated to current weather conditions and to seek safety if hazards are likely.Updated weather conditions can be found at: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=El+Portal&state=CA&site=HNX&textField1=37.6747&textField2=-119.783&e=0#.VFAtAPnF8lB (T. Kuhn)

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El Portal Community Bear Meeting

El Portal community: we need your help! Join us for an El Portal Community Bear meeting.

When: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7 to 8 pm            

Where: El Portal Community Hall

Details: Yosemite National Park’s Bear Council and Wildlife Management staff would like to invite all El Portal community members to join in a meeting to discuss black bears in El Portal. The intent of this meeting is to begin working together to come up with and discuss solutions to bear issues within the community. Our ultimate goal is to protect bears and increase community safety. (C. Lee-Roney)

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Rockfall Hazard on Highway 140

All commuters on the 140 corridor between park line and the Arch Rock entrance are reminded:

1)  Do NOT stop along the roadway as repeated rockfall presents a potential hazard due to the recent Dog Rock fire - especially as wet weather approaches.

2)  Report ALL rockfall incidents as soon as you can so the roads can be cleared and the area reassessed.

3)  Do NOT stop to clear rocks from the road - road crews, traffic management or law enforcement are the only personnel allowed to clear rocks from the roadway surface.

4)  Remember - Safety first! (D. Henderson)

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Valley Garage Propane Tank Replacement

Dept. of Weights & Measures has  inspected the propane tank at the valley garage and noted a leak.  JS West will replace the tank immediately.  The county will be working in the park for the next few days, so if JS West can change out the tank immediately we can get re-certified and resume guest services.  Until then propane for campers or visitors with vessels will not be available. (S. Ogden)

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Helicopter 551 Official Departed from the Park

The park helicopter (Helicopter 551) has officially departed the park on the morning of Wednesday October 29th to head back to its hanger in Nampa, Idaho for the winter and early spring season. This year the helicopter completed the 162 day contract for the season with an additional 10 day extension to support fire and search and rescue operations.  It has been a good, safe season with a lot of flight hours supporting the park needs.  We look forward to Helicopter 551 returning  in early May next season to begin training to get prepared for the 2015 season.

 

Thanks again for all those who have helped and supported our missions for the 2014 season. (J. Pirog)

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TranServe Annual Re-certification

Re-certification will officially begin November 3, 2014 through December 15, 2014.  *New this year, WASO has requested that all supervisors of participants take the DOI Learn Transit Benefit Integrity Training for FY2015 so that they have a clear understanding of how the program works.

I will except early annual re-certifications.  Thank you and have a great day!  If you have any questions please contact Elizabeth Fisk at (209) 379-1603 (E. Fisk)

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Localizing California Waters- A Conference for Water Re-use in California

A large, hands-on, intensive hosted by California Water Reuse that will dive deep into the expanding field of water conservation in California.

 

Experts from all around the country will discuss Integrated Water Reuse and LID techniques: Stormwater, Rainwater, Greywater, Blackwater as well as California Water Reuse Policy and Watershed Management.  This four-day event will feature half-day seminars covering design, management and permitting and will be coupled with tours of systems under construction.  Tours will focus on inspection and hands-on construction participation. 

 

Hosted by California Water Reuse.org, Nov. 3-6, 2014, Evergreen Lodge, near Yosemite National Park, CA, $250 flat fee. Please visit californiawaterruse.org for more information and registration forms, program at http://tinyurl.com/waterreuse14. Live music Nov 5 provided by The Brothers Comatose. (R. Hirsch)

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Annual Yosemite Valley School Halloween Parade & Scarecrow Garden

As is tradition, on Friday, October 31st,  the students of YVS will be haunting their way through the community. This year we will be departing our school at 11am, then venturing through the interim NPS Admin building, past the NPS warehouse, up to the studio warehouse, then through the Village Mall beginning with the Museum and ending at the DNC Admin building just before noon. We hope you will all come out to see us, possibly deliver some treats, but mostly just wish us “happy spooking”.

You might also be interested in stopping by to see our Scarecrow Garden… the scarecrows have begun arriving and will be on display through Halloween Day. (C. Archer)

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Pray For Snow Event November 14

Yosemite Winter Club Pray for Snow burrito bar dinner, snowy films, and gear swap at the Garden Terrace at the Lodge.  Everyone is welcome to attend!  Gear Swap opens at 4, dinner and films at 5.  Avoid lines and get your YWC membership and dinner tickets at www.YosemiteWinterClub.com. (P. Weber)

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Yosemite Valley School Fall Frolic

Come out and join the Yosemite Valley School for their annual Fall Frolic. It will held on Saturday November 8th at the Curry Pavilion from 5:30-7:00pm.  The Fall Frolic is a dinner/silent auction. There will also be lots of raffle prizes, including an Ipad mini. You can buy your raffle tickets before hand if you want from your favorite Yosemite Valley school kid. Dinner will be Curry’s Famous Chicken Dinner. Dinner for adults is $15 and kids will be $8. All Proceeds will go to Yosemite Valley School. Hope to see you there! (H. Foster)

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Private Rental

2 bedroom, 1.75 bath double-wide mobile located on 14 acres, (2 fenced) just off Ben Hur Road in Mariposa area. $650 monthly plus first and last for a deposit. No smoking.Contact Ira at 209.966.7262 for additional information. (C. Baker)

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Tap Water on the Mist Trail Closed

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

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Lower Pines Campground Closes

Lower Pines will close for the season on October 27 at noon. (M. Carter)

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New exhibit featuring the work of artists-in-residence in Yosemite Museum Gallery opens October 31, 2014 

"Rooms with a View: Three Decades of Yosemite Artists-in-Residence" features paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures by 29 participants in the park's artist-in-residence program.  The works are drawn from the park's museum collection, private collections, and from the artists.  Please join us for a reception to celebrate the exhibit on Monday, November 3 from 5 to 6:30 pm at the museum. (B. Beroza)

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Charge Card Database Users

The FY15 database will be ready for use by 1 Nov. The FY14 database can be used until 1 Dec, and then we’ll be taking it down. Please input all outstanding FY14 transactions as soon as possible. (L. Schafer)

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Yosemite in the News

Hundreds Pay Respects to Fallen CalFire Pilot

By: San Jose Mercury News, October 22, 2014

"Decked out in sparkling dress uniforms, hundreds of firefighters, park rangers and fellow pilots came from across California to pay their final respects Tuesday..." Read more at http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_26772600/hundreds-pay-respects-fallen-calfire-pilot

 

Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Gallery to Hold Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest Award Ceremony and Art Exhibition on October 25, 2014

By: Sierra Sun Times, October 24, 2014

"The park received a record 230 submissions..." Read more at http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/1272-yosemite-national-park-and-the-ansel-adams-gallery-to-hold-gateway-expressions-student-art-and-poetry-contest-award-ceremony-and-art-exhibition-on-october-25-2014

 

Dear Nature Vandal: The Web Wants You

By: CNN, October 23, 2014

"The National Park Service is investigating reports of graffiti and other vandalism in at least 10 National Park sites throughout the western United States..." Read more at http://www.nbc-2.com/story/26879315/dear-nature-vandal-the-web-wants-you (A. Mayer)

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Sierra Nevada Network Fall Newsletter Available

The fall newsletter for the Sierra Nevada Network Inventory & Monitoring Program is now available. This issue includes articles on:

• The Clean Air Act and Lake Water Quality

• Web Page Improvements

• Program Manager Moves to Klamath Network

• Honoring Two Wildlife Biologists (Steve Thompson, Dixie Pierson)

• Bats: Underappreciated, Misunderstood

• Field Project Highlights

• Devils Postpile Plant Inventory 

• Recent Reports and Publications

 

You  may download the newsletter here: http://irmafiles.nps.gov/reference/holding/510300.

Contact Linda Mutch, Science Communication Specialist (559-565-3174, linda_mutch@nps.gov), for questions or comments. (L. Mutch)

 

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

 

Sunrise Trailhead Restoration - Boardwalk Construction

The Trails Branch will begin construction of the Sunrise Trailhead Boardwalk on Monday, October 28th.  The construction of the boardwalk will consist of 4-6 weeks of construction or until the snow flies.  During the construction hikers will be rerouted around the construction area to the Tenaya Creek Crossing. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Keasha Blew at 379-1303 (K. Blew)

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Road Work on Glacier Point Road

On Tuesday October 14 roads crews will begin crack sealing on Glacier Point road starting at Chinquapin and moving east. This work will consist of pouring a melted rubberized asphalt material into cracks in the roadway and will help to prevent water infiltration and help prevent potholes and other roadway problems. (D. Dozier)

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Tioga Road Update No. 6

Crews are continuing to work on Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday thru Friday and will continue this year until the weather prevents any further work.  So please plan on 30-minute delays during the day and at this time no night work is planned.  These traffic delays are occurring between Crane Flat and White Wolf (the western 15 miles of the Tioga Road).

 

No weekend delays are scheduled.  Please plan ahead, be patient and obey the speed limits.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Michael Pieper at (209) 200-1131. (M. Pieper)

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Tamarack Flat Campground Road Temporary Closure

Crews have started repairs on the Tamarack Flat Campground Road.  This campground is currently closed, but if you enter this area for operational needs, please be aware this is a single lane road and we will be running multiple trucks up and down this road, so please drive slow and cautious if you enter this campground.  

 

The work includes repairing the existing southern 1.5 mile segment of this campground and regrading the existing gravel loops.  This repair work is similar to the previous repair that was done on the northern 1.5 miles of this existing road in the fall of 2011.  Crews are planning to work from 7 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Friday and no weekend work is currently planned.  This work is scheduled to be complete by November 30, 2014, pending weather conditions.  Please drive slow and be aware of construction equipment and truck traffic as you enter this campground and also be aware of the truck traffic as your traveling along the Tioga Road near the Tamarack Flat Campground Entrance.  Contact Michael Pieper with any questions or concerns (209) 200-1131. (M. Pieper)

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Tuolumne Grove Parking Lot Temporary Closure

Beginning Monday, September 16, and through December 31, 2014, the parking lot will be closed seven days a week while improvements are made to the trailhead and parking area. The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias will remain open, with limited parking available just east of the Tuolumne Grove parking lot. The Tuolumne Grove Trailhead and Parking Area project is expected to be completed in May 2015. (A. Mayer)

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Trail Work in Mariposa Grove

Starting September 2nd, NPS trail crews will begin to upgrade the trail in the vicinity of the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel trees so that the trail meets accessibility standards. This project is part of the Yosemite Conservancy Capital Campaign for the Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Work will take place in three phases. Phase 1 will not affect current visitor use with one exception – on September 15 there will be a permanent closure of the “Step Trail” that connects the tram boarding area with the California Tunnel Tree. Tram users will continue to have trail access to the California Tunnel Tree using the trail leading from the tram area to the Grizzly Giant Tree. Equipment storage will occur on the access road to the National Forest. Phase 2 will occur later this fall when visitor numbers decrease. At that time, trail crews will upgrade the existing trail system in the vicinity of the two trees and restore portions of the existing trail system that did not meet accessible trail standards to natural conditions. Work will include installation of new split rail fencing along heavily traveled portions of the trail. Access to the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree will continue while work progresses. The first two phases should be completed by end of the calendar year, weather permitting. The third and final phase of the project will include installation of new benches and interpretive signs at the end of the Grove restoration project in late 2016. (C. Stetzel)

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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. (M. Stansberry)

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Henness Ridge - Yosemite Environmental Education Center - Phase 1B

Construction for the second phase of the Environmental Education Center in partnership with NatureBridge is scheduled to begin the week of August 11th.  The construction activity will be located adjacent to the Wawona Road - Yosemite West intersection.  The work for this phase will begin with the construction of a multi-purpose administration office and maintenance building.  Please use caution in this area and watch for slow moving trucks and equipment on the roads.  Construction is scheduled to continue until completion in 2015.  If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Mike Wichmann, Project Management Division. (K. Blew)

 

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