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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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 

WEATHER

 

Yosemite Valley

Today: Sunny, with a high near 59. 

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 43.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 65. Low around 45.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 66. Low around 46.

 

El Portal

Today: Sunny, with a high near 73. 

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 48.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 76. Low around 50. 

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 78. Low around 51.

 

Wawona

Today: Sunny, with a high near 65. 

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 42.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 71. Low around 43.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 72. Low around 44.

 

Tuolumne Meadows

Today: Sunny, with a high near 53. 

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 30. 

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 58. Low around 30.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 59. Low around 30. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph at night.

 

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY 

 

Yosemite National Park Proposes Entrance Fee and Campground Fee Increase - News Release

30 Day Public Engagement Period Begins Today

 

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

 

Yosemite National Park is proposing to increase entrance fees into the park.  The single vehicle entrance fee would change from $20 to $30 for a seven day pass.  The park’s annual pass would increase from $40 to $60.  The current rate of $10 per individual or motorcycle would increase to $15 for an individual and $25 per motorcycle.  Interagency Passes, which are honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the proposed fee increase and will remain at $80 for the regular pass, $10 for the Senior Pass and free for the Access and Military passes.  The current park entrance fees have been in place since 1997, when a seven day pass was increased from $5 to $20 per vehicle.  According to the U.S. Bureau of labor and Statistics, $20 in 1997 is equivalent to $29.64 in 2014.  This fee change will allow Yosemite to maintain consistent revenue while adjusting accordingly for inflation. 

 

The additional revenue from the fee increase will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, additional park programs and transportation services, and increase resource protection. 

 

Yosemite National Park is also evaluating current campground rates to determine if camping fees are adequate to sustain campground operations.  The current campground rates have been in place since 2006 and range between $5 per night to $20 per night for family sites and $40 per night for group sites.  The park is proposing to raise camping fees with fees ranging from $6 per night to $24 per night for family sites and $48 per night for group sites.  The park will utilize comparable campground rates and public feedback to determine if an adjustment to campground fees is warranted. 

 

A 30-day public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open today, Monday, October 20, 2014 through Thursday, November 20, 2014.  Feedback will be accepted via email at: yose_planning@nps.gov and via U.S. Mail at: Superintendent Attention Proposed Fee Increase P.O.  Box 577 Yosemite, CA 95389.  The public is also invited to an open house in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium, located behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., which will include public engagement.

 

The new fees could be implemented in early 2015.  However, the implementation schedule may vary based on the results of civic engagement.  The park will develop an implementation schedule that supports local communities and interested stakeholders. 

 

The park is a strong economic engine for the region and local communities.  Previous fee increases have had no negative effect on visitation levels.  This fee increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar national parks across the country. (A. Mayer)

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Proposed Fee Increase - From the Superintendent's Office

Dear Yosemite Staff:

A news release was sent out earlier today outlining the proposal to increase park entrance fees.  The increase is part of a national initiative to standardize entrance fees to national parks across the country. 

 

These fees fund important projects within the park that provide direct benefit to our visitors.  Examples of recent projects completed using fee dollars in Yosemite include the re-configuration of the South Entrance, upgrading the Crane Flat water system, improving accessibility by providing an American Sign Language interpreter, and renovating campsites to be universally accessible.  

 

Today marks the beginning of a 30-day period of civic engagement. Attached please find frequently asked questions regarding the proposed increase. We encourage all staff to review the attached FAQs and be knowledgeable about the proposal in order to respond to visitor questions. 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.  

 

Thank you for all that you do for Yosemite National Park and the millions of visitors we host each year. (K. Kosick)

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Submit Your Story For The Centennial - From the Superintendent's Office

Dear Yosemite Staff,

Greetings from Yosemite Conservancy Publishing! As many of you know, Yosemite Conservancy published a story book collection for the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, Inspiring Generations: 150 years, 150 stories in Yosemite. Many Yosemite staff, visitors, and alumni contributed stories to the book. 

 

In a separate but aligned effort to honor the NPS Centennial, Yosemite Conservancy will publish a book of stories from current and former NPS employees and volunteers. The book, Inspiring Generations: 100 Stories from the National Park Service, will be timed to coincide with the Centennial. 

 

We are inviting you to consider participating in our Inspiring Generations book project by entering your Share Your Story entry (or another story!) here:  http://tinyurl.com/knb55y9 . Please note that submissions must be received by November 14. 

 

Here is additional information:

Who may apply? Any current or retired National Park Service employee or volunteer.

What kind of story may I submit? Submissions should be nonfiction and may convey anything you wish provided at their core they seek to inspire future generations of visitors or those who will serve.

How long may my story be? Submissions may be no longer than 1,000 words.

What will happen to the stories? A review team of retired NPS employees will serve as a blind panel to determine which stories best fit the guidelines for the book. Stories will be lightly edited. The book will be a trade paperback format that will hopefully be sold by cooperating associations in all NPS units. If your story is selected, you will be contacted and provided with a letter granting Yosemite Conservancy the right to publish your story in both print and digital form. Submissions will not be returned.

Is there a fee or payment? There is no fee for your submission. Authors will not be paid if their stories are included. 

Will I get a copy of the book? If your story is selected, you will receive a gratis copy of the book.

Where do I submit my story? Please visit  http://tinyurl.com/knb55y9 to submit your story by November 14, 2014.  (K. Kosick)

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Project Management Division Office Closed Today

The Project Management Division Office will be closed Tuesday, October 21st while staff attends an off-site meeting.  The PM Office will reopen for business on Wednesday, October 22. (C. Flanagan)

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Archeology Month - More Than Just Rocks

The scatters of obsidian flakes or “chips” often seen in the park can tell archeologists much about the Native American peoples that inhabited the area. The size and shape of these flakes can indicate what steps in stone tool manufacturing process occurred at that particular location. Obsidian flakes can also be tracked to the place they were originally quarried through a process called X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. XRF analyzes obsidian with x-rays to quantify precise amounts of different elements within the rock. These specific elements create an “elemental signature” that is different for every quarry location. Obsidian hydration dating measures the rind that develops over time on a new surface, such as that on a flake after it has been removed, to determine the age of the flake’s surface. Knowing where obsidian came from and how old it is helps archeologist understand exchange patterns, mobility and land use throughout time within the park and the greater Sierra Nevada. (C. Knudson)

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El Portal Child Care Halloween Parade

Trick or Treat!! The El Portal Child Care students will be parading their costumes and cuteness around the El Portal Maintenance Complex on Wed October 29 from 9:30-11 am. (E. Davenport)

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Yoga In Yosemite

October Schedule:  Wednesday Evenings 6pm-7pm  Location: DNC Wellness Center.

Instructor:  Heather Sullivan

New yoga mats are available at the front desk.  You will need to leave your ID at desk to use mat.

Classes are donation-based.  Classes are open to all levels of experience.

For more info email:  heather@balancedrock.org  www.balancedrock.org (H. Sullivan)

 

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RECENT NEWS

 

Yosemite in the News

This Backcountry Cook You've Never Heard of is a Legend at Yosemite National Park

By: PRI, October 16, 2014

"No one really hears about Yosemite National Park's immigrant history. Or at least..." Read more at http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-10-16/backcountry-cook-youve-never-heard-legend-yosemite-national-park

 

Yosemite Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Deaf Services

By: The Fresno Bee, October 15, 2014

"Yosemite National Park will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its Deaf Services Program by hosting several special events from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26..." Read more at http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/10/15/4180883_yosemite-celebrates-35th-anniversary.html?rh=1

 

Tuesday Memorial Set for Pilot Who Died Battling Yosemite Fire

By:  San Jose Mercury News, October 17, 2014

"A memorial service is scheduled Tuesday for the Cal Fire firefighter pilot who died earlier this month while battling a Yosemite wildefire..." Read more at http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_26747483/san-jose-tuesday-memorial-set-pilot-who-died

 

Past Forest Mismanagement Helps Spawn Megafires

By: Jefferson Public Radio 

"Yosemite has one of the longest records of prescribed burning in California..." Read more at http://ijpr.org/post/past-forest-mismanagement-helps-spawn-megafires (A. Mayer)

 

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Sunrise Trailhead Restoration - Asphalt Removal/Boardwalk Construction

Yosemite Conservancy and the Roads/Trails Department will begin restoration of the Sunrise Trailhead on Monday, October 20th.  Removal of the asphalt trail and excavation on the filled wetland area by the Roads Department is scheduled to last 4-8 days.  The construction of the boardwalk will be done by the Trails Department and will consist of 4-6 weeks of construction or until the snow flies.  During the construction hikers will be rerouted around the construction to the Tenaya Creek Crossing. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Keasha Blew at 379-1303 (K. Blew) 

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Conifer Forest Mortality

Those browning pines, firs, and incense-cedars in the forest are not deciduous like the larches of the north, and will not green up in the spring. Elevated tree mortality is expected to continue in 2015 even if "normal" precipitation returns this winter.

 

A Forest Health Advisory System (FHAS) web application was developed as the result of a partnership between USFS' Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET) and the NPS Biological Resource Management Division (BRMD) to provide customized summaries for individual park units. See the 10/20/2014 InsideNPS for the full article. (B. Mattos)

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Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony

It’s time! It’s time! Time to celebrate the incredible creativity of youth in Yosemite’s remarkable gateway communities during the Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest awards ceremony to be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at The Ansel Adams Gallery from Noon- 2:00PM. The program received nearly 230 submissions, more than ever before! Now, we invite you to see and celebrate a special selection of the artwork and poetry, which will be on display at The Ansel Adams Gallery Thursday, October 23rd through Saturday, October 25th, from 9am to 5pm. Winners will be honored at the award ceremony on Saturday, October 25th from noon until 2pm. This event is open to Yosemite community members and visitors, along with the friends, family, and teachers of the young artists. Don’t miss this special event, it is sure to inspire and remind you why Yosemite is so incredibly special.Questions? call the Education team at (209) 375-9505. (K. Lahr)

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Yosemite Deaf Services Celebrates 35 Years!

This weekend, October 24-26, is Yosemite Deaf Services 35th Anniversary Weekend. Employees should be ready to meet lots of Deaf visitors. Remember, if communication is difficult, be sure to make eye contact when speaking, and if necessary use pen(cil) and paper, or even cell phones to type back and forth. Our Deaf visitors will appreciate the effort!

 

Volunteer sign language interpreters will be available at the Valley Visitor Center all day 10/24, 10/25, and 10/26.  To request an interpreter, call 209.379.5250.  

 

Info packets with a complete schedule and details on how visitors can request an interpreter are being distributed this week to visitor centers, entrance stations and tour desks.  

  

There will also be special programs given in American Sign Language:

 

10/24  6pm, ASL Social Night at Curry Village Pizza

10/25  10am, ASL Jr. Ranger Talk at Curry Village Amphitheater

10/25  7pm, 35th Anniversary Celebration, Yosemite Lodge

10/26  10am, ASL Nature Walk, Ahwahnee back lawn

 

For more information, contact Jessica Cole at jessica_cole@nps.gov (J. Cole)

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The Ansel Adams Gallery Rehabilitation and Annual Sale Day

The Ansel Adams Gallery is excited to announce that we will be rehabilitating our historic facilities this winter, and during this construction period will be operating out of the Wilderness Center next door. Many "thank you"s to the National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy for making this happen. As a result, we are trying to reduce our inventory in advance of this move as much as possible, and have decided to move our Annual Sale Day to October 25, 2014. 

The Ansel Adams Gallery will be closed for slightly less than a week from October 27, 2014 while we move, and will be in the Wilderness Center through March 2015. (Ansel Adams Gallery Staff)

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Private Rental

Large home ready to lease! Super clean 4 bdrm/2 bath house located on Jerseydale Rd. Former vacation rental, so tenant has option to rent fully furnished at $1250. per month, or unfurnished at $1100.per month, plus deposit and utilities. Easy access from paved road onto level gravel driveway. One car garage space available. No pets and no smoking allowed on premises. 

Call Katie Green at  daily & company real estate at 209-966-5847. (C. Baker)

 

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

 

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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