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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
Friday, August 29, 2014

WEATHER


Yosemite Valley

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light in the evening.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 84. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the morning.


El Portal

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 63. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 96. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west southwest in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 90. East northeast wind around 5 mph becoming west in the morning.


Wawona

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 98. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 83. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the morning.


Tuolumne Meadows

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 72. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 70. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 67. West wind around 5 mph.


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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

 

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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NPS Webinar: Courageous Followers, Courageous Leaders - Tuesday, September 9, 10:00-12:00 PDT

The Park has registered the El Portal Large Breakroom and the Mariposa Conference Room for the above-noted webinar. This affords those of you who may not have registered individually an opportunity to participate in this course. All are welcome to attend on a first come basis. Additional information may be found in the attached course announcement. (T. Hawkins)

 

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RECENT NEWS

A Day to Remember! Make-A-Wish Foundation - Gabriel Lawan-Ying's Journey
Several months ago Yosemite National Park helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant the wish of eight year old Gabriel Lawan-Ying, whose life-goal was to become a Park Ranger in Yosemite National Park.  Over several weeks of planning, the park was able to provide a full day of ranger activities for Gabriel to experience, including extinguishing a wildfire, joining in a ranger briefing, rescuing an injured visitor, and exploring the park's contract helicopter.  After a full day's work, Gabriel was then sworn-in as an Honorary Yosemite Park Ranger in front of over 100 Yosemite staff and park visitors.  Please check out this video to see all about Gabriel's experience in the park!  http://vimeo.com/99676584 (K. Cobb)
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Wilderness First Aid and First Responder Courses
WFA (Wilderness First Aid *CPR NOT INCLUDED) November 29-30th 2014
WFR (Wilderness First Responder) December 2-11th 2014
WFR-R (Wilderness First Responder Recertification) December 13-15th 2014

Contact Carrie@yosemitebug.com 209-966-6666 ext 2 for further details. (C. Kidwell)
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For Supervisors
We've created a site which consolidates information of interest or benefit to supervisors (deadlines, notifications of changes, meetings, etc.). We recently updated the content, please check it out. (L. Schafer)
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Tuolumne Grove Parking Lot to be Temporarily Closed - News Release
Repairs to be Conducted for Improvements to Trailhead and Parking AreaYosemite 

Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

The Tuolumne Grove parking lot in Yosemite National Park will be temporarily closed beginning September 8, 2014 while improvements are made to the trailhead and parking area. During the month of September, the parking lot will close at 6:00 a.m. on Mondays and re-open at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. There will be no weekend work during the month of September. Beginning October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 the parking lot will be closed seven days a week. The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias will remain open, with limited parking available at the Crane Flat Gas Station and other road turnouts.

“These enhancements are long overdue,” stated Superintendent Don Neubacher. “The entrance to the Grove should set the stage for an incredible walk among giant sequoias. This project will create a sense of arrival for visitors, will provide improved restrooms, new interpretive signs, additional parking, improved traffic flow, and an enhanced picnic area.”

The Tuolumne Grove Trailhead and Parking Area project is expected to be completed in May, 2015. The work is being done in conjunction with improvements along the Tioga Road Corridor. In addition to National Park Service funds, support is being provided by the Federal Highways Administration and Yosemite Conservancy.

The Tuolumne Grove has approximately twenty-five mature sequoia trees and receives about 80,000 visitors annually. The Tuolumne Grove is one of three giant sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park. The Merced Grove is located approximately two miles from the Tuolumne Grove. The Mariposa Grove, the largest of the three, is located near the southern entrance of the park.

For additional information about planning your visit to Yosemite National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/index.htm. (A. Mayer)
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Division of Interpretation and Education Staff Honored with Division Awards
The first annual Yosemite Interpretation and Education Awards were presented to four very deserving recipients on August 13, at the all division meeting held in Yosemite Valley. The 2014 recipients are:

Sherry Sidick -- Yosemite Interp and Ed Rookie of the Year
Any employee, volunteer, or intern in the division for whom this in their first year working in Yosemite is eligible for this award. Sherry is recognized for her outstanding work and infectiously positive attitude working in the museum branch.

Christine Fey -- Yosemite Interp and Ed Volunteer of the Year
Anyone who has volunteered for the division of interpretation and education in Yosemite is eligible for this award. Christine is recognized for her outstanding performance last winter as our social media volunteer.

Karen Amstutz -- Yosemite Interp and Ed Employee of the Year
Any employee, (seasonal, term, or permanent) who works in the division of interpretation and education is eligible for this award. Karen is recognized for her remarkable dedication, passion, and commitment to ensuring that visitors to Yosemite have the most meaningful experience possible during their visit.

Eric Smith -- Carl Sharsmith Award (Yosemite Interp and Ed Seasonal Employee of the Year)
Any seasonal employee working with the division of interpretation and education in Yosemite is eligible for this award. Eric is recognized for his passion and commitment to effectively interpreting the resources of Yosemite in a way that is truly inspiring, reflecting the incredible spirit and legacy of the legendary seasonal ranger, Carl Sharsmith.

Please join us in congratulating Sherry, Christine, Karen, and Eric! (P. Ollig)
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Yosemite National Park and The Ansel Adams Gallery to Sponsor Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest - News Release
Winning Artwork will be Featured in Ansel Adams Gallery

Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

Yosemite National Park and Ansel Adams Gallery announce the fourth annual Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest. The Gateway Expressions Student Art and Poetry Contest celebrates the creativity of youth in the Yosemite gateway communities.  The contest is open to all students, grades K-12, who attend school or youth programs within the gateway community school districts of Yosemite National Park. This year the contest will expand to include students in Sonora, Bishop, and Mammoth Lakes, California. Students should submit artwork and poetry no later than Friday, October 3, 2014.
 
Artwork or poetry should be original and should communicate a connection to Yosemite’s natural and cultural history. Subject matter can focus on wildlife, plants, scenic areas, iconic features, seasonal changes, conservation and protection, or the legacy that Yosemite represents.
 
Student artwork and poetry selected will be featured in an exhibit at The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley.  Students will also be recognized and acknowledged at a special awards ceremony on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the Ansel Adams Gallery from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Contest winners will be notified by phone.
 
For more information, contest guidelines, and entry forms, please call 209-375-9505 or email yose_education@nps.gov.
 
Yosemite Conservancy provides support for this student inspired project. (K. Cobb)

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Yosemite Theater
Sunday August 31st will be a special LIVE performance by Ranger Shelton Johnson of his show “Yosemite through the Eyes of a Buffalo Soldier.” Free admission for NPS, DNC & YC employees and volunteers, based on seat availability. (Hold on to your hats for breaking news about a new debut show on 2 dates in September, have YOU met Galen Clark, Yosemite’s First Guardian?!) (C. Botell)
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Dean Mullis Farewell
To Yosemite staff and friends, in case you haven't heard, I accepted a job with the State of California's Fire Department--Cal Fire. I will be starting Sept 8th as a permanent Heavy Fire Equipment Operator, (FIRE DOZER OPERATOR). I just wanted to give a quick thank you to all my Machine Shop and Facilities Maintenance co-workers for the good years of experience and friendship, and  another whole shout out and thank you to all the park's staff, for almost 14 years of friendship, experience, teamwork and the views. Yosemite was a truly great place to work and I will forever be grateful for it. 
My supervisor for almost my whole time here-- Ken Fipps, is a real idol in my mind, and I could never express or put into words what he has shared with me; that are life lessons or Golden Rules that I will always abide by. 
Feel free to email me for a few more days and i will return my forwarding information. Yosemite--Thanks for the views (D. Mullis)
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Dear Yosemite Staff: 

Today marks the 98th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service and in honor of this historic day, we wanted to celebrate Yosemite’s important role in the creation of the NPS and remind you about the exciting 2016 centennial events that are just around the corner! 

The Yosemite Grant Act of 1864 and the establishment of Yosemite National Park in 1890 played vital roles in the development of the National Park Service idea, preserving and protecting public land for the first time and inspired the need for a national organization to protect these special places. 

As we move towards 2016, Yosemite will continue to be at the forefront as the National Park Service moves into the 21st Century. We are planning a robust centennial celebration for the next two years with events to take place in the gateway communities and in the park. There will also be national level events that Yosemite will participate in.  

As the Director stated on last week’s webchat, the centennial campaign is meant to inspire support and increase relevancy with the next generation of stewards. The park has gained incredible momentum with its recent celebration events marking the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act this year, and we plan to build on that energy as we move into the 125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park in 2015 and the National Park Service centennial in 2016. 

We encourage all staff to take time this week to reflect on working in public service. Your connection may have started here in Yosemite or at a park you visited with your family years ago; we encourage you to write about what led you to this park and about the pride you take in the work you do as part of the NPS family. You can upload your story and photos to the centennial Share Your Story google site. 

Yosemite is participating in the NPS social media campaign for Founders’ Day today. Be sure to like, share, and retweet the centennial logo posts that celebrate the NPS 98th birthday! Look for it on the park facebook page today (#nationalparks).

We encourage all of you to learn about the upcoming centennial plans and actively participate as we celebrate throughout the next two years. There will be an NPS employee centennial pin distributed in the next few months for employees to wear on their uniforms or work clothes. If you haven’t watched the Director’s centennial webchat yet, you can view it on insideNPS. There is also a centennial “Find Your Park” video that lays out plans for the centennial public engagement campaign. 

With respect and admiration,

Don Neubacher, on behalf of the Executive Leadership Team
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Yosemite National Park Conducts Sierra Wilderness Celebration - News Release
Special Events on September 3 to Commemorate Landmark Acts 
Media Contacts: 

Scott Gediman 209-372-0248

Kari Cobb 209-372-0529 

Yosemite National Park will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the 30th Anniversary of the California Wilderness Act on Wednesday, September 3, 2014.  Special events will take place throughout the day in Yosemite Valley and are designed to honor and celebrate the signing of these two acts, engage the public to better understand and appreciate wilderness, bring wilderness conservation organizations together, and connect with today’s youth and non-wilderness users. 

The Wilderness Act was signed on September 3, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside 9.1 million acres of federal land for the benefit of the American people.  The California Wilderness Act was signed on September 28, 1984 and authorized the addition of over 3 million acres of land within the State of California including Yosemite Wilderness to the National Wilderness Preservation System.  

The schedule of events in Yosemite National Park includes:
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
- 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Wilderness Walk; Enjoy some of Yosemite’s most iconic Wilderness views on this Ranger lead walk exploring the idea and values of Wilderness.  Meet in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for an easy walk.
- 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Wilderness Junior Ranger Walk; Meet at the Happy Isles Nature Center near shuttle stop #16.
- 11:00 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m.: Yosemite’s First Guardian: Galen Clark (performed by Pete Devine with Yosemite Conservancy) shares his experience about seeking protection for Yosemite.  Meet in front of the Valley Visitor Center to take a stroll with a Yosemite legend.
- 11:00 a.m.  – 3:00 p.m.: Wilderness 50th Anniversary Celebration; Join Wilderness enthusiasts from throughout the Sierra in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Participate in a variety of activities as you explore this street fair style event and learn about the values of wild places. Event will occur at the Yosemite Village Mall in front to the Valley Visitor Center.
- 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Wilderness Encounters; Drop in at the campfire circle in front of the Yosemite Museum to hear tales of Wilderness adventure and tradition from legendary storytellers.
- 1:00 p.m.  – 2:00 p.m.: Wilderness Junior Ranger Walk; Meet at the Happy Isles Nature Center near shuttle stop #16.
- 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.: Wilderness Junior Ranger Talk; Meet in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.
- 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Yosemite Theater, Spirit of John Muir; Join John Muir as he shares his astonishing encounters with storms, wild animals and cantankerous humans in his beloved Yosemite. Enjoy his exciting, humorous and profound love of wildness! (Performed by Lee Stetson) (K. Cobb)
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Wawona Road Mechanical Thinning
Yosemite Fire Crews will begin a hazardous fuels reduction project along the east side of the Wawona Road south of the Wawona Golf Course. It will proceed to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. This project removes excess and ladder fuels that can carry fire from the forest floor to the canopy (tops of trees). It is one method used by the National Park Service to reduce heavy accumulations of fuels. This project will help protect the Mariposa Grove of the Sequoias, park infrastructure, and the community of Wawona from unwanted fire. In turn, this helps preserve natural and cultural resources and provide for public and firefighter safety. (G. Wuchner)
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New Invasive Plant Program Manager
I am pleased to announce the selection of Garrett Dickman into a permanent position as the Invasive Plant Program Manager within the Vegetation and Ecological Branch of Resources Management and Science. Garrett received a Masters of Biological Sciences from Montana State University in 2009. He started working for the Vegetation and Ecological Restoration Branch of Resources Management and Science Division in 2010. Garrett became the Acting Invasive Plant Manager in 2012 and has a wide variety of previous experience in managing vegetation including work at Montana State University for his Masters. He also worked at Grand Teton National Park and with the Forest Service in Alaska and New Mexico. Besides his duties with managing invasive plants, Garrett has served frequently as a resource advisor on Yosemite's wildland fires. He will also be the pesticide use coordinator for Yosemite's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Garrett will officially begin his position on October 12th. Please congratulate Garrett when you see him. (S. Beatty)
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New Assistant Fire Station Captains
The Branch of Fire and Aviation Management is proud to announce the promotion of Aaron (Luddy) Ludwig and Parker Bevington to the positions of Ass't. Fire Station Captain.  Aaron will work at the El Portal Station and Parker will work at the Wawona Station. They both began their fire careers at Yosemite, working on the park fuels crew as temporary firefighters, before accepting permanent positions on the park's fire engine crews. We are excited to extend this opportunity to these individuals and look forward to working with them in their new positions. Please extend your congratulations to these individuals for their promotions. (D. Mills)
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New Natural Resources Program Manager
Please welcome Rachel Mazur and her family to the Yosemite National Park.  Rachel is our new Natural Resources Program Manager for the Resources Management and Science Division overseeing the Branch of Wildlife and the Branch of Visitor Use and Social Science.  Rachel will also be Yosemite's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) coordinator.  Rachel has a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis, a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University of New York (SUNY), a Masters in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY and a Bachelors in Environmental Resources Management from the Pennsylvania State University.  Rachel comes to Yosemite from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest where she served as the Forest Wildlife Program lead and also acted as the Regional Wildlife Program lead.  Besides her work in the Forest Service, Rachel has worked in multiple National Park Service units including Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Redwood National Park and Saratoga National Historic Park.  Rachel brings a wealth of experience to this position including two international assignments with the NPS.  Besides her scientific publications, Rachel is also a published author of a children's book, If You Were a Bear, and the soon-to-be released, Speaking of Bears: A Tale of Rewilding from Yosemite, Sequoia, and Other National Parks. Please welcome Rachel, her husband John and their twins, Max and Wren to the community. (L. Mazzu)
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The Yosemite Diversity Award Accepting Nominations
The Equal Opportunity Committee is now accepting nominations through September 15 (Click here for nomination form)
The Diversity Award is presented annually to honor individuals or groups who are committed to promoting inclusion and freedom from discrimination or harassment throughout Yosemite. Can you think of a person or group who has demonstrated leadership in one or more of the following ways?

Recruiting, retaining, and professionally developing staff who increase the diversity of our workforce
Sponsoring or promoting programs, initiatives, or projects that promote diversity, inclusion, and awareness
Collaborating with park partners or other external groups in the creation, sponsorship, and implementation of programs, initiatives, or projects that serve diverse audiences
Creating leadership teams and committees that promote a diverse and inclusive culture
Supporting the Yosemite Strategic Vision (Business and Organizational Excellence, Quality Partnerships, Youth in Yosemite, etc) by actively developing an inclusive and supportive environment

Deadline for nominations is Monday, September 15 at 4:00 pm. Submit your completed nomination form to Chris_Jefferson@nps.gov. The nomination form can be found here on the EOC SharePoint page. NPS Employees, groups, and partners are eligible. The award will be presented at the all-employee party on Thursday, October 2. (E. Davenport)
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2014 Yosemite Volunteer Awards - Call for Nominations
Yosemite is privileged to host some of the best volunteers in the world, from individuals who return year after year to talented interns, passionate volunteer groups to committed partner volunteers, supportive supervisors, and amazing programs.  We want to recognize them on National Public Lands Day, September 27! Volunteers and programs may be nominated in the following categories: Individual Volunteer, Youth Volunteer (up to age 25), Enduring Volunteer (serving multiple years), Volunteer Group, Youth Volunteer Group, Supervisor of Volunteers, and Volunteer Program or Team. Nominations may be submitted by anyone (NPS, partner, volunteer or member of the public). Nomination forms may be found on SharePoint under announcements at: http://sharepoint.yose.nps.gov/intp/vip  or requested from yose_volunteers@nps.gov.  Nominations are due by midnight on Friday August 29. Questions?  Contact the volunteer office at 209-379-1850 or yose_volunteers@nps.gov. (H. Boothe)
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Entrance Station Etiquette
The end of summer is almost here and even though it's been busy and crazy, make sure to keep being friendly to your fellow coworkers at the entrance stations. As a reminder, the stop sign is not optional and the outbound lane is NOT to be used as an inbound lane for employees. Please follow all traffic signs, slow down as you approach the station, stop at the stop sign, make sure the entrance station staff acknowledges you, and as always, if you're feeling extra friendly, roll down your window and say "Hi!" (K. Kirby)
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Rental in El Portal
Bedroom available for rent in Old El Portal as part of a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. The room has wood floors, vaulted wood ceiling, and huge windows looking into valley oaks. Rent is ~$650 + utilities. No pets. Please call or email Garrett 406-599-8210 garrettdickman@gmail.com. (G. Dickman)

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Tioga Road Update NO. 5
Starting Monday morning, August 18th, the contractor crews are moving back to day-time delays on the Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project.  For the next week the crews plan to have time delays from 7 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Friday.  The crews are again trying the day-time work in hopes that the traffic volumes have decreased due to the large number of schools starting next week. However, if the traffic volumes are still high and severely limiting progress, then crews will again go back to night time delays. Therefore, I would plan on 30-minute delays during the day and 1-hour delays during the night. 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 futher questions or concerns, please contact Michael Pieper at (209) 200-1131. (M. Pieper)
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Temporary Safety Closures of Roads
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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Trail Closure
Soda Springs Trail from Tioga Road (near the visitor center) to the Tuolumne River bridge is being improved and adjacent meadow restored. Expect trail closures Monday through Thursday from now until September 25th. (M. Jones)
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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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