Yosemite National Park

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YGP SUMMER 2017 NEWSLETTER v12-3

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2017 YGP Quarterly Meeting. Take a look inside at the historic presentation we have
prepared for you, and then make sure to REGISTER BEFORE 12 NOON tomorrow,
Monday July 10 – visit http://tinyurl.com/YGPSummer17

 

 

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Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park Remains Closed
Park staff continue to make necessary repairs for visitor safety

June 23 2017

The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park (Highway 120 through the park) remains closed to all vehicular traffic, including bicycles. Melting snow is causing water to run over the road in multiple locations, creating a safety hazard. Park staff and partners continue to conduct necessary repairs to power, communications, water, and sewer systems along the Tioga Road following a record-breaking year for winter snowpack.
The park is diligently working to ensure that adequate sanitation facilities are in place to meet visitor needs and to protect the water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed.  Due to safety and sanitation concerns, Tioga Road will remain closed until the impacted power, communications, water and sewer systems are operational to meet the needs of park staff and visitors. There is no anticipated opening date at this time. April snow surveys indicated that in the high elevation regions of Yosemite, the park saw the highest snowpack on record. In many locations above 8,000 feet in elevation, the snowpack measured over 200 percent of average (based on water content). The increased snowpack has resulted in a late opening of the Tioga Road for the summer season. Warm summer weather has led to increased melting of the snowpack, resulting in high water levels that are fluctuating daily. Anyone planning to hike or backpack in the higher elevations of Yosemite should be prepared for winter hiking and camping conditions. Trails are still impacted by snow and ice. River crossings are high and swift moving. There are several high water areas currently impacting the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT) in Yosemite National Park. Anyone planning a trip on the PCT through Yosemite should use caution and be prepared to turn back in the event of high water crossings.
All visitors planning to hike or camp in the high elevation regions of Yosemite are urged to be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings while hiking in wilderness areas this summer season. Stream crossings on the PCT, JMT and other trails can be deceiving and should be avoided until water levels decrease.
-NPS-
Media Contacts:
Jamie Richards
209-372-0529
209-742-3520

 

 

For Immediate Release

Ackerson Meadow Gifted to Yosemite National Park

Four Hundred Acres of Critical Habitat to be Protected

Yosemite National Park added Ackerson Meadow, 400 acres of critical wetlands and meadow habitat on the park’s western boundary through a donation. The landmark addition was donated to the park through a cooperative effort between The Trust for Public Land, Yosemite Conservancy, and the National Park Service.

The Trust for Public Land purchased Ackerson Meadow from private owners for $2.3 million earlier this year and donated it today to the National Park Service to be part of Yosemite National Park. Funds to buy the property came from several major contributors to The Trust for Public Land, including a bequest of $1.53 million and $520,000 by the nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy, with additional support from National Park Trust and American Rivers.

“The generous donation of Ackerson Meadow will preserve critical meadow habitat that is home to a number of state and federally listed protected species,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “It’s a stunning open meadow surrounded by forest habitat, which supports a wide variety of flora and fauna species and offers new meadow experiences for park visitors. This meadow is a remarkable gift to the American people, coming at a historic time as we celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service.”

“Donating the largest addition since 1949 to one of the world’s most famous parks is a great way to celebrate the 100th birthday of our National Park Service – and honor John Muir’s original vision for the park. We are delighted, and proud to make this gift to Yosemite, and the people of America” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

Yosemite’s meadows are vitally important habitats and Ackerson Meadow provides critical habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species. At just 3 percent of Yosemite National Park’s area, meadows may be home to one-third of all of the plant species found in the park. Most of San Francisco’s water is filtered by Yosemite’s meadows, including Ackerson Meadow.

“The original Yosemite boundary plans of 1890 included Ackerson Meadow, so it is exciting to finally have this important place protected,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean. “The purchase supports the long term health of the meadow and its wild inhabitants, and creates opportunities for visitors to experience a beautiful Sierra meadow.” In recent decades, Yosemite Conservancy has funded restoration and protection of ten meadows, such as Stoneman, Cook’s and Sentinel meadows in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows in the high country.

About Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th Anniversary last year and is currently celebrating its Centennial Anniversary with the National Park Service. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of plants. www.nps.gov/yose

About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a ten minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About Yosemite Conservancy
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. Work funded by the Conservancy is visible throughout the park, in trail rehabilitation, wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is also dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering, wilderness services and its bookstores. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $100 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at www.yosemiteconservancy.org or call 415-434-1782.
-NPS-

Media Contacts
Scott Gediman: 209-372-0248
Jamie Richards: 209-372-0529
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Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park Announces
Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors

Prestigious Group to Help Promote Centennial of National Park Service

A prestigious group of park supporters and advocates have been announced to be Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors. The Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors were selected from a wide variety of backgrounds and include musicians, scientists, artists, athletes, historians, writers, public officials and educators. Each ambassador shares a unique story, love, and commitment for Yosemite National Park.

The Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors will help the park connect with and inspire the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and champions. In 2016, Yosemite National Park will commemorate the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary. The National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916 and will officially become 100 years old on August 25, 2016.

Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors include Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA-5), University of California President Janet Napolitano, historian and filmmaker Dayton Duncan, author Terry Tempest Williams, news anchor Ken Bastida, and Yosemite Conservancy President and CEO Frank Dean. Well-known athletes include professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe and world class rock climbers such as Conrad Anker, Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell, and Timmy O’Neill.

Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors are committed to sharing their experiences and love for Yosemite by attending special events, posting stories and photos on social media, and helping the park to attract new stewards and supporters. Photos and biographies of the Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors are featured on the park’s website and their stories and experiences will be shared on the park’s Instagram and Facebook social media feeds.

“People from around the world love Yosemite National Park and the National Park Service,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “We are extremely honored and grateful that this group of distinguished individuals have agreed to share their passion for Yosemite and help inspire the next generation of park visitors and stewards.”

“I’m honored and excited to serve as a Yosemite Centennial Ambassador,”  stated Gavin Newsom, California’s Lieutenant Governor. “The park is incredibly important to the State of California, and some of my most treasured memories are camping and hiking in Yosemite National Park with my family.”

The Centennial marks the third consecutive year in which Yosemite National Park is commemorating an important milestone. On June 30, 2014, Yosemite National Park commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the birth of the national park idea. On October 1, 2015, the 125th Anniversary of the park was commemorated. The Act creating the National Park Service, known as the “Organic Act,” was signed on August 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. On August 26, 2016, over 400 National Park Service units across the country will commemorate the Centennial, the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.

Yosemite National Park and the gateway communities surrounding the park are conducting a wide variety of events throughout the year to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial. For more information about centennial events and for a complete list of Yosemite Centennial Ambassadors, please visit www.nps.gov/yose/anniversary. You can find their pictures and stories on the Yosemite Instagram and Facebook pages and by searching #YosemiteAmbassador.

Yosemite National Park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of flowering plants.
Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman  209-372-0248
Ashley Mayer 209-372-0529

 

 

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Human Bear Incidents Reach Record Low

Human-Bear Incidents Reach Record Low in Yosemite National Park
Park Campaign to “Keep Bears Wild” Contributed to Success

Yosemite National Park has recorded the lowest number of human-bear incidents since 1975, when the park initiated its first human-bear management program. In 2015, there were 76 incidents, which resulted in $4,909 in property damage. (A bear incident occurs when a bear causes property damage, obtains food, acts aggressively, or injures a person.) This represents a 95% reduction in number of incidents and a 99% reduction in property damage from the record high in 1998, when there were approximately 1,600 incidents resulting in $660,000 in property damage. Although injuries are relatively uncommon and minor, this year also marked the fourth year in a row in which there were no injuries caused by bears in Yosemite.

In 1998, dozens of black bears broke into cars and roamed campgrounds looking for food. It was not uncommon on a summer evening for bears to break into 10 to 15 cars. Most of these cars contained food, leading bears to become food conditioned. Additionally, many park visitors failed to store their food properly at campsites and picnic areas. The number of incidents escalated for several years in the mid-1990s. National media reported extensively on Yosemite’s human-bear conflicts, which caught the attention of a U.S. representative from California. To help curb the problem and educate park visitors, the congressman secured $500,000 per year for Yosemite to address human-bear conflicts and implement solutions.

With the high number of human-bear incidents and extensive property damage, the park used the additional funding to decrease incidents by reducing the availability of human food to bears and improving food storage facilities. In 2000, the park unveiled the “Keep Bears Wild” campaign, which continues today. The campaign focuses on educating visitors and employees about their responsibility to store food properly while visiting Yosemite. Park rangers continue to educate visitors in person, produce videos, post signs, distribute flyers, and work with the news media to improve public awareness. Delaware North at Yosemite includes messaging in its restaurants and on grocery bags and paper cups. Yosemite Conservancy offers retail products, such as stuffed bears with ear tags containing an educational message, to increase awareness and help fund bear awareness programs.

With extensive messaging throughout the park, visitors became more aware of how their individual actions could save a bear’s life. The program saw incremental improvement in ensuing years as food storage improved, with a dramatic reduction in incidents beginning in 2011.

“We would like to thank park visitors for their help in making this campaign an overwhelming success,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “There is no more of a rewarding experience than seeing a bear foraging naturally.”

Even during a year with low incidents like this one, the work is not done. The park must continue to educate the public and visitors need to continue to store their food properly in order for this success to continue.

Yosemite Conservancy, the park’s philanthropic partner, has been instrumental to the success of the bear program on several levels. Yosemite Conservancy provided funding for several hundred of the bear-proof food lockers at campgrounds, trailheads, and parking lots. Last year, Yosemite Conservancy also provided funding to outfit bears with GPS collars. The GPS collars allow park rangers to track bears’ movements to learn about their habits. This has provided invaluable knowledge in learning about Yosemite’s bears.
Contacts:
Scott Gediman: (209) 372-0248
Ashley Mayer: (209) 372-0529

This message is sent to you by Yosemite Gateway Partners on behalf of Yosemite National Park. Please share the information with other people in your community

 

 

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Yosemite National Park

News For Immediate Release
Annual Facelift to be Held
in Yosemite National Park

Extensive Parkwide Clean-Up Event
to Occur September 22 – 27 River
Yosemite National Park and the Yosemite Climbing Association invite the public to participate in the Facelift, an annual event held to clean up trash and debris from around the park after the busy summer season. This year’s Facelift event will honor Yosemite National Park’s 125th Anniversary with special service projects and interactive anniversary-themed activities.

Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter at various locations in the park, including roadways, in the river corridor, on trails, near climbing routes, and in parking, camping, and lodging areas. The event starts on Tuesday evening, September 22, with the Reel Rock 10 film showing beginning at 7:00 p.m. Trash pick-up volunteer days will start on Wednesday, September 23 and continue through Sunday, September27, 2015.

Last year, over 1,600 Yosemite Facelift volunteers collected almost 14,000 pounds of trash and debris and completed many service projects throughout the park. Volunteers worked 12,000 hours throughout the event and throughout the park to clear debris and trash from heavily visited areas and along park roads.

Interested volunteers can sign up at the booth in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 27th. A second check-in station will be located at the Tuolumne Meadows campground office on Wednesday, September 23 through Saturday, September 26. The Tuolumne Meadows booth will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Crew leaders will be at the booths to organize work groups and hand out trash bags, gloves, and litter sticks. Trash must be returned to the booths each day by the registration area’s closing time to be weighed and sorted. All volunteers must register prior to participating in the event.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, please visit the Yosemite Climbing Association website at www.facebook.com/pages/Yosemite-Facelift/120770414636649. Individuals who are unable to participate during the cleanup, but would still like to help, may make a tax deductible donation to help pay for costs associated with the cleanup effort. Donations can be made to the Yosemite Climbing Association at P.O. Box 89 Yosemite, California 95389
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On Saturday, September 26, the park will celebrate National Public Lands Day. In order to celebrate this special day and the Facelift events, the park will waive entrance fees. The fee waiver includes entrance fees on Saturday only and is not associated with camping fees.

Additionally, there will be a Yosemite Volunteer Awards Ceremony at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Valley Visitor Center on Saturday, September 26.

Scott Gediman (209) 372-0248
Jodi Bailey (209) 372-0288
Ashley Mayer (209) 372-0529

This message is sent to you by Yosemite Gateway Partners on behalf of Yosemite National Park. Please share the information with other people in your community

 

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Increased Plague Activity
in the Sierra Nevada
Based upon recent incidents of rodents with plague and a handful of cases where plague was contracted by people visiting nearby federal lands, the Inyo National Forest would like to advise recreationalists and residents to take the following steps as a matter of caution while visiting the Inyo National Forest.
Never feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents and never touch sick or dead rodents.
Avoid walking or camping near rodent burrows.
Wear long pants tucked into socks or boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas.
Spray insect repellent containing DEET on skin and clothing, especially socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas.
Keep wild rodents out of homes, trailers, and outbuildings and away from pets.
If you notice dead rodents without obvious signs of injury while recreating, please contact your local health department (Mono County: 760-924-1830; Inyo County: 760-873-7868) or the California Department of Public Health’s Vector-Borne Disease Section at 916-552-9730. If possible, note the type of rodent (i.e. mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, etc.), location and date seen. Take a photograph if possible. If you are in a campground, please notify the campground host in addition to the health department.

Early symptoms of plague may include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. People who develop these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and notify their health care provider that they have been camping or out in the wilderness and have been exposed to rodents and fleas.

Although the presence of plague has been confirmed in wild rodents over the past few weeks in nearby areas, the risk to human health remains low. In California, plague-infected animals are most likely to be found in the foothills and mountains.

The California Department of Public Health has plague information, including precautions people can take to minimize their risk.

 

Yosemite Gateway Partners

Yosemite National Park – Plague Incident Update
Update For Immediate Release
Campground Successfully Dusted
Dear Yosemite Community,

Public health officials and Yosemite National Park staff successfully dusted rodent burrows in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground yesterday with the insecticide deltamethrin (DeltaDust). Deltamethrin was used to treat rodent burrows in the campground to reduce the risk to people and wildlife from fleas that may carry the plague bacteria. It is commonly used on pets and livestock to control fleas and ticks, as well as on clothing and lawns to kill mosquitoes and ticks.

We hope to re-open Tuolumne Meadows Campground on Friday as planned. We will do follow-up surveillance today and Wednesday.

Although cases of human plague are very rare, everyone needs to be diligent to reduce risk of exposure to plague.

Steps that you can take to avoid exposure to human plague include:
Never feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents and never touch a sick or dead rodent
Avoid walking or camping near rodent burrows
Do not pitch your tent or prepare food near rodent burrows
Wear long pants tucked into socks or boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas
Spray insect repellent containing DEET on socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas
Keep wild rodents out of homes, trailers, and outbuildings and away from pets
We appreciate your attention to this matter.

Don Neubacher, on behalf of Yosemite National Park

Office of the Superintendent
Yosemite National Park
209-372-0496
YOSE_Superintendent@nps.gov
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