Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Today: Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 81 to 89 at 5000 feet...68 to 76 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then partly cloudy after midnight. Lows 55 to 65 at 5000 feet...43 to 53 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Near the crest, slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 84 to 92 at 5000 feet... 70 to 78 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
There have been many inquiries about the drought restrictions that have been set in the recent years. Although California is out of the Emergency Drought period, we are still under a drought restriction throughout the State of California and Yosemite National Park. Yosemite's Sustainability Vision 2020 requires the continuous reduction of water consumption. Yosemite's Superintendent Directive #36 is still in effect.
Youth in Yosemite Open House Friday
Please join in celebrating Yosemite's Youth Programs on Friday, July 7th for the annual Youth in Yosemite Open House at the Gray Barn in Wawona! High school and college students will share their stories and passions. This year's program highlights the participants in Adventure Risk Challenge, the Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship and the Youth Conservation Corps. The event begins Friday, July 7th at noon with an RSVP'd lunch and is followed by student speakers from 1:00-3:00. Lunch is by invitation but everyone is welcome to join in at 1:00. (A. Guzman)
Temporary Promotion/Detail: Park Ranger (Interpretation) GS-0025-09
This is a temporary promotion not-to-exceed 70 days located in the Division of Interpretation and Education, Field Operations and supervises the Mather District Interpretive program.
Opening Date: 7/5/2017 Closing Date: 7/14/2017 Target EOD: August
For more information contact Bob Loudon, Branch Chief of Interpretive Field Operations, at Bob_Loudon@nps.gov or Sabrina Diaz, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Acting, at Sabrina_Diaz@nps.gov. (L. Walsh)
Clinic X-Ray Out of Service
Yosemite Medical Clinic's X-Ray is out of service pending its repair. Estimated time of repair is unspecified. A service technician is scheduled to inspect the unit on Monday, July 10th. (C. Griffin)
Volunteer Office Announcements
Yellow Pine Campground Open - As of June 30, Yellow Pine Campground has opened for normal operations. A tremendous, heartfelt thank-you to all those from many other divisions and offices, especially Eric Bissmeyer and all the folks in Fees, who extended their help, expertise, and flexibility this spring as we tried to accommodate Volunteer groups everywhere else.
Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social July 6 at 1 pm in YV - All volunteers, supervisors, and coworkers are invited to an ice cream social event to express our appreciation for your work. This Thursday, July 6 at 1 pm in the Volunteer Field Office across the street from Camp 4.
Call for Facelift Projects - If you have a project you've been hoping to finish but have not had the people for it, please bring the idea to the Facelift Team. You must be the primary driver behind planning and compliance for the project; Facelift can assign volunteers. Email email@example.com
Employee Florescent and LED Lamp Disposal Policy
All employees in Government housing are required to purchase and replace their own light bulbs. After replacement, occupants need to drop off the old lamp to a recycle site in their district for proper disposal. Each district will have clearly marked boxes for florescent tubes and LED bulbs. Any employee needing assistance with removing or replacing lamps should contact the Facilities Management Customer Service Desk at 379-1058.
Customers can dispose of lamps at the following locations and times:
Wawona: Buildings and Grounds Shop, 375-9508 on Wednesdays between 12pm and 1pm.
Hodgdon: Buildings and Grounds Shop, 379-1931 on Wednesdays between 12pm and 1pm.
Valley: Buildings and Grounds Shop, 372-0545 on Mondays and Fridays between 12pm and 1pm.
El Portal: Buildings and Grounds Shop 379-1280 on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12pm and 1pm. (C. Hassan)
Wildland Firefighter Medical Exams
The Branch of Fire and Aviation Management will no longer accept requests from personnel to schedule medical exams to perform arduous wildland firefighting duties. The Yosemite Emergency Communication Center processes our Interagency Qualifications Cards (Red Cards) and has a deadline of July 1 for processing those cards. If you have a medical exam already scheduled or in process, they will work with you to process your card once your exam and PACK Test have been completed. Thanks to all who support the wildland fire program. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Deron Mills or Carla Hamlett. (D. Mills)
YARTS Hwy 140 Winter Schedule
The YARTS Hwy 140 Winter 2017-2018 Schedule is now available online at www.yarts.com. Please be aware that the schedule is subject change prior to the start of the winter service. Changes in the schedule will be posted at www.yarts.com or at www.facebook.com/rideyarts. (C. Kelly)
Yosemite Bear Facts - June 11th to June 24th, 2017
2017 Total Bear Incidents: 16
2017 Total Property Damage: $1,290
Compared to this same week 2016 (the lowest year on record for bear incidents), bear incidents in 2017 are up by 100% and damages are up by 76%. Compared to 1998 (when incidents in the park peaked), bear incidents in 2017 are down by 96%, and damages are down by 99%.
Bear Activity Summary: Bears continue to be active in wilderness areas in June. All reported bear incidents in the last few weeks have occurred along popular trails leading out of Yosemite Valley. Two incidents were reported after bear canisters went missing in the night at the top of the Snow Creek switchbacks. Bears can approach campsites at any time of day, so be sure to always secure food and scented items in a bear-proof container. Additionally, when camping in wilderness areas, it is advisable to place you bear canister within viewing distance of your tent and place objects on top that would make considerable noise if your canister was disturbed (think pots and pans). Curious bears can roll canisters away from campsites in the night. Additionally, certain wilderness camping areas are closed around the Snow Creek footbridge, more information can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/
Red Bear, Dead Bear: So far, three bears have been hit by vehicles. This past week a bear was hit in Yosemite Valley and another near the Crane Flat gas station. Please help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals in roadways.
Fascinating Bear Fact: Black bears are excellent climbers and are known to climb trees or even rock faces for various reasons including finding food, escaping danger, and even to sleep.
Other Wildlife Sightings: For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/
When the Road Opens before the Trails are Passable
On July 1, 2017 about an hour before sunset, a wilderness law enforcement ranger on a routine
backcountry patrol encountered three separate parties, seven hikers total, all completely lost while
facing darkness. They were in the Sunrise Pass area south of Tioga Road, Tuolumne Meadows general area.
Although the Tioga Road opened just two days before, many high country trails remain snow covered, including trail signs. All three parties discovered how challenging route finding is on snow buried trails and lost their way going to Clouds Rest and back; this trail is misperceived as an easier route and some of the hikers had done this trail before. While lost, one party found another trail which they could not identify and it did not lead to where they needed to go which only worsened their situation.
Through route finding efforts and cross-country travel, the ranger successfully lead the hikers to their destination arriving at 11:00 p.m. By this time, one hiker was suffering from altitude sickness and another was asthmatic. None of the hikers were enjoying their experience.
Although the cross-country travel occurred after darkness, only two of the hikers had headlamps and the ranger had to loan out his spares.
It was fortuitous that a ranger in a vast backcountry happened across three lost parties. He was not looking for anyone specifically nor were there any reports of missing hikers as cell service is unusual in this area. Otherwise, searches would not have started at least until the following day and this would have required numerous resources, at least one miserable night outside, and an outcome that could not be guaranteed.
- Traveling over snow covered trails requires route finding skills. This includes carrying a detailed
topographical map, compass (GPS optional), and, of course, mastery of these items.
- Always, and we cannot stress this enough, have the ability to retreat or return to where you
have come from by the same route. This requires you to remain aware of what’s behind you
while hiking to your destination.
- Hike prepared with the 10 essentials. Few hikers intend to hike in the darkness but a headlamp,
preferably two, and spare batteries, can be a game changer.
- Hikers sometimes place rock cairns for their own reference. These are not official Park Service
markers and they may or may not be accurate. Bottom line, follow someone else’s markers at
your own risk.
- When in doubt, hike on well-defined trails until the high-country trails are snow free.
Please help circulate the word to anyone who is thinking of hiking in the Tioga and Tuolumne areas. (A. Hageman)
As snow melts and creeks rise, conditions on trails will change dramatically in the coming weeks. The more you know, the better you can prepare yourself and visitors. From NPS logins, go to
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
Yosemite Valley Road Work
Contractors are on schedule to finish work on Northside Drive in west Yosemite Valley between the Bridalveil View pullout and Pohono Bridge by the end of July. One lane will remain open at all times. After the Fourth of July, the left lane will be open. Anticipate slow traffic during peak hours. (L. Acree)
El Portal Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 1
June 30-July 10: Contractor will be offsite. Construction activities will resume on Monday, 7/10. For additional information please visit the Construction Update Boards located at the Post Office and El Portal Market. For any further questions or concerns, please contact Jamie Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org. (G. Chun, Y. Lugo, J. Richards)
El Portal Road Delays
Crews have begun repairing damaged sections of the El Portal roadway, shoulders and embankment from this past Springs storms and slides. Crews will be working Mondaythru Friday, 7AM to 5PM with 15 minute delays and single lane traffic control between the western park boundary near Yosemite View Lodge and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. This work on El Portal Road is scheduled to be complete by July 15th. For more information contact Michael Pieper at 209-200-1131. (M. Pieper)
Caltrans Traffic Advisory - Hwy 120
During the week of June 26th, Caltrans is conducting pavement work in both lanes of State Route 120 in Tuolumne County. East- and westbound travelers are subject to delays of up to 10 minutes and one-way traffic control.
Work is scheduled from 6:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Monday and Tuesday, June 26th and 27th, between Evergreen Road and Hardin Flat Road. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 28th and 29th, work will extend west to School Street during the same hours of operation. Please drive carefully, pay attention to warning signs, and watch for stopped vehicles, workers, and equipment. (J. Donovan)
Wawona Road Delays Near South Entrance
6-6-17: Crews are continuing the Rehabilitation of the Wawona Road. This work will continue over the next 4 months. At this time there is no weekend or night time work scheduled. The current work zone along Wawona Road is 1 mile south and 1/2 mile north of the South Entrance intersection. The current traffic delays are as follows:
Monday thru Friday
6:00 AM to 8:00 AM 15-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM 30-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic
3:00 PM to 5:30 PM 15-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic
(Pilot cars may be used to escort vehicles thru the construction zones.) (M. Pieper)