Yosemite National Park Friday, February 16th, 2018

February 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Friday, February 16th, 2018


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast


Toda: Sunny. Not as cool. Highs 50 to 58 at 5000 feet...46 to 52 at 8000 feet.


Tonight: Clear. Lows 30 to 40 at 5000 feet...19 to 29 at 8000 feet.


Saturday: Sunny. Highs 54 to 62 at 5000 feet...48 to 54 at 8000 feet.


Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa | Badger Pass






Please use Southside Dr via Sentinel Dr to exit the valley


The only vehicles allowed to enter the Firefall Event Zone are:

Vehicles with a valid entry permit

Vehicles with an ADA placard

Oversize vehicles - vehicles over 20 feet in length including buses, recreational vehicles, and vehicles with trailers

NPS vehicles with a specific reason to enter the event zone

Save yourself some time and use Sentinel Dr to Southside Dr to exit the Valley. We will be turning vehicles around starting Wednesday.(J.Hoeflich)



Yosemite Medical Clinic Holiday Closure

Yosemite Medical Clinic will be closed Monday, February 19 in observance of Washington’s Birthday, a federal holiday. As usual, ambulance response will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by calling 911.  (C. Griffin)



Training Opportunity

Many employees and supervisors have a difficult time talking about sensitive issues that affect the workplace. Those difficulties can often lead to a workplace that avoids safe space conversations and/or critical conversations.  The Allies for Inclusion training program educates participants on how to facilitate conversations dealing with unfamiliar or difficult subject matter.


The in person training March 27-29 at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. There is approximately 4-5 hours of pre-training. 


To apply, we encourage you to fill out this google form: 

Allies for Inclusion Facilitator Application


Electronic or paper copies of the application will also be gladly accepted, you can find the application attached. Please return them to Sabrina Diaz. 


Applications must be received by close of business on Tuesday, February 20th. Applicants will be informed of their selection by close of business on Friday, February 23rd at the latest.


Critical Information:


What: Allies for Inclusion Facilitator's Training

When: March 27-29


Where: The Colonial Room at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel


Who: Any NPS employee as well as employees of partner organizations are welcome to apply


How: Discuss the requirements with your supervisor, and apply by the end of the day Friday, February 16th. Use this google form, or a paper or electronic application returned to Sabrina Diaz if needed (attached)



Any questions about the application process can be directed to Colette Carmouche (Colette_Carmouche@nps.gov) from the Office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion. You can also contact trained facilitator Sally Kintner (Sally_Kintner@nps.gov) in the volunteer office with questions as well. (S.Diaz)



Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for February 14, 2018



New snow: 2 inches
Total settled snow depth: 10 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 56°F (February 8)
Low temperature: 5°F (February 14)


Ski Conditions and Weather: Last week held some of the best (and let’s hope not the last) ski touring of the season. Where there was snow on south-facing slopes, the meager corn harvest was on. On north facing slopes, the short days of winter have kept the powder cold and dry. To get to the high elevations, however, one has to contend with the ice flows that have formed on most of the trail corridors (wear ice cleats if you’re hiking at mid elevations).


Now that the windstorm has passed through, crampons and ice axes are advised in the alpine zone. We received two inches of new snow in Tuolumne Meadows, and approximately eight inches at Tioga Pass thanks to the upslope Mono Lake effect. With the forecasted colder temperatures, expect some challenging ski conditions in places. But, also expect some powder stashes on north, north-east facing aspects!


For those skiing the road corridor, conditions have also changed quite a bit from last week as the Tioga Road was snow free east of Tioga Pass prior to what fell or was blown by the wind the past few days.  Between Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows the road is snow covered until 9,000 feet and then there are a few small patches of bare pavement. The same goes for a section east of Tenaya Lake and in the vicinity of Olmsted Point. The Snow Creek Trail to Tioga Road is mostly snow free as well. The snow conditions on the road vary with aspect from powder, to breakable crust to fast spring-like snow. Touring in Tuolumne Meadows is lovely.


Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada.


The avalanche hazard at the time of this writing has increased temporarily on leeward slopes where there may be sensitive pockets of wind slabs. “Slide for life conditions” will exist on many of the alpine slopes this week given the forecast.


Wildlife: A pine grosbeak was heard in upper Budd Creek this week. Although we don’t seem to pause enough to see or hear them more often, their call is quite distinctive. During this warm spell, we have already been hearing the mating songs of the mountain chickadee and brown creeper for a couple of weeks as well.


Questions: here is firewood and 8 bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted regarding winter travel to Tuolumne Meadows via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while traveling in the wilderness this winter. Follow our blog: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/tmconditions.htm. Happy Washington’s Birthday Weekend! Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers (L. Pilewski)






Yosemite National Park Announces Release of the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment - Yosemite News Release February 12, 2017


Yosemite National Park announces the release of the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment (Bridalveil Fall EA). The public comment period for the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment  is currently open and  will be open until March 14, 2018. Yosemite National Park initiated public scoping and tribal and agency consultation for this project in spring 2017.


The Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment describes and analyzes two action alternatives to improve visitor services and facilities located near Bridalveil Fall. The preferred alternative (Alternative 3) would:


- Replace vault toilets with flush toilets at the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area

- Construct a new accessible loop trail from the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area to a viewing platform.

- Enhance the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area within its existing footprint to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.

- Expand the existing viewing platform for Bridalveil Fall

- Improve safety and traffic congestion along Bridalveil Straight along Southside Drive.


Yosemite is hosting a public meeting in Mariposa, California on February 28, 2018 to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the Bridalveil Fall EA, interact with park staff, and ask questions about the project. This meeting will take place from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Mariposa County Government Center in the Board Chambers.


On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Yosemite National Park will host a public webinar about the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation project from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. To view the webinar, visit: https://yose.webex.com.


The Bridalveil Fall EA is available for review and public comment. Public participation is an important element of the planning process and we welcome your comments. Please share your written comments by March 14, 2018 via one of the following methods:


1) Online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at  https://parkplanning.nps.gov/bridalveil 

To request printed documents (available in limited quantity), email yose_planning@nps.gov or call 209-379-1221.


2) By mail (must be date-stamped by March 14, 2018) to:   

Superintendent, Yosemite National Park

Attn: Bridalveil Fall EA/Superintendent

P.O. Box 577

Yosemite, CA 95389


The NPS will prepare a decision document after analysis of public comments and conclusion of agency consultation. This rehabilitation project implements an action prescribed in the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan.  (S. Gediman



Women’s Leadership Symposium:  Inspiring Men and Women to Build a Stronger Yosemite 

March 13, 2018 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Yosemite Valley Theater and Auditorium


Target Audience: All employees and VIP’s of Yosemite National Park.  No sign up required.


Are you a woman who works in Yosemite? Are you a man who works with women in Yosemite? Then this symposium is for you! On Tuesday, March 13th, men and women from Yosemite NP will come together to explore gender equity issues in the National Park Service and to better understand how to build a stronger Yosemite together.  Learn about best practices for developing innovative strategies that strengthen gender equity in the workplace and hear from inspiring women and men leaders in their journey to achieving new heights and supporting women leaders!


Presenters Needed! Organizers are currently in search of internal speakers who would be interested in leading a short presentation (10-30 minutes) that demonstrates leadership in the following areas: 1) Building strong gender equitable teams, 2) "Breaking the mold" on gender stereotypes,  3) Innovative practices that support women leaders, 4) Demonstrating a speak-up culture.  It's understood that this might require individuals to step out of their comfort zone but sharing is a powerful way to learn from each other. If you are concerned about public speaking or developing a presentation don't worry, the Division of I&E will provide you with a public speaking coach to help you develop your presentation!  To self nominate (or nominate someone else!) go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_KJ-sJg2q9dWXTEjv9EXdHvKXV5fcCmQ9sjZRX9Oz_OfOgg/viewform?usp=sf_link.


For more information email Yose_RDI@nps.gov.  (S. Diaz)



Horsetail Fall Pilot Project (February 12-26, 2018): Tips for Employees

Yosemite National Park will be launching a new pilot program to help manage vehicle traffic associated with Horsetail Fall. Every year, the natural Horsetail Fall phenomenon attracts thousands of visitors to the park for the chance to see Horsetail Fall light up at sunset. 


Over the past several years, the park has experienced increased traffic congestion with over 1000 vehicles parked along Northside Drive on prime viewing days. As a result, there have been significant safety issues between motorists and pedestrians. There have also been significant delays for YARTS and other motorists trying to exit the Valley near sunset.  


To address these concerns and to improve the overall Horsetail Fall experience, the park's Visitor Access Improvement Team (VAIT) has developed a pilot plan to create a Horsetail Fall event zone along Northside Drive. 


What Does this Mean for Park Employees?


1) Beginning on Sunday night, February 11th, to Monday, February 26th, the traffic pattern in the Valley will change. 


- Southside Drive from El Cap Cross to the Sentinel Bridge intersection will become a two-way road. Anyone driving in and out of the Valley as part of your daily commute should plan to use Southside Drive. 

- While Southside Drive is converted to two-way, some roadside parking areas will be closed for the safety of motorists and pedestrians. 

- Remember to Slow Down. Speed limits will drop to 25 mph in the two-way traffic zone. 

- Northside Drive, from the west end of the Yosemite Falls Parking Area to El Cap Meadow, will be closed to most vehicle traffic. This will become the main event viewing zone. 

- Administrative Traffic (government vehicles/concession-owned vehicles on official business, not POVs) will be able to drive through the event zone on Northside Drive.


2) Anyone can hike into the event zone from either Yosemite Falls Parking Area or El Cap Bridge. 

To drive into the primary event zone along Northside Drive and to park in one of the 300 designated parking areas in the right-hand lane of Northside Drive, a free parking permit will be required. 


3) Employees will not be able to exit the park in personal vehicles using Northside Drive. 

The left-hand lane of Northside Drive will remain open as an exit for YARTS buses, commercial buses, emergency vehicles, and other vehicles over 25' in length.


4) Bicyclists should be extra cautious when riding in low-light conditions. 

Northside Drive will remain one-way. Riding against traffic on Northside Drive is prohibited.  


5) There will be no changes to park shuttle schedules or routes. 

The park shuttle should not be negatively impacted by this pattern change. 


6) YARTS Schedules will not change. 

The last YARTS bus will still leave the Valley Lodge at 6:00 pm. No riders will be picked up inside the event zone.


7) The Public Affairs Office, Social Media, and the Public Information Office have been working diligently to help set realistic expectations by advising the public that there is little water in Horsetail Fall.


For employees interested in parking inside the designated event zone, please be aware that the 250 online permits for each day have all been reserved already. 50 first come, first serve permits will be available each day, on the day of, at the Ansel Adams Gallery.   


Just like the parking reservations that have taken place over the past few summers, this is a pilot. The park is testing new ways to improve traffic congestion while helping to improve the visitor experience in Yosemite. The  Visitor Access Improvement Team understands that this may contribute to impacts in other sections of the park. They are going to be carefully monitoring this pilot and gathering data to help the park evaluate any associated impacts. 


This is one of many innovative pilot programs focused on improving traffic management that the park will be testing over the next several seasons. (J. Richards)



Rental Unit

2 bed, 2 bath condo available in Bass Lake for $1,200 per month, available now. Corner unit, private patio, laundry in unit, gated community with pool. Easy commute to Yosemite's South Gate. Email travisnewlon@yahoo.com for more information.  (T. Newlon)



House for Rent in Mariposa

3 bedroom, 1 loft, 1 bathroom, kitchen, clothes washer. $2000.00/month (includes reasonable utilities), deposit negotiable. Available immediately. Please contact Thomas Ahern at thomasahernjr@gmail.com or 209-819-9664.  (M. Zelaya)






Art Center Demolition

The AAC demolition is completed except for the sand removal under the building. This will require a contract modification and so the project is on hold until the modification is completed by PWR, likely in late January - early February. Completion of the sand removal is expected by early February.  (D. Miller)



Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project

This project will rehabilitate the electrical system in the Museum/District Building by installing grounding in the existing electrical circuits. The Contractor mobilized on Monday, December 18th and the project is expected to run for 6 months. The 8 parking stalls to the west of the building between the sidewalk on the south and the south end of the fence to the north will become the Contractor's staging areas.  Please do not leave any vehicles parked there on Sunday night. Thank you.  (K. White)






Jack Hoeflich will be Acting Chief Ranger Feb 16, 2018 


Gus Martinez will be Acting Chief Ranger Feb 17-19, 2018. 


Rachel Mazur will be acting Division Chief for Resources Management and Science until February 16. She can be reached at 379-1437 or 379-1060. 


Heidi Edgecomb will be acting Wilderness Patrol Supervisor until mid-March. She can be reached at 379-9520, 372-0408 or Heidi_Edgecomb@nps.gov.


Rick Hall will be acting Branch Chief of Utilities until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1077 or rick_hall@nps.gov.


Garrett Dickman will be acting Park Botanist until further notice. He can be reached at 379-3282.


Peter Lindstrom will be acting Branch Chief of Physical Science and


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