El Portal Road (Highway 140) Inside Yosemite National Park Will Reopen at 10:00 am Today - Yosemite news Release March 23, 2018
The El Portal Road (Highway 140) inside Yosemite National Park will Reopen at 10:00 am today to all vehicular traffic. The road was closed overnight due to rocks, dirt, and debris that had fallen into the road due to heavy precipitation.
The Wawona Road (Highway 41) and Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West) inside Yosemite National Park are open to all vehicular traffic.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose.
Tuolumne Winter Conditions Update for March 21, 2018
New snow: 33 inches
Total settled snow depth: 38 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 37°F (March 19)
Low temperature: -9°F (March 18)
Ski Conditions and Weather: Although the calendar stated that spring had sprung, Mother Nature realized she had some catching up to do for the winter. We received 33 inches of snow with over two inches of water this week, with more to come. It felt more like mid-January than late March this week. The cold temperatures and calm winds kept the snow clinging to the trees and the snow surface, dry and powdery.
As a consequence, this week held some of the best powder skiing of the season. With the higher density snow falling first, even the trail breaking wasn’t difficult. But, it’s hard to say what the atmospheric river will bring this late in the season. Last night there was some rain up to at least 8,600 feet. Presently, it’s a bit of a wintry mix here at the mid elevations. The forecast calls for unsettled weather to continue through the weekend with significant precipitation over the next couple of days.
Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada.
Immediately after this week’s storm, we did observe some instability on steep, north-facing treed slopes between 8,600 feet and 10,000 feet. One rather large 38-degree slope in particular collapsed and propagated but did not slide. Several other large wind-slab avalanches were observed on Parsons and Unicorn Peak. The break between storms saw more stable conditions, but heavy precipitation falling over the next several days will really test the stability of all snow covered slopes at all elevations and aspects. This is a warm storm with high snow lines so our attention now turns to the likelihood of wet avalanches. Be careful out there folks!
Stay tuned to ESAC for the most current avalanche hazard ratings and observations throughout the eastern/central Sierra.
Wildlife: Another raptor, the osprey, was observed flying westward over Tuolumne Meadows this week. Otherwise, perhaps due to a wet winter last year, rodent tracks seem more abundant than usual.
General Info: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There 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 via email at Laura_Pilewski@nps.gov, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. For permit info see: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm. or you may contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while travelling in the wilderness this winter! Follow our blog: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/tmconditions.htm. (L. Pilewski)
Hooting Owl Lecture Series Tonight
Join Sarah Stock for a hopeful presentation on how the dire fate of animals in Yosemite is being reversed. She will talk about restoring the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, protecting Peregrine Falcons, and discovering the elusive Sierra Nevada red fox. These recovery stories in Yosemite demonstrate that good things are possible when past mistakes are boldly addressed. This Hooting Owl Lecture Series will take place on Thursday, March 22nd from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Wawona Community Center. Doors open at 6:00 pm. (S. Stock)
Courtroom Deputy Applications Due April 4
The Clerks Office is recruiting for a full-time Courtroom Deputy position in its Yosemite National Park office. The incumbent will be the sole Clerks Office representative in the office and will support the work of a full-time magistrate judge.
Salary Range $40,464 - $79,617
Closing Date 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Public Library Hours Changing
Mariposa County Library, Yosemite Branch is changing its hours for Thursdays beginning, March 22nd from 1:30-6:30 to 12:30-5:30pm.
The library staff and volunteers hope to have more traffic on Thursdays by staying open part of the lunchtime, and seeing some of you after 5:00! Please bring feedback if you have any other requests for the 15 hours they are privileged to serve the Yosemite Valley community!
Tuesdays and Wednesday hours will remain the same - 10am-3pm. (C. Reynolds)
Mariposa Park & Ride Closure
The back portion of the Mariposa Park & Ride facility has been closed by another sinkhole. YARTS buses will continue to provide service at this stop, however, the capacity of the parking facility is reduced. Please avoid the rear portion of the facility and watch for fencing as repair work is commenced. (J. Donovan)
Women's History Month - Tabuce 1870–1947
Each week during the month of March, organizers of the Women’s Leadership Symposium highlight a famous woman from Yosemite's History.
Ta-bu-ce (also known as Maggie Howard),was an Indian cultural demonstrator from 1929–1942.
Tabuce’s story has been told many times; of her exquisite basketry, her calm demeanor, and her years of tourist demonstrations of Indian cultural practices. Beyond that though, Tabuce faced innumerable challenges with a fiery spirit, pride, and perseverance. A Paiute Indian born at Mono Lake, Tabuce and her father would make frequent trips to visit friends in Yosemite until Tabuce began to spend more of her time in the Valley than out of it. She worked in the Yosemite Valley store, at the Sentinel Hotel, and as an independent contractor cleaning homes. Through the years, she also became renowned for her masterful basketry, beadwork, baking, and cooking; combining techniques from multiple peoples and creating her own as well. She demonstrated these skills in the Yosemite Museum from 1929 to 1942.
During her early years as a cultural demonstrator, Indian Field Days, was in full swing. This annual celebration, put on by the National Park Service, was sold as a way to reconnect American Indians with traditions and cultural practices, but was a tourism-boosting scheme, in which each fall, Yosemite Indians were paid to dress like Plains Indians to meet the ethnic stereotypes and expectations of visiting tourists. Tabuce created elaborate, floor-length, beaded buckskin dresses that she wore during the Indian Field Days. Adapting to the expectations of the time for her own well being and livelihood, Tabuce nonetheless retained a sharp wit, and wasn’t afraid to comment on the rudeness of ogling photographers or to refuse to answer probing questions. In her later years, a tourist once asked Tabuce how old she was, and got the response: “I’m 16. How old are you?”
We remember her for her unwavering spirit, her timeless contributions to the world of art, and for the impact that she left on Yosemite in sharing her time and effort towards cultural understanding despite facing discrimination and racism throughout her life. (E. Wold)
Base Camp Eatery Open
Base Camp Eatery, formerly the Food Court at Yosemite Valley Lodge, opened on schedule March 16th after an extensive renovation which began in November 2017. Base Camp Eatery, which includes a Starbucks coffee bar, is open daily from 6:30 am to 10 pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The new dining experience offers greater menu variety, new recipes using local/seasonal ingredients with a greater emphasis on front-of-house cooking and fresh food concepts, and grab-and-go selections. The new interior design and concept honors the history of rock climbing in Yosemite while preserving the historic character of the unique 1958 building. Base Camp Eatery represents Yosemite Hospitality’s latest capital improvement project and continued investment in modernizing hospitality offerings and enhancing guest experiences at Yosemite National Park. (E. Davenport/L. Cesaro)
Recent Publications: Sierra Nevada Network Inventory & Monitoring Program
The Sierra Nevada Network Inventory & Monitoring Program (SIEN) conducts natural resource inventories and long-term monitoring projects in Devils Postpile National Monument, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Yosemite National Park. Following are recent publications from SIEN projects.
Gage, E. A., J. C. B. Nesmith, L. Chow, A. Chung-MacCoubrey, D. J. Cooper, A. M. Eddy, S. A. Haultain, J. G. Holmquist, J. R. Jones, L. R. Jones, S. T. McKinney, P. E. Moore, L. S. Mutch, L. A. H. Starcevich, and H. Werner. 2018. Wetlands ecological integrity monitoring protocol for Sierra Nevada Network: Narrative version 2.1. Natural Resource Report NPS/SIEN/NRR—2018/1601. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
The following annual reports capture the highlights from our white pine monitoring project for 2015 and 2016. In this project, we monitor populations of whitebark pine in Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks, and foxtail pine in Sequoia & Kings Canyon.
Nesmith, J. C. B. 2017. Sierra Nevada Network white pine monitoring: 2015 annual report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SIEN/NRDS—2017/1141. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Nesmith, J. C. B. 2018. Sierra Nevada Network white pine monitoring: 2016 annual report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SIEN/NRDS—2018/1150. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
For gritty statistical details of trend estimation for complex survey designs in monitoring projects, the authors feature water chemistry data from SIEN’s lake monitoring project in these trend estimation analyses.
Starcevich, L. A. H., T. McDonald, A. Chung-MacCoubrey, A. Heard, J. Nesmith, and T. Philippi. 2018. Methods for estimating trend in continuous response variables from complex survey designs. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/IMD/NRR—2018/1584. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. (L. Mutch)
Rooms for Rent
Rooms for rent in a beautiful, large 4+ bed/2.5 bath home, nestled in the hills off the 140, near the border of Mariposa and Midpines. Home is on 5 quiet acres, surrounded by great views which you can see from bedroom windows. $550/month per room, plus a portion of utilities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested. (K. Indigo)
Rock Debris On Park Roads
Drivers are reminded of the greater likelihood of encountering rock debris on park roads during wet weather. Although rockfalls are always possible along all park roadways, they tend to happen more often during winter storms.
The area affected by the June 12, 2017 rockfall at Parkline Slab (downhill of Dog Rock) may be particularly prone to storm-triggered rockfalls, as there is abundant loose debris on the bedrock slope above the road that is likely to be mobilized by significant rainfall. Those driving the El Portal Road should be especially vigilant for rock debris below Parkline Slab during or immediately after rainstorms, and be aware that road closures may occur in response to these storms.
If you encounter rock debris on the road, please report it to Park Dispatch. Do not attempt to remove debris yourself – leave that task to road crews equipped to do so safely. (G. Stock)