Yosemite National Park Thursday, May 10th, 2018

May 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Thursday, May 10th, 2018


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today:  Sunny. Highs 66 to 74 at 5000 feet...60 to 66 at 8000 feet. 

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows 42 to 52 at 5000 feet...32 to 42 at 8000 feet.

Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 61 to 67 at 5000 feet...52 to 58 at 8000 feet. Over higher elevations, west winds around 25 mph in the afternoon.


Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

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






Hooting Owl Lecture Series Today

"Chaos to Coexistence?  We're Getting There!  100 Years of Human-Bear Conflict in Yosemite National Park" by Ryan Leahy, Wildlife Biologist


Join NPS biologist Ryan Leahy as he presents the tumultuous 100-year history of managing American black bears in one of the nation's most visited and iconic national parks.  Take a history lesson from the mis-guided early days, leading up to the chaotic peak of conflict in the late 20th century, to the dramatic turn-around of the past 20 years of cooperation under the Yosemite Bear Council.


This month's Hooting Owl lecture will take place on Thursday, May 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Wawona Community Center.  Doors open at 6:00.  (J. Cox)



Helicopter Training May 15-16

The Yosemite Helicopter Rescue Team and Yosemite Helitak will be conducting ​high angle rescue training​ El Capitan Meadow ​May 15-16 from approximately 0700 to 1700.  (C. Ronay)




Glacier Point Road Delays

Drilling Operations will occur next week (May 15th and 16th) on Glacier Point Road  as part of the future Glacier Point Road rehabilitation project between Badger Pass and Glacier Point..  There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zones. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling along the Glacier Point Road next week on May 15th and 16th. 


Tuesday (May 15th) and Wednesday (May 16th)

7am to 5:00pm –  Traffic delays up to 15 minutes (M. Pieper)







Barry Hance Award Nominations Due June 22

Do you have a co-worker that you always look forward to working with? Someone who brightens your day when you're busy and stressed out? Who you can always count on to lend a hand, often without being asked? Someone who exemplifies the NPS mission; who is cheerful and has a positive attitude; who communicates well, is a team-player, and is all-around great to work with? If you know someone who fits the above descriptions, you should nominate them for this year's Barry Hance Award! 


Nominations will be accepted until 4:00 PM on Friday, June 22nd, so start on your submissions now! All NPS employees are eligible to nominate someone - you could be the one who submits the application for this year's winner!  


In order to nominate someone you must complete the Barry Hance Award nomination form, complete a DI-451 award form, and have the nominee's supervisor approve and sign the nomination form (email yose_superintendent@nps.gov to get the forms if you don't already have them). Send the completed package in a blue "special attention mail" envelope labeled "Barry Hance Award Nomination" to Alan Kunz and/or Renee Madrid at the Superintendent's Office in the Valley.  (A. Kunz)



YARTS Summer Schedules Begin May 14

All schedules can be viewed or downloaded at

https://yarts.com/news/summer-2018-schedules-now-available-reservations-open  (C. Kelly)



Half Dome Cables in Yosemite National Park will be in Place for Visitors on May 11, 2018 - Yosemite News Release May 8, 2018

Daily lottery for permits will open Wednesday, May 9, 2018


The Half Dome Cables in Yosemite National Park will be in place for visitor use this Friday, May 11, 2018. The trail will be wet and icy in places and visitors planning to ascend Half Dome are encouraged to be prepared for wet and cool hiking conditions. 


There is a daily lottery for a limited number of permits which are required to ascend the Half Dome Cables. This lottery opens Wednesday, May 9, 2018 for the summer season. These permits are available online through the daily lottery operated by www.recreation.gov. To apply for a daily lottery permit, applications are accepted from 12:01 am to 1:00 pm two days in advance of the intended hiking date. Lottery applicants may request up to six permits.


Day use permits are required to ascend the Half Dome cables 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A $10 application fee will be charged for each application, and a $10 permit fee will be charged for each permit issued.


Day use permits cannot be obtained in person through any office in Yosemite National Park. Permit applicants must use their legal name when applying for a permit and a matching government-issued ID is required at the permit check point.


Overnight use permits are available through the Yosemite National Park Wilderness Center. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm.   


For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.  (J. Richards)



Yosemite Medical Clinic Operating Hours

Yosemite Medical Clinic has resumed its normal operating hours, i.e., 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 372-4637.  (C. Griffin)



May 1 Snow Survey Results

Park Staff have completed the May 1 snow surveys.  The water content of the snowpack in the Tuolumne drainage is 40% of average; in the Merced drainage it is 39% of average.  (M. Fincher)



Yosemite National Park Adopts Two Wild Mustangs - Yosemite News Release May 7, 2018

Wild Horses from inmate training program to be utilized in the park


Yosemite National Park has adopted two mustangs that were trained in the Sacramento Sheriff's Wild Horse Program to assist Park Rangers perform a variety of duties. The six year old geldings, Drifter and Sandman, arrived in the park in early April after four months of training by inmates at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove, CA. The horses will join the approximately one hundred horses and mules that the park has and will be integrated into park operations such as traffic management, search and rescue, and the Mounted Patrol.  


These horses were adopted through a partnership program between the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management to find homes for the more than 46,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities. The program consists of inmates, most of whom have no experience with horses, working on training the horses in a 120-day program. The inmates feed and care for the horses, sensitize them to people and activities, and eventually saddle them and begin to ride them. Once the horses are deemed ready for adoption, public auctions are conducted to find permanent homes for the horses. Yosemite National Park adopted two horses, Drifter and Sandman, in April. Park Rangers are continuing their training in Yosemite National Park with the intent of integrating them into park operations.


"This is a unique and exciting opportunity to have these wild horses working with us here in the park," stated Justin Fey, Yosemite National Park Ranger and Mounted Patrol Program Manager. "These horses are serving as natural ambassadors for wild mustangs and for Yosemite National Park. We are excited to get these horses ready to help us in a variety of functions.”


This adoption marks the first time Yosemite National Park has used wild horses and they are doing well adapting to their new surroundings. Training for the horses includes working with Park Rangers and becoming more comfortable in the park environment which includes trails, asphalt, park visitors, bicycles, parking lots, and vehicular traffic. When they are ready, these horses will help Park Rangers perform a variety of duties.  (S. Gediman)



RV Parking in Yosemite Valley

A reminder that RVs and trailers should be directed to the Stoneman Meadow area, and Half Dome Village for parking. RV parking is not allowed in the the following parking lots: Yosemite Village, Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Falls.  (S. Miyako/J. Hoeflich)



Glacier Point Tours

Yosemite Hospitality is operating the Glacier Point Tours Fridays-Tuesdays from 5/4 until 5/22. Departure times are at 8:30 am and 1:30 pm. The tours will operate daily starting May 23.


Round-Trip Ticket prices: Adult $54 and Children (ages 5-12) $34

One-Way Ticket prices: Adult $27 and Children (ages 5-12) $17

Children under 5 are free.  (L. Cesaro)



Junior Ranger Program Transition May 16

Every year, hundreds of thousands of youth are sworn in as junior rangers in national parks across the country.  At Yosemite alone, upwards of 20,000 youth participate in the program each year. On May 16th, Yosemite's Jr. Ranger program will be transitioning to a slightly new format.


Starting May 16th, families will be required to purchase Junior Ranger handbooks to participate in the program. The books, which have been available for years, are available at the Yosemite Conservancy bookstores located in the various visitor centers around the park, the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, and the Village Store. Yosemite will no longer offer a free worksheet to earn just the badge. The cost of the book is $3.50 (no change in the price). Swear-ins will continue to take place at all visitor centers, as well as the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center. Purchase and completion of the books will earn Jr. Rangers the classic badge, as well as either a patch or button, depending on the age appropriate book purchased.


Thank you for helping with the transition, directing visitors to purchase their Jr. Ranger books at sites listed above. If you have questions about this transition, please email bob_loudon@nps.gov.  (B. Loudon)



Yosemite National Park Announces the Opening of Public Scoping for the Big Oak Flat Visitor Contact Station and Emergency Services Facilities Project - Yosemite News Release May 4, 2018

The Park is soliciting public comments through June 4, 2018


Yosemite National Park announces the opening of public scoping for the Big Oak Flat Visitor Contact Station and Emergency Services Facilities Project. This project will replace an aging contact station and restroom facility located near the Big Oak Flat Entrance to Yosemite National Park. The park is soliciting public comments through June 4, 2018.


The purpose of this project is to improve the overall visitor experience, improve restroom facilities to reduce wait times, improve parking facilities, improve visitor safety and wayfinding signage, meet accessibility standards, and correct long-standing building maintenance issues.


The Big Oak Flat Visitor Contact Station and Emergency Services Facilities Project will address the following issues:


- Enhance visitor services by improving wayfinding and orientation  

- Update and improve a restroom facility to meet current and future demands

- Improve congestion and reduce vehicular-pedestrian conflicts

- Upgrade outdated utilities systems and improve accessibility deficiencies

- Provide an emergency services facility with adequate parking for ambulances and ranger vehicles

- Address visitor safety issues related to parking, lighting, and fire protection


Yosemite National Park is hosting a public scoping meeting on May 18, 2018, to provide an opportunity to learn more about the planning efforts. This meeting will take place from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite (34001 Highway 120, Groveland, CA 95321) in the Private Dining Room, with a presentation from the NPS at 3:30 pm. Anyone interested in learning more about this project is encouraged to join us.


Public participation is an important element of the planning process and we welcome your ideas, concerns, issues, suggestions, and potential topics for consideration as we develop the environmental assessment.


Please share your written comments no later than June 4, 2018, via one of the following methods:


1) Online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website (preferred method) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BigOakFlatEntrance


2) Mail comments (post marked no later than June 4, 2018) to:


Yosemite National Park

Attn: Big Oak Flat Entrance EA

P.O. Box 577

Yosemite, CA 95389


Information about this project, and other Yosemite projects, is available at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/getinvolved/planning.htm.  (J. Richards)


House In Midpines For Rent

$1600 per month. Charming custom crafted house just remodeled. Pine floors, 3+ bedrooms, 2 with office space, 2-1/2 baths, lofts. Laundry room with washer and dryer. HVAC system. Easy house share with separate rear entrance. Close to YARTS and on edge of national forest. Email raucina@yosemite.net.  (R. Raucina)


Seasonal Rental In Old El Portal

Studio apartment with separate entrance.  $650 includes all utilities. Available for the months of June - October only. Phone or text 617-5429.  (P. Weber)






Valley Power Outage May 17

Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project 

There will be a full day power outage on Thursday, May 17th for the Valley Admin Bldg, Auditorium, Visitor Center, Public Restrooms, Girls Club, Naturebridge, Proscribed Fire building, and short outages (1 hr or so) for the Ranger Club and AT&T building. Data and telecom equipment in the 3rd floor of the Admin Bldg and the Old Dispatch Room on the west end of the VC will be connected to generator power, which will mean cables and generators will be setting outside of the Admin Bldg and near the entrance to the Public Restrooms. These will power only the phones and network systems, so the lights and power will be off in the aforementioned buildings.


The museum/district building will be on generator power for most of the week except for Friday, May 18th, with outages for short durations (2 hrs or less) while temporary power is being hooked up. On Friday, May 18th the majority of the museum/district building will experience an outage for most of the day while new feeders are pulled from the main panel to some of the subpanels in the museum.  


The landscaped area on the west end of the museum will be closed off for installation of a new electric vault, but the sidewalk on the south side of the building will remain open, except for short periods while equipment is accessing the area.  (K. White)



El Portal Road Delays Update 3/28

Crews have re-mobilized to finish working on the storm damage repairs from last year.  Delays will continue up to Memorial Day weekend. Crews will be working on the El Portal Road between the western Park boundary (Yosemite View Lodge) and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers and pilot car operations, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zone. This work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling the El Portal Road between the western park boundary and the Big Oak Flat Intersection:


Monday thru Friday

6am to 8am –  Traffic delays up to 15 minutes

8am to 3:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 30 minutes

3:30pm to 5:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 15 minutes  (M. Pieper)






Administrative Officer until May 11

Ron Watson: 379-1173 or ron_watson@nps.gov


Concessions Management Branch Chief until May 11

Tony Paladino: 347-6494 or anthony_paladino@nps.gov


Utilities Branch Chief until further notice

Rick Hall: 379-1077 or rick_hall@nps.gov


Physical Science & Landscape Ecology Branch Chief until further notice 

Kent van Wagtendonk: 379-1046


Design & Construction Branch Chief until September

Garrett Chun: 379-1298 or garrett_chun@nps.gov


Vegetation and Ecological Restoration Branch Chief until May 11

Garrett Dickman 379-3282


High Voltage Supervisor until May 20

Aaron Simmons 379-1236 or 379-1238


Park Botanist until further notice

Garrett Dickman: 379-3282


Chief Curator until June 9

Paul Rogers: 379-1282 


Wilderness Patrol Supervisor until August 8

Lisa Kahn: 372-0354


El Portal Roads and Solid Waste Supervisor 5/13 thru 5/20

Tom Standen 


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