Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Today: Sunny. Highs 74 to 80 at 5000 feet...67 to 75 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy in the evening then clearing. Lows 46 to 56 at 5000 feet...37 to 47 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny, breezy. Highs 70 to 76 at 5000 feet...62 to 68 at 8000 feet. Gusts up to 40 mph in the afternoon. Over higher elevations, southwest winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph in the afternoon.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
Yosemite Forum Today
"Amphibians and reptiles of the eastern Sierra: Life in the rainshadow" by Robert Hansen, editor of Herpetological Review
The eastern Sierra Nevada is a land of extremes, with a rapid transition from alpine environments to desert. The rugged terrain and general lack of roads has meant that the region's amphibians and reptiles are not as well known as their counterparts on the western slope. In this presentation, we'll explore salamanders and snakes, where and how they live, and share some stories about those who have studied them.
The Forum will take place Tuesday, May 8th, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium. Please contact Greg Stock at 379-1420 for additional information. (G. Stock)
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 email@example.com. (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
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/ge
House In Midpines For Rent
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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)
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
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)
Yosemite Valley Parking And Roads
There will be limited parking available at all times at the Yosemite Falls Parking Area or the Camp 4 Parking Area between April 29th and May 8th for at least 55 vehicles. Tour bus parking will be available at the Yosemite Falls parking area at all times (22 buses total).
Northside Drive will close for striping on one day, Tuesday, May 8th, between Yosemite Village and Camp 4 requiring two-way configuration on the Valley Loop Road. This will be the end of the major road work on the Valley Loop Road and Parking Project, which began with construction of the Yosemite Falls Parking Area and reconstruction of the Yosemite Village Parking Area. Construction of the comfort station at the Yosemite Village Parking lot, wayfinding, interpretation, landscaping, and fencing work will continue. (L. Acree)
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)