Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Daily Report – Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Today: Sunny. Highs 56 to 70. East winds up to 10 mph shifting to the west in the afternoon.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 40 to 52. North winds up to 10 mph shifting to the east after midnight.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 57 to 71. Southeast winds up to 10 mph shifting to the west 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
NEW & HAPPENING TODAY
Big Oak Flat – Yosemite Conservancy Bookstore Closed TODAY
Closed TODAY Tuesday, September 12th due to staffing.(K. Bouchard)
Yosemite Forum today, September 12th
The next Yosemite Forum will take place in-person at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium today, Tuesday, September 12 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, with a special program beginning at 3:00 pm.
George Melendez Wright: The fight for wildlife and wilderness in the National Parks
By author Jerry Emory
When twenty-three-year-old George Meléndez Wright arrived in Yosemite National Park in 1927 to work as a ranger naturalist – the first Hispanic person to occupy any professional position in the National Park Service – he had already visited every national park in the western United States. Two years later, he would organize the first science-based wildlife survey of the western parks, forever changing how the agency would manage wildlife and natural resources. At a time when national parks routinely fed bears garbage and killed predators like wolves, mountain lions, and coyotes, Wright’s new ideas for conservation set the stage for the modern scientific management of parks and other public lands.
Please consider attending in person if you can, otherwise you can join virtually via Teams:
Before the forum, at 3:00 pm join Yosemite Valley Interpretation for a 15-minute living history program on George Melendez Wright portrayed by park interpreter, Brian Chavez. See the Yosemite Valley of nearly a century ago through the eyes of one of the Park’s most influential rangers. Meet in front of the Museum at the fire pit Amphitheatre. (G. Stock, B. Chavez)
Yosemite Facelift September 20th-24th
Yosemite Facelift is just right around the corner on Wednesday September 20th-Saturday September 23rd from 8AM-10PM and Sunday September 24th from 8AM-3PM. We can’t wait to see everyone for our 20th Anniversary Celebration! Join us for a park-wide clean-up starting at the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center. Show up early to help with special projects and take some time to keep Yosemite pristine. Amazing evening programs are scheduled, so be prepared to hang out, have a great time, & maybe even win some top-notch giveaway prizes. Participants can pre register at yosemiteclimbing.org . We will provide trash bags, litter sticks, gloves and safety vests. All volunteers receive a ticket for the daily 5 PM giveaway. The Sunday giveaway will be at 2 PM. (H. Fleetwood)
Kira Lucier’s Farewell
The amazing Yosemite Valley seasonal supervisor, Kira Lucier, is headed to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument come September 22nd. We’re excited to see this new adventure for begin for her. Kira’s farewell will take place on September 19th at 6pm at The Alley in Mariposa.
Kira has been with Yosemite since 2015, first as a seasonal ranger in Valley Interp, then a lead, and then coming on year round in 2019 as the seasonal supervisor. Most recently she detailed with Inter-mountain Region as administrative support, and then came back to Yosemite in the last few weeks before the Gila NM tranistion to support field ops with many tasks including designing the layout for back of house of the Welcome Center in terms of furniture/storage, finding the items, and setting most of it up herself. Many thanks to Kira for her commitment to Valley Interp over many years. (S. Miyako)
Yosemite Fire Update September 10th, 2023
Thunderstorms passed through Yosemite National Park on Saturday, September 9th, bringing 179 lightning strikes, a small amount of precipitation, and some new lightning fire starts in the park.
There are no closures associated with the active fires, no immediate threats to critical infrastructure, and no smoke impacts.
Yosemite Fire management officers are assessing the fires to determine a management strategy utilizing natural barriers such as roads, ridges, rivers, and abundant granite.(Yose Fire Information)
Location: Between Hoover Lakes, North of Buena Vista Crest
Discover date: September 9, 2023
Size: 0.5 acre
More info: Jan Fire – Inciweb
Location: Near Moraine Meadow, south of Merced Pass
Discover date: September 9, 2023
Size: 0.01 acre
More Info: Marmot Fire – Inciweb
Location: North of Chiquito Pass
Discover date: August 17, 2023
Size: 2 acres
More Info: Chiquito Fire – Inciweb
Fire System Inspections
HCI and the structural fire team (Steve Lyon) will bein El Portal performing fire system inspections all week (Sept. 11-15). Residential inspections all week, with the Maintenance area on Tuesday and Thursday. So be aware that alarms will be sounding and strobing, the inspectors will have to do visual inspections on devices as they are alarming. We will attempt to perform the inspections on the Maintenance Buildings in the morning, to affect as few people as possible. Thanks again for your patience with this annual requirement. (C. Toepper)
Ackerson Meadow Restoration Project
The long-planned Ackerson Meadow Restoration Project, on Evergreen Road, is set to begin. Be aware of potential truck traffic in the area between August 14 and October 31.
The project goal is to eliminate excessive soil erosion, slow water loss, and reverse loss of water-loving plants and animals, and impacts to endangered species. To do this, a contractor will completely fill the century-old human-caused erosion gully that is now more than 3 miles long, and up to 14 feet deep by 100 feet wide. Revegetation of the area will be completed using more than 425,000 wetland container plants and 700 pounds of native plant seeds. This project is planned for completion in spring 2025, and is a partnership of American Rivers, Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite Conservancy, and Yosemite National Park. Learn more: https://go.nps.gov/ackerson. For questions, contact email@example.com. (T. Kuhn)
Valley Forestry on Glacier Point
Valley Forestry will be removing hazard trees along Glacier Point Road through the end of September. Work will take place from 0800-1530 Monday through Thursday. Expect 15 minute delays. Thanks for your patience. (B. See)
Glacier Point Road Delays
Crews are continuing rehabilitation of the Glacier Point Road between Wawona Road junction (Chinquapin) and Glacier Point. The Crews will be working Monday thru Friday from 6AM to 6PM with alternating one-way traffic control and up to 30-minute delays. Delays should be diminishing as work progresses over the next couple of months; however, please expect delays thru September 29, 2023. Please contact Michael Pieper, with any questions or concerns at (209) 200-1131. (M. Peiper)
Tioga Road Delays
Crews are continuing to complete intermittent road repairs on the Tioga Road between Tamarack Flat Campground entrance road and Little Blue Slide. Over the next couple of months there will be multiple crews working at various locations along the Tioga Road corridor. The Crews will be working Monday thru Friday, from 6AM to 6PM with alternating one-way traffic control and up to 15-minute delays. These Tioga Road delays will continue thru September 29, 2023. Please contact Michael Pieper, with any questions or concerns at (209) 200-1131. (M. Peiper)
Construction in Bug and Ranger Camps is underway in Tuolumne Meadows
Several crews are repairing damaged structures and replacing the underground and overhead electric. Please avoid the area unless you are a resident. Any questions, contact Matt Outhier. (M. Outhier)
Mist Trail Repair July 10th – November 2nd
The Lower Mist Trail – from the John Muir Trail (JMT) junction (just uphill from the Vernal Fall Footbridge) to the top of Vernal Fall – will be closed M-TH between 7:00am and 3:30pm from 7/10/23 – 9/1/23. Beginning 9/2/23 – 11/2/23 the trail will be closed M-Fr between 7:00am and 3:30pm. The trail will be open on Labor Day and Columbus Day.
The trail will remain open on weekends. It is expected to be open overnight, however there may be certain days when trail crew is not able to make it safe to open overnight. In that case, the gates will remain closed, and signs will be posted at the two closure gates that the trail is closed.
Hikers and backpackers headed to Little Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and points beyond from the trailhead at Happy Isles may hike uphill on the Mist Trail if they reach the Mist Trail/JMT junction by 7:00am, Monday through Friday. Otherwise, they must hike the JMT. (W. Weaver)
The Merced Grove is Closed for Restoration
Giant sequoias are adapted to frequent, low-intensity fire and depend on fire for reproduction. Frequent fires reduce fire intensity by thinning the forest of small and unhealthy trees and reducing the accumulation of dead branches and trees. But over the past century, fires were suppressed, and drought and insects killed millions of trees in Yosemite. In the Merced Grove, there is limited sequoia regeneration and fuel loading has increased to dangerous levels. Currently, we cannot safely introduce fire without first mechanically removing fuels first. Since 2020, wildfires have killed almost 20% of mature giant sequoias across their range due to extreme fuel loading, and we aim to prevent that outcome in the Merced Grove. Therefore, we are removing small diameter conifers, trees posing a hazard to firefighters and containment lines, and dead and downed wood to reduce wildfire risk to the sequoias and firefighters as preparation for the first prescribed fire in and around the grove. The grove will be closed for 2.5 months during the restoration for visitor and worker safety. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for access. (G. Dickman)
Valley-wide Continuous Flow Intersection Improvement Project
Sentinel Drive was opened to traffic last weekend, but the northbound lane and the left lane on the Southside Drive approach will close intermittently as work is completed on the bulb-out (or diverter) at the intersection. These closures are required to establish a safe work zone as laborers complete tasks. Crews are also working this week on Yosemite Valley Lodge, the Yosemite Falls Promenade, and pavement patching at the Southside Drive intersection with Curry Village Drive. The contractor will also begin work at the Village Parking Area. The scope includes widening Northside Drive to two lanes, modifying the roundabout, building a new access driveway for the visitor parking area, and extending the length of bus stop #1. (J. Donovan)
Yosemite Valley Shuttle Bus Stop Improvements
The NPS contractor continues work at seven sites for new pavement construction in Yosemite Village, Curry Village, and on Happy Isles Loop. Disruption and delays in traffic circulation are to be expected. The contractor is authorized to conduct traffic control operations Monday through Thursday. (J. Donovan)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
The contractor will resume work at the Tuolumne Meadows visitor parking area in the week beginning Sept 10. New vehicle chargers will not be available until the units can be energized and commissioning is complete. Until further notice, working charging stations are limited to eight at Yosemite Valley Lodge, six at the Ahwahnee Hotel, four at the Village Store, and two between the El Portal market and gas station. (J. Donovan)
Dispatch Expansion Project
The Dispatch Expansion project is converting most of the El Portal Warehouse lobby into office space for the Emergency Communications (Dispatch) Center. The work is temporarily on hold, so the elevator across from the RMS building can be used for the time being. The stairs are still blocked off and the rest of the lobby area is closed unless you are involved with the project. To access the Dispatch office area, follow the signs in through the Trails area door just inside the fence/gate. Warehouse occupants and visitors not using the elevator need to use alternate means of ingress/egress until the re-construction of the stairs is finished. Do not enter through the RMS building unless you work there. Contact Nicole Belle Isle, Project Manager, for more information. (N. Belle Isle)
Sugar Pine Floodplain Restoration Through November 10
The Vegetation and Ecological Restoration Branch will be conducting restoration work in the floodplain south of Sugar Pine Bridge from August 14 to November 10. This project will excavate fill from historic channels to reactivate the floodplain, provide habitat for aquatic wildlife and plants, and restore natural hydrology. This project is a recommended action from the Merced Wild and Scenic River Management Plan to mitigate the effects of the historic but undersized Sugar Pine Bridge on the Merced River. Earth moving machinery, including excavators and dump trucks, will be operating in this area. Please ask that the public stay out of this area for their safety. To learn more about Merced River restoration visit: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/mercedriverrestoration.htm (A. Puchkoff)
Y8 Fuel Station Down
The Y8 gas station is currently down. For gas needs in the meantime, please call the garage from 8 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week at 209-372-1060 to schedule a fill until further notice. We’ll update when the station is back up and running. (C. Layman)