Daily Report – Yosemite National Park
Monday, August 7, 2023
Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Today: Sunny. Highs 64 to 80. South winds up to 10 mph shifting to the southwest in the afternoon.
Tonight: Colder, clear. Lows 40 to 56. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph shifting to the southeast after midnight. Gusts up to 30 mph.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 61 to 77. South winds up to 10 mph shifting to the southwest 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
49th Annual Big Time Celebration August 12 & 13
Please join the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation at their 49th Annual Big Time Celebration behind the Yosemite Museum! Come observe traditional California Native dance groups which honor our ancestors and ways of life. Also come support native vendors in the parking lot. This is a no drug and no alcohol event. Photos and videos are by permission only.
Please move all vehicles from the ESC/gas pump parking lot to facilitate vendor set-up, restroom delivery and parking for the event by 8:00 am on the morning of Friday, August 11th. (E. Dayhoff & A. Leigh)
RISE Info Session 8/16 @ 12pm – 1pm
The Wellness Coalition and Allies for Inclusion facilitators will be hosting a 3-part interactive workshop to give employees a change to engage with the RISE framework and Surgeon General (SG) Mental Health in the Workplace Framework. Curious about RISE and SG? We will be hosting an info session before the workshop series begins for employees to learn more about both frameworks! For the meeting link, email email@example.com. For more information, visit yoscommunity.com/events. (S. Soroka)
Access To Research Library
From 8/11 to 9/1, the Yosemite Research Library will be open on Fridays from 2-4pm. (P. Rodgers)
Fall/Winter GIS Internships
Three fall/winter GIS internships at Yosemite are open for applications until August 18. Applicants must be a current student or recent graduate (within the last two years). These internships are 40 hours per week paid positions.
Visitor Access GIS Internship 16 weeks (Oct 16-Feb 2)
This intern will work with the Visitor Access Management Plan (VAMP) team to develop a Parking Availability Dashboard to summarize parking space availability under a variety of roadway and parking lot closure scenarios.
Enterprise GIS Internship 20 weeks (Oct 16-Mar 1)
This intern will work with the Enterprise GIS program to assist with web application updates, GIS and troubleshooting requests, managing data sets in Theme Manager, and an Open Data initiative.
Forestry GIS Internship 24 weeks (Oct 16-Mar 29)
This intern will work with the Forestry program in Facilities Management to develop forestry data sets and mobile data collection workflows related to forest health, hazard trees, and other forestry issues.
Apply by August 18 at https://www.suu.edu/iic/internships/. Yosemite’s GIS internships on this job board have El Portal, California listed as their location. (E. Hale)
All Call for Unwanted Socks
Help Yosemite’s bears by sending your old unwanted (but clean!) socks to the Wildlife Management Office to be repurposed for bear trapping activities. Please direct any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (K. Patrick)
Pika Fire Update 8/7/23
Location: Just west of North Dome
Discover date: June 29, 2023
Size: 841 acres
Yosemite Fire crews are using a management strategy utilizing natural barriers and trails to confine the spread of the fire in a predefined area. A confine and contain strategy under favorable conditions allows fire to move naturally across the landscape, providing ecological benefits to plants and wildlife, while also meeting protection objectives to minimize risk to people and infrastructure.
Fire management in Yosemite provides for the reduction of hazardous fuels, increasing the diversity of habitats, promoting new plant growth and a return of a natural fire cycle to the landscape.
Trail closures are still in effect for trails on Indian Ridge and within the Pika Fire burn area, Lehamite Creek Trail and the southern trail to North Dome are now open. Areas of unburned fuel remain active northwest of North Dome. Crews will remain onsite to ensure the fire stays within the current perimeter and will continue to monitor for the coming weeks.
Smoke from the Pika Fire is expected to impact Yosemite Valley in the evenings and overnight with conditions improving as smoke lifts during the late mornings. Slight impacts may also be seen on trails near the fire including in Yosemite Valley.
For current smoke conditions: http://nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm
Current Fire Conditions INCIWEB: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/caynp-pika-fire (M. Ruggiero)
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)
Tuolumne Meadows Lodgepole Pine Removal: 7/31 – 8/17
CCC crews and volunteers will be removing lodgepole pine saplings in the Tuolumne Meadows area until 8/17. Cut material will be piled along the roadside to be chipped. Lodgepole pine encroachment is present in many parts of Tuolumne Meadows due to shifting climatic conditions and other anthropogenic factors. This has consequences for meadow vegetation composition, wildlife communities, downstream ecosystem services, and the visitor experience. Once established, lodgepole pine will persist unless restoration actions are taken. (K. Russell)
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 – 11/2/23 (subject to change). The trail will be open on Labor Day and Columbus Day. The trail will remain open Fridays and 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 Thursday. 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, hazard trees, 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 email@example.com with questions or for access. (G. Dickman)
Wawona and Yosemite Valley Wildfire Protection Project
As part of an ongoing hazardous fuels reduction project to protect communities, increase forest resilience, and decrease risk to firefighters and the public, small trees and dead and down wood will be removed in Wawona and Yosemite Valley. In Wawona, material north of the south fork of the Merced River on NPS land and private property through a partnership with Mariposa County Resource Conservation District. In Yosemite Valley, crews will be working along North Side Drive between Middle Brother and El Capitan picnic area and between El Capitan woodlot and Pohono Bridge. Actions within Yosemite Valley are in preparation of prescribed fire. Material is either piled to be burned later or transported for carbon capture where it is used for wood products, electricity generation, or used as fill in restoration projects. (G. Dickman)
Valley-wide Continuous Flow Intersection Improvement Project
Sentinel Drive remains closed for construction as the FHWA contractor pours and finishes concrete for pedestrian improvements at the site of the abandoned bus stop and Sentinel Drive parking area. Granite masonry work continues thru the week beginning July 17. Asphalt pavement patching is scheduled for the week beginning July 24. The contractor is also working on construction of traffic diverters (or raised medians) at the valley chapel parking area and Sentinel Drive intersections at Northside and Southside Drives. Completion of work depends on the readiness of labor and availability of equipment and materials. (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 has completed work in Wawona and in Yosemite Valley. However, vehicle chargers are not 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, two at the Ahwahnee Hotel, one at the Village Store, and two between the El Portal market and gas station. (J. Donovan)
Dispatch Expansion Project
The Dispatch Expansion project will convert most of the El Portal Warehouse lobby into office space for the Emergency Communications (Dispatch) Center. The lobby area is an active construction zone and therefore is off-limits to non-construction workers. To access the Dispatch office area, follow the signs in through the Trails area door just inside the fence/gate. Warehouse occupants and visitors need to use alternate means of ingress/egress until that portion of the construction is finished. Do not enter through the RMS building unless you work there. Expect intermittent construction noise throughout the project, which is scheduled to be completed in September of 2023. Contact Nicole Belle Isle, Project Manager, for more information. (N. Belle Isle)
Riverbank Restoration Between Sugar Pine Bridge and Ahwahnee Bridge, June through August
The Vegetation and Ecological Restoration branch will be conducting riverbank restoration work between Sugar Pine Bridge and just past Ahwahnee Bridge from June-August. This project will remove riprap from the riverbank, plant willows and other native species, and install an engineered log jam at one location on the riverbank to enhance riparian habitat and mitigate the effects of Sugar Pine Bridge on the Merced River. This restoration project is part of the Merced Wild and Scenic River Management Plan, which aims to reverse some of the past human impacts to meadows and riverbanks, to protect and enhance river values, and to promote public access and enjoyment of the river. To learn more about this effort, visit: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/mercedriverrestoration.htm (E. Dickman)
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)