Daily Report – Yosemite National Park
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Today: Breezy, sunny. Patchy blowing dust early in the afternoon. Highs 63 to 79. South winds 10 to 15 mph shifting to the southwest 10 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 45 mph.
Tonight: Clear. Lows 44 to 58. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph decreasing to 25 mph after midnight.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 65 to 81. South winds 5 to 10 mph shifting to the southwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 30 mph.
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
Creative Arts Retreat on August 2nd
Free Half Day Wellness and Creative Arts Retreat for Yosemite Employees!
Wednesday August 2nd, 10am-2pm
**(Will also be offered again on September 9th)** Save the date!
Come join us on Wednesday, August 2nd for a Free employee half-day mid-summer retreat. Each participant will be able to choose from 4 different break-out workshops including: 1) Your Life as a Screenplay- Writing Workshop by published author/screenwriter Anne Katherine 2) Nature Journaling and Poetry with Balanced Rock Executive Director and Co-founder Heather Sullivan 3) Silk Painting Workshop with Jenni B and 4) Yoga Flow and Restoration with Bethany. (Choose 1)
Let’s have fun, connect, and learn something new!
We will meet at the Wellness Center at 10am and light snacks will be provided, but please bring a sack lunch. Rsvp to reserve your spot: Jenni.Buczko@gmail.com (J. Buczko)
Yosemite Valley Lodge Pool Returns to Normal Operating Hours
Even with the PIKA fire ongoing, the AQI has improved enough to allow the Yosemite Valley Lodge Pool to return to normal operation hours of 11AM – 7PM starting Thursday 7/27/23. We look forward to being open to the community from 11AM-7PM. Thank you. (R. Lopez)
Kudos for Keith Roy!
Shout out to Keith for helping us at Tioga Pass with a round of traffic control while we are super short staffed, especially since he was the only LEO on duty. Being able to get even a few cars around gave us some breathing room and its’s greatly appreciated! (W. Gayle)
Jr. Ranger Day: Saturday, July 29th
Join us in celebrating Yosemite’s Jr. Rangers on this day of fun and discovery! This event expands upon the Yosemite Jr. Ranger Handbook with a variety of FREE family-oriented programs and activities throughout the park. Programs are open to the public and a schedule for all related activities can be found on the park website calendar and the NPS App. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/calendar.htm (E. Weeks)
Valley Y8 Gas Station Currently 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)
Midpines House Available for Rent
2190sq ft house at 6449 Hwy 140 available for rent, located on 8 acres with a great view. Pet OK, fenced yard, includes washer, dryer, water & jacuzzi. Photos available upon request. Rental availability begins August 15th. Rent is $2900/month, deposit of $2900.
Contact email@example.com for more information. (A. Simpson)
Yosemite Medical Clinic Suspension of Friday Walk-In Services
On Fridays, we will suspend walk-ins service until the end of September to allow us time for primary care service and continuous quality improvement efforts.
Pattama welcomes any feedback and suggestions on our services. Please do not hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 209-372-5452. Thank you! (P. Ulrich).
Materials Handler Trails Commissary Volunteer Position
Trails has an opening for a 32hr/week volunteer position with the possibility of housing in El Portal included. Open to any interested applicants. The volunteer will be responsible for receipt, stock, handling, storage, and transport of food supply operation for up to 100+ trail personnel starting ASAP until October. Driver’s license necessary. Please share the application link: Trails Commissary Volunteer Application Form Contact email@example.com or 209.379.1850 (A. Martinez)
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. (K. Patrick)
Hodgdon Water Rehabilitation Project
A contractor will be utilizing a track mounted drill rig to collect core soil samples for Geotechnical evaluation in support of the Hodgdon Water Rehabilitation project. Boring locations will include the parking area at the BOF entrance, along Tuolumne Grove Road, Hodgdon Campground and Hodgdon Housing Area. Please be mindful of this equipment when passing through these areas. Contact Moshe Calm with any questions. (M. Calm)
Wawona Programs Cancelled 7/29
Due to Wawona Interpretation staff’s focus on Jr. Ranger Day programming, both the B.A.R.K. Ranger and Campfire programs will be canceled this Saturday, July 29. (J. Connor)
Clear Vehicles by ESC
There will be a private ceremony on Sunday, July 30th. Please move all vehicles from the ESC/gas pump parking lot to facilitate parking for the event by 8:00 am the morning of Sunday, July 30th. (A. Leigh)
Kudos on Fire Ecology Paper
Kudos to Lacey Hankin, Chad Anderson, Garrett Dickman, Parker Bevington, and Scott Stephens who recently collaborated on a paper in Fire Ecology highlighting the role of past fire management and the roadside thinning in the decisions and outcomes of the Washburn fire. It is a great example of how past prescribed fires in the Mariposa Grove and recent roadside mechanical fuel treatments greatly aided the fire suppression efforts last July. Read here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s42408-023-00202-6 (D. Buckley)
Pika Fire July 24 Update
Location: Just west of North Dome
Discover date: June 29, 2023
Size: 840 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.
The southern and eastern areas of the fire perimeter are contained. The fire has exhibited moderate growth with some isolated active pockets northwest of North Dome. Crews remain onsite to ensure the fire stays within the current perimeter and will continue to monitor for the coming weeks. Trail closures will continue to be in effect, impacting short sections of the North Dome Trail and Lehamite Creek.
Smoke from the Pika Fire are expected to impact Yosemite Valley in the evenings and overnight with conditions improving as smoke lifts during the late mornings. Impacts may also be seen in the trails in the park and surrounding communities of Foresta, Groveland, El Portal, and Lee Vining”.
For current smoke conditions: nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm
Current Fire Conditions INCIWEB: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/caynp-pika-fire (M. Ruggiero)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)