Yosemite National Park Thursday, February 8th, 2018

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Daily Report – Yosemite National Park
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
 
Today: Sunny. Highs 63 to 69 at 5000 feet…54 to 64 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Clear. Lows 36 to 46 at 5000 feet…25 to 35 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 63 to 68 at 5000 feet…54 to 60 at 8000 feet.
 
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
 
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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
 
Camping On-Sale Date
The next camping on-sale date is Thursday, Feb 15, which will open up arrival dates from June 15 to July 14 to the public. Please get your administrative requests in via Sharepoint by COB Tuesday, Feb 13. Go to http://sharepoint.yose.nps.gov/brm/SitePages/Admin%20Campsites.aspx  (E. Bissmeyer)
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Tuolumne Winter Conditions Update for February 7, 2018                                              
New snow: None
Total settled snow depth: 9 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 56°F (February 2)
Low temperature:  16°F (January 31)
 
Ski Conditions and Weather: The daily high temperature for the past nine days has been over 50°F. The snow has gone through many melt-freeze cycles on all but the most sheltered north aspects at the higher elevations. Bare ground continues to be more prevalent in the Tuolumne Meadows area with each passing warm and dry day. The Tioga Road is still mostly snow covered from the park boundary at Tioga Pass to Tuolumne Meadows. On the east side, the road is patchy snow above 9000 feet, and then mostly snow covered from Ellery Lake to the pass.  
 
The ski conditions are still pretty darn good. The touring is fast on firm corn snow for the early part of the day, and becoming wet and slower in the afternoon. There are decent turns to be had on higher elevation slopes, but one has to be creative on route selection. The best skiing in the area is the drainages and surrounding slopes of the Cathedral Range above 9,000 feet.
 
Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the avalanche advisory for this area of the Sierra Nevada go to www.esavalanche.org for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center. 
 
The avalanche hazard in the Tuolumne area is currently low. With these warm temperatures wet slides and rock fall are possible. This week we observed some wet/loose avalanche activity on sunny aspects. These were small and did not contain a whole lot of snow.
 
Wildlife: Interestingly enough, a flock of Canada geese was seen flying in formation from west to east this week. We’re not sure what this means… At least they weren’t flying north!
 
Questions: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and eight bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted via email at Laura_Pilewski@nps.gov, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while travelling in the wilderness this winter!  (L. Pilewski)
 
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RECENT NEWS
 
YC Outdoor Adventures – Day Hike In Tuolumne Grove With Pete Devine Saturday
(snowshoe walk converted into a day hike)
 
This Saturday, February 10th, spend the day immersed in Yosemite’s giant sequoia majesty! February is the perfect time to enjoy a day hike through serene meadows and the awe-inspiring giant sequoia trees in Tuolumne Grove.
 
For this adventure, Pete will share insider tips as you explore this beautiful landscape.  Discover the ecology of giant sequoias during a gentle guided walk through Tuolumne Grove and then up to Crane Flat Fire Lookout. You’ll learn to identify animal tracks and see how plants and wildlife adapt to the cold and snow (even though there is not much to see).
 
Yosemite Conservancy is offering this $99 program free to all employees and volunteers, space permitting.  For more information or to register please call: 209-379-2317 x10 or email kchappell@yosemiteconservancy.org  (K. Chappell)
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Four Mile Trail Reopened
The entire Four Mile Trail is now open. There is a sizeable portion of ice on an exposed section of the trail, approximately 1 mile past Union Point. (S. Miyako)
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Jon Youngblood’s Retirement Tuesday, February 13, 2pm
Jon Youngblood is retiring! Come join in wishing Jon bon voyage as he retires (yet again) and heads back East to family and his next adventure! This event will take place Tuesday, February 13th at 2pm in the EP large break room. There will be light snacks and beverages provided. Additional contributions are welcome!! Please contact Rita McMurdy at 379-1123 with any questions.  (C. DeShazer)
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Temporary Promotion Opportunity, Facility Management Division
The Facility Management Division is currently seeking candidates who are interested in a temporary promotion NTE 1 year opportunity for a Facility Operations Specialist, GS-1640-11 position. This position is located in the Buildings and Grounds Branch and is open to current career or career conditional competitive service employees of Yosemite NP only.
 
If you would like more information on this opportunity go to https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/490160100.
In addition, you must use the link to apply for this position as it will not come up in USAJobs with a search. Applications will NOT be accepted by email – you must apply through the announcement. If you have any questions about this position, please contact Hassan Corbin at 209-379-1076 or hassan_corbin@nps.gov.  (K. Lewis)
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Yosemite Forum Tuesday February 13
“Water and wildfires: How returning fire to mountain landscapes affects rivers, snowpack, and forest health” by Dr. Gabrielle Boisrame, Delta Stewardship Council & UC Berkeley. 
 
The Sierra Nevada mountains provide most of California’s water.  A century of fire suppression in this fire-adapted region has led to unnaturally dense forests, which can reduce streamflows and snowpack, as well as make forests more vulnerable to droughts.  A combination of field measurements, aerial photos, and model results show how returning wildfires to the Illilouette Creek watershed in the Yosemite wilderness has increased forest health and benefited water supply. The Forum will take place Tuesday, February 13, from 3:30 4:30 pm in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium.  Please contact Greg Stock at 379-1420 for additional information.  (G. Stock)
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Welcome Elizabeth Hale, New YOSE GIS Coordinator
Elizabeth comes to Yosemite from Lassen Volcanic National Park, and brings over a decade of NPS GIS experience, having provided data collection, map making, and general data management and incident support at LAVO, ORCA, YELL, and the USFS. She’ll be filling the position vacated by Vanessa Glynn-Linaris last year, starting Wed 14 Feb. There will be a meet-and-greet event for her that afternoon in El Portal; contact Peter Lindstrom for details.  (P. Lindstrom)
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Room(s) for Rent
Rooms for rent in a beautiful, large 4+ bed/2.5 bath home, nestled in the hills off the 140, near the border of Mariposa and Midpines. Home is on 5 quiet acres, surrounded by great views which you can see from bedroom windows. $550/month per room, plus a portion of utilities. Reduced rent can be negotiated in exchange for work or if you rent for both rooms. Email synchronicity.support@gmail.com if interested.  (K. Indigo)
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February Snow Survey
Park Staff have completed the February 1 snow surveys.  The water content of the snowpack in the Tuolumne drainage is 25% of average; in the Merced drainage it is 16% of average. (M. Fincher)
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Allies For Inclusion Training March 27-29
​Do you want to Yosemite to be a workplace that is more welcoming and inclusive? Consider applying to become an Allies for Inclusion Facilitator. Allies for Inclusion is an employee dialogue program that aims to harness the power of dialogue and create space for critical conversations to occur that help reduce implicit bias among our workforce and create an environment where all employees can better flourish. Conversations dealing with unfamiliar or difficult subject matter can benefit greatly from being guided by facilitators, and this is your chance to learn those guiding skills. The in-person training will be held March 27-29 at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. To apply, go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe52hAdsYeZdTGUsc6Sri0czX6xJyiDxKvesiz7DNaZlOr-sQ/viewform?usp=sf_link  (S. Diaz)
 
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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
 
Art Center Demolition
The AAC demolition is completed except for the sand removal under the building. This will require a contract modification and so the project is on hold until the modification is completed by PWR, likely in late January – early February. Completion of the sand removal is expected by early February.  (D. Miller)
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Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project
This project will rehabilitate the electrical system in the Museum/District Building by installing grounding in the existing electrical circuits. The Contractor mobilized on Monday, December 18th and the project is expected to run for 6 months. The 8 parking stalls to the west of the building between the sidewalk on the south and the south end of the fence to the north will become the Contractor’s staging areas.  Please do not leave any vehicles parked there on Sunday night. Thank you.  (K. White)