Yosemite National Park —Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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Yosemite National Park
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast
Today: Sunny. Areas of smoke in the morning. Haze through the day. Highs 76 to 84 at 5000 feet…64 to 72 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Haze. Lows 52 to 62 at 5000 feet…42 to 51 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny, haze. Highs 79 to 87 at 5000 feet…69 to 77 at 8000 feet.

Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
Yosemite Valley | Wawona | Tuolumne Meadows | Glacier Point | Big Oak Flat | Hetch Hetchy | El Portal | Mariposa | Badger Pass

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COVID-19 PREVENTION, TESTING & VACCINATIONS
With increasing positive cases of COVID-19 in the greater Yosemite region, this is to clarify some confusion related to prevention, testing, and vaccinations.

COVID-19 Prevention Recommendations
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. COVID impacts different people in very different ways and it is impossible to tell exactly how a specific person will react if they become ill. While vaccinations do not 100% prevent illness, they do provide protection against getting sick and help to greatly reduce serious complications from the illness if you do test positive for COVID.

Most importantly, if you are showing signs of any illness (headache, runny nose, cough, etc.), stay home and either visit Yosemite Medical Clinic or your healthcare provider. Even minor signs of illness can be signs of COVID. Please help prevent the spread of illness in the workplace. Remember to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. These small actions can prevent and reduce the spread of illness.

COVID-19 Testing
In addition to vaccinations, frequent testing is a critical tool to help protect the Yosemite Community. Many people carry the COVID virus but show no signs of illness. Surveillance testing helps to quickly identify anyone who is actively shedding the virus, but not showing any signs of illness. For people with frequent contact with large numbers of the general public or who work in the hospitality and public service sectors, our local Public Health officials recommend getting tested once every 7 to 14 days.

Free COVID-19 testing is available in Yosemite Valley on Mondays and Thursdays for the foreseeable future.
– On Mondays, testing is available by LHI outside of the Yosemite Medical Clinic Building from 10 am to 6 pm.
– On Thursdays, testing is available by LHI at the Curry Village Wellness Center from 10 am to 6 pm.

Walk-Ins are welcome! If you happen to know your LHI patient ID number, please bring that with you to expedite your check-in process. To schedule an appointment, visit please https://www.lhi.care/covidtesting

Yosemite Medical Clinic does perform COVID testing as needed for symptomatic individuals. The Yosemite Medical Clinic is open 6 days a week (Mon-Sat). Patients will be evaluated by a provider to determine if testing is indicated.

COVID-19 Vaccinations
Are you interested in getting vaccinated? Free COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be provided by the Yosemite Medical Clinic on Wednesdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Online registration is required and can be completed in advance on your computer or mobile device or onsite, at https://myturn.ca.gov

Online registration may take up to 10 minutes. Registering in advance is highly recommended. When registering before vaccination day, please select the appropriate clinic and date from the options on the website. If you choose to register on-site, you will be asked to use your mobile device or a provided loaner. Assistance will be available if needed.

Remember to bring photo ID and insurance card (if you have one). Loose-fitting clothing and/or short sleeves are recommended. Please expect the whole process to take approximately 30-40 minutes, including check-in and observation.

Vaccinations available at Yosemite Medical Clinic are for individuals 18 and older. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson Vaccines are currently available.

The Pfizer vaccine is now available for anyone ages 12. If you are interested in the Pfizer vaccine, free clinics are available through Mariposa County Public Health.

Booster shots are now available for immunocompromised patients. Information about booster shots for the general public will be coming soon.

For more information, please visit www.mariposacounty.org/2466/COVID-19-Vaccination (J. Richards)

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

Fire System Inspections In Mather Today
Fire system testing and inspections will continue in Mather (Wednesday). This will be a combination of residences and administrative buildings. Thanks for your cooperation and patience. (C. Toepper)
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El Portal, Badger Pass & Chinquapin Power Outages August 27 & 31
PG&E will be doing a temporary commercial power outage in the El Portal area, from old El Portal to the Administration Building, Chinquapin and Badger Pass areas on Friday, August 27 from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM and also Tuesday, August 31 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. For more information call Heather Gonzales, PG&E Outage Coordinator, at 726-5588. (C. Flores)
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Wawona Road Traffic Control
There will be traffic control along Wawona Road for vegetation management from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm on 8/25 and from 6:30 am to 2:00 pm on 8/26. Wait times will typically be five minutes or less, but could be up to ten minutes. Traffic control will begin at the tunnel on 8/25 and continue towards Chinquapin (Glacier Point Road Junction). This project will continue the week of 8/30. (D. Campbell)
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Sewing Volunteer
The Yosemite Volunteer Program is looking for an intermittent volunteer (can be local or not but local is easier) with sewing skills who would like to help sew patches onto volunteer uniforms.
– Volunteer(s) to sew 2″ round uniform patches onto volunteer shirts and jackets
– Intermittent throughout the year; no more than 10 hours a month (The program may get another batch of uniform items before December and help would also be needed at that time)
– Must have own sewing machine, other materials provided
– Must have experience and skills to work a sewing machine or hand-sew on different cloth thicknesses
– Benefits: Volunteer hours, connections and support, possibly other assignments if desired (other assignments dependent on volunteer’s proximity to park.)

Email yose_volunteers@nps.gov for more information or to volunteer. (J. Gonzales)

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RECENT NEWS

Short Term Cook Applications Due Wednesday
The Yosemite Conservancy Volunteer Program is looking for 1 lead and 1 assistant cook to cater for 2 consecutive work week crews, from September 4 to 19. These are paid positions and include outdoor kitchen supplies and a spending account for food costs. Applicants must be prepared to camp at Hodgdon Meadow Campground, have camp-style cooking experience, and be proficient in safe food handling practices. Email ebrosk@yosemite.org for more information. The deadline is Wednesday, August 25. (J. Gonzales)

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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS

South Side Drive Tree Removal
Valley Forestry is conducting hazard tree removal operations along South Side Drive East of Pohono Bridge from 7:3am to 4:30pm. Expect traffic delays up to 30 minutes. (B. See)
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Biomass Removal & Thinning On Merced Grove Road, Garnet Moutain Road, & Goat Meadow Road
Multiple biomass removal and thinning projects are occurring to protect the sequoia groves from high severity fire and to prepare for prescribed fire. At each location Contractors, CCC, and CHIPS, native persons sawyer crew are falling and removing hazard trees, and thinning, piling, and chipping small fuels. The CCC and CHIPS crews are working on Merced Grove Road (aka Moss Creek Truck Trail). Contractors are felling hazard trees on Garnet Mountain Road (aka road to Rockefeller Grove) and removing biomass on Goat Meadow Road. Do not enter Garnet Mountain Road without arranging an escort. Email garrett_dickman@nps.gov For more information. (G. Dickman)
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Leidig Meadow Restoration Project 8/9-9/9
Vegetation and Ecological Restoration staff will be conducting a restoration project from August 9-September 9 in Leidig Meadow. This project will remove riprap, informal trails, abandoned infrastructure and conifers encroaching upon the meadow. Disturbed areas will be revegetated with native plants and restoration fencing will be installed to protect them while they establish. There may be very short closures of the bike path through Leidig Meadow as equipment enter and exit the site. Staff will be conducting traffic control for safety. This restoration project is part of the broader 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 visitor access and enjoyment of the river. To learn more about this effort, visit: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/mercedriverrestoration.htm (E. Dickman)
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El Portal Transmission Line Repair Through October 31
PG&E crews have begun preparation for repairing the high voltage transmission line in the El Portal Administrative Areas of Yosemite National Park. During the week of August 23 their crews will begin working inside the Park between Yosemite View Lodge and the Powerhouse. As part of these transmission line repairs there will be intermittent single lane traffic control with up to 15-minute daytime delays scheduled to begin August 9 in the El Portal Administrative Area. Crews will be working Monday through Saturday. This project is scheduled to continue through October 31. The repairs are similar to what you currently can see along California State Route 140, where crews are using helicopters to assist with repairing the existing high voltage towers and replacing the conductors, etc.

Crews will be working Monday – Saturday, so please schedule your travel through the area to include the following delays and closures:
Monday – Saturday with 15 Minute Delays = 7AM to 5PM
No Sunday or night work is scheduled at this time. Also, no work around El Portal houses on Saturdays, however there will be other Saturday work.

Note:
– Due to safety concerns, the trails, picnic areas, and climbing routes will be closed when crews are working in these areas along the El Portal Road.
– PG&E is trying to minimize the delays, however there will also be intermittent road delays in the El Portal Administrative Areas, such as along the Foresta Road and roads within the residential areas of Old El Portal and Rancheria.
– Flight crews will be using the El Portal Sand Pit, an area adjacent to Yosemite View Lodge and an area in Foresta as landing zones, so please understand material and personnel will be flying back and forth between these areas to the transmission line repair areas, so please slow down and be patient.
– The reason crews are working Saturdays is because there is a limited period they work in these areas with the goal of completing this work in 2021 before the weather conditions prohibit any further work in this highly treacherous terrain for both crews and their aircraft support. (M. Pieper)
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PG&E Exchequer-Yosemite Transmission Line (TL) Rancheria & El Portal Work Schedule
The Rancheria and El Portal segments of the PG&E TL maintenance and repair project has commenced. The project schedule is through the end of September in the Rancheria and El Portal areas. During this period there will be daily helicopter activity but not directly over the residences except for one tower replacement in upper Foresta Road area the week of September 13. Work schedule will be Monday-Friday 0700-1730 at structures in El Portal residential areas. Work schedule will be Monday-Saturday 0700-1730 at all other locations

Above Rancheria housing area – Beginning week of 8/2 crews will fly to structures to perform tower modifications and reconductor prep work.

Locations in El Portal residential area
39/232 Upper Foresta Road. Week of 8/2 a tree crew will remove 1-12″ tree near the new tower location. On 8/24 the crews will begin the concrete cap work. On 8/27 the concrete will be flown in by helicopter which will take about 2 hours. The concrete will be allowed to cure, and the crew will be onsite periodically between 8/27 and 9/1. Beginning 9/1 the drilling equipment will be flown in and will began drilling the foundation piles, this will take 2-3 days. The drilling equipment is very noisy.

On 9/13 the helicopter will fly in the steel plate (1 hour) that goes on top of the concrete foundation. On 9/15 the helicopter will fly in the new tower in sections (1 hour) and fly out the old tower(1 hour). New wire install 9/17 – 9/25.
39/233 Lower Foresta Road. Beginning on 8/26 the crews will begin the concrete cap work. The concrete cap form material and rebar will be hauled to the site from the adjacent road. On 8/31 the concrete will be poured from a concrete truck which will take about 2 hours. The concrete will be allowed to cure, and the crew will be onsite periodically between 9/1 and 9/7. Beginning 9/1 the drilling equipment will be set up and drilling will take 2-3 days. On 9/16 the new tower will be set by a crane in sections and the old tower will be removed. New wire install 9/17 – 9/25.

While working in El Portal there will be traffic control flaggers that will always have radio communication with other crew members and the helicopter. The flaggers will help assist in keeping the roads clear and limiting any blockage to short periods of time. In case of an emergency or if a community member needs to exit, any vehicles/equipment in the road will be cleared in short amount of time and will not impede travel or emergency response. Flaggers and crew members will communicate with community members and can accommodate any special access requirements as needed. (J. Llewellyn)
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Ahwahnee Drive Traffic Delays Through Mid-September
The Historic Preservation Crew is working to restore the Ahwahnee Gatehouse and Gate Post. A one lane closure will result in single lane traffic control on Ahwahnee Drive. The closure will be in place Mondays through Thursdays, 24 hours per day. Traffic will be controlled by temporary stop lights. Wait times are expected to be minimal. This weekly closure is expected to be in place until mid-September. (M. Bablitch)
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Black Oak Restoration Through Late Fall
Extending into late fall, Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS) crew composed of local tribal members will be working on restoring California black oak groves in Yosemite Valley, specifically near Yosemite Valley Elementary School. Black oak is a cultural keystone species for the park’s seven affiliated tribes: North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, Kutzadika’a Mono Lake Indian Community, Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony, Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation. Groves in Yosemite Valley were planted, tended, burned and harvested by tribal members for centuries. They were removed from this role to the detriment of cultural traditions and the health of black oaks. Tribal and CHIPS crew members will tend to oaks, plant acorn, and prepare the groves for future prescribed burns. These activities will reestablish relationships with these groves, promote seedling and sapling recruitment and promote high-quality acorn production. This project is made possible through the generous support of Yosemite Conservancy donors. (E. Dickman)
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Highway 140 Delays Through October 7
The California Department of Transportation is conducting one-way traffic controls with lane closures on State Route 140, from Bear Creek Bridge in Midpines to the Foresta Road Bridge in El Portal. Crews will conduct utility work from 7AM to 5PM daily, through October 7. The work schedule is subject to change with traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment and materials, and construction-related issues. Please drive safely and watch for workers and equipment and other motorists on the roadway. (J. Donovan)
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Power Line Right Of Way Work Along Hetch Hetchy Road Through August
Hetchy Water and Power will be clearing trees and brush along the road and power line corridor to Hetch Hetchy through August. The work will be happening Monday – Friday barring holidays. Expect short traffic delays with localized traffic control. (B. Spielman)
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Tioga Road Drainage Repairs Through Fall 2022
Crews are conducting drainage repairs on Tioga Road between Olmsted Point and Little Blue Slide (12 miles of road rehabilitation along with parking lot work). As part of these repairs there will be single lane traffic control with up to 30-minute daytime delays. This is a 2-year rehabilitation project, so the work and associated delays will continue through the fall of 2021 as weather permits. Crews will shut down for the winter when the road closes. They will start up again in the spring of 2022 and continue throughout summer. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of fall 2022.

Crews will be working Monday through Friday, so please schedule your travel through the area to include the following delays:

Summary of Daytime Delays:
30 Minute Delays = 8AM to 3PM & 5:30PM to 11PM
15 Minute Delays = 6AM to 8AM & 3PM to 5:30PM

No weekend or night work is scheduled at this time. (M. Pieper)
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Wawona Road Maintenance Through August
The Wawona road crew is brushing, ditching, patching, and scaling along Wawona Road through August with periodic traffic delays. Please remember to drive safely and slowly in this work zone. (M. Jones)