Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yosemite Daily Report for Mar 1, 2012

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Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Yosemite Valley
Today: Snow showers likely, mainly between 10am and 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of snow showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 22. 
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 33.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 53.

El Portal
Today: A chance of rain and snow showers before 10am, then rain showers likely. Snow level 2400 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 32.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 57. 
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 72.

Today: Snow showers likely before 4pm, then a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Tonight: A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 26. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 44. 
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 62. 


Seasonal Climbing Closures March 1 - August 1
Please respect Peregrine Falcons nesting in Yosemite by complying with seasonal climbing closures. Starting today, March 1, closures go into effect at Arch Rock, B.O.L.T. Wall, El Capitan, Glacier Point, Half Dome, Hetch Hetchy, Rhombus Wall, and the Rostrum. If you want to climb any of these areas, please check the closure notice (posted at first to make sure you are complying with the closures and not disturbing any peregrines. (M. Thornley)

Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update - February 29, 2012
Weather: (February 22 through February 29)
High temp: 54°F (February 22)
Low temp: -4°F (February 28)
New Snow: 10 inches
Total settled snow depth: 24 inches as of February 29

Skiing Conditions and Weather: At the time of this writing, it is snowing hard and conditions are improving on all aspects. There was a three day warm spell this week that settled and firmed up the snow surface on all but the North facing slopes. South facing slopes are mostly snow free below 9000’ and only patchy snow above this elevation. There are still good touring conditions above 8000’ in all drainages. There are good turns to be had above tree line, primarily on North aspects, but also on select East and West facing slopes. The snowpack is still shallow, however, and skiers need to be cautious of rocks and other obstacles that still exist just below the snow surface.

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the latest avalanche advisory for this area go to for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center and click on advisory. The ESAC site is updated several times a week and more often during weather events.

No natural avalanche activity has been seen in the Tuolumne backcountry area yet this season. Recent storm activity has been cold, with low density snow falling on a mostly consolidated, settled snowpack. High winds were forecasted for this present storm which could produce wind slabs above tree line. Backcountry travelers should be cautious of this when on slopes greater than 30 degrees, primarily on North and East aspects.

Wildlife: Flocks of Red Crossbills and Dark-eyed Junco have been flying among the Lodge pole pine. Brown Creeper and Mountain Chickadee occasionally tag along. A Peregrine Falcon visited us on Mt. Hoffman this week perhaps escaping the heat of Yosemite Valley. And, as usual, Snow Shoe Hare and coyote tracks abound.

Questions: Power and phones are out for the season. Contact the Wilderness Office at (209) 372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Bring your ski & skin wax! Laura & Rob Pilewski, the Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers.

For regular updates, bookmark our blog on the park's website: (M. Ortiz)

John Muir Descendent to Retrace Yosemite Valley Hike as One of Yosemite Conservancy’s Outdoor Adventures for 2012 - news release
One of More Than 35 Programs Offered Like Hawk Watching in the High Country, Family Camping Events or Stargazing in Tuolumne Meadows
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529
Pete Bartleme, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-664-1503

Imagine strolling through Yosemite Valley some 140 years ago with naturalist John Muir listening to his poetic descriptions of Half Dome and learning about his legendary adventures. As one of Yosemite Conservancy’s  unique Outdoor Adventures  in 2012, visitors to Yosemite National Park can take a step back in time by retracing Muir’s steps with his great-great-grandson Robert Hanna and Muir actor Frank Helling. The four-mile hike this April will explore where Muir lived and worked in Yosemite Valley, and his favorite spots and discoveries.
“Our Outdoor Adventures are guided by experts to provide memorable experiences that inspire, engage and educate. They offer opportunities with experts to enjoy the park in unique ways,” said Mike Tollefson, president of Yosemite Conservancy. Proceeds are poured into important restoration and protection work that Yosemite Conservancy supports in the park.
More than 35 Outdoor Adventures are available for park visitors to hike, observe, experience and explore Yosemite’s wildlife, geology, cultural history and more. Adventures span the entire park geography and may range from highly active treks to the top of Half Dome or quiet contemplative strolls exploring the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Outdoor Adventures expert guides have decades of experience in the park and create long-lasting connections with participants who see and experience Yosemite’s majesty in new ways through the guide’s storytelling. Some of the other programs include learning to weave a Miwok-Paiute Indian basket with Yosemite legend Julia Parker, photographing Yosemite Valley’s waterfalls, or stargazing in Tuolumne Meadows.
“My great-great-grandfather, John Muir, knew that sharing and experiencing Yosemite was the primary way to ensure its preservation,” said Hanna. “These programs help continue that important tradition.”
Groups and families can customize their adventures through Yosemite Conservancy to discover unique Yosemite wildlife or explore a remote glacier. Anyone can register for an Outdoor Adventure or inquire about a customized experience at (S. Gediman)

Yosemite National Park = visitors, money and jobs
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 4 million visitors in 2010 spent $354.7 million in Yosemite National Park and in communities near the park. That spending supported more than 4,600 jobs in the area.

"The people and business owners in gateway communities near national parks have always known their economic value," stated park superintendent Don Neubacher. "Yosemite National Park is a huge contributing factor that drives the economies in the greater Yosemite region."

Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).

The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.

Across the U.S., local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, and increase of $689 million and 11,5000 jobs over 2009.

To download the report, visit and click on  Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. For more on how the NPS is working within California, go to (S. Gediman)
Badger Pass Daily Snow Report - 3/1
Base Depth: The conditions on the slopes are excellent.
New Snow: 12"
Snow Conditions: Powder and packed powder
Temperature: High 34 Low 26
Runs Groomed: Bruin, Eagle, Turtle, Rabbit, Chipmunk, Badger
Lifts Open: Turtle, Bruin, Eagle, Badger
Runs open: All
XC trail snow conditions: Groomed from Badger Pass to Bridalveil Campground on Thursday morning 3/1. Teaching area groomed 2/29.
Tubing Hill: No tubing; need more snow. (S. Costello)

Crane Flat Store Closed
Crane Flat Store will be closed as of Feb 29 due to Big Oak Flat Road closure and will continue to be closed until notice that the Big Oak Flat Road has reopened. Gas will be available by pay at the pump with credit cards only. (K. Prichard)

No Government Vehicles on Foresta Road Between Foresta and El Portal During Hwy 120 Closure
Government vehicles are strictly prohibited on Foresta Road between Foresta and El Portal. It is not a safe or viable option during the Highway 120 road closure. The road is very narrow and washed out in some areas. The road is very narrow and steep, with no room to turn around once you begin driving in either direction. It can be very dangerous in bad weather and ice. While the Foresta Road is maintained by Mariposa County and not the park, we do not recommend it for public use either. (K. Kosick)

Balanced Rock’s Yoga Classes in El Portal
Always wanted to try yoga or just looking for some extra fitness and flexibility? Balanced Rock offers donation-based yoga from 6-7:15pm at the El Portal School from 6:00-7:15pm on Monday and Wednesday nights. All levels are welcome. We update our schedule monthly on our blog: You can also email to be added to our yoga class emails for schedules to be emailed directly to you. Please be sure to check the schedule before attending to find out about class cancellations or schedule changes.
Special Yoga Event Wednesday, March 7
Spring Streaming - Getting in the Flow with Yoga and Food . Join guest yoga teacher and nutritionist, Shannon Sodano, joining us from New York City to teach Yosemite Community Yoga at the El Portal School Multipurpose Room from 6-8pm. This all-levels yoga class will be followed by a discussion on cleansing with food and simple exercises. During the discussion a hearty soup will be offered to participants—bring your own bowl and spoon! Suggested donation is $15/person. Space is limited—RSVP appreciated to for appropriate food preparation. More info and Shannon ’s bio are available at (B. Armon)

Music at the Carabiner
Our season of fun is winding down at the Carabiner but it's not over yet. We have 3 more nights of some amazing live music that should be sure to please!! It will be thumping by 9pm each night and lasting until midnight. This Saturday we have a mix-up of DJ's coming in from the Bay Area; Curtis from BLVD w/ special guest Rob-I. Our closing party is on St Patrick's Day, March 17th and we have the massive crowd pleasers, Wild Hare straight out of Fresno! In between these free shows we find ourselves in the midst of the biggest-name-band Yosemite has yet to see. On Tuesday, March 6 we will be charging $10 at the door to see Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk! Dumpstaphunk is fueled by Ivan and Ian Neville. The cousins lead a supergroup, whose members boast impressive resumes. Over the last decade, Ivan, Ian, Tony, Nick, & Nikki have played and recorded with the likes of the The Rolling Stones‚ Bonnie Raitt‚ The Neville Bros., Beyonce, Harry Connick Jr, Gov't Mule‚ John Mayer, Keith Richards, Soulive, Galactic‚ North Mississippi Allstars‚ Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Slightly Stoopid, and even Etta James & Boz Scaggs. See you at the Carabiner! (E. Brosk)

Private Rentals Reminder
Any rental units that are submitted to the Housing Office will be announced in Daily Report and will also be posted on the Admin/Housing SharePoint site (listed under Private Rentals) for approximately 2 months or until we are notified that the unit has been rented out. (Y. Radanovich)

Yosemite National Park Announces Release of the Finding of No Significant Impact for the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project - news release
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-052

Yosemite National Park announces the signing of the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). This document records the decision of the National Park Service to remove the remaining 72 structures within the closed rockfall hazard zone at Curry Village. This action was described as Alternative 1 – Remove All Structures in the environmental assessment (EA) that was released for public review in August 2011. The FONSI, EA, Memorandum of Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer, and responses to comments are available at
Implementation of the Selected Action entails the removal of the following structures:
- 44 bungalettes (hard-sided cabins without bath)
- 22 bungalows (hard-sided cabins with bath)
- 3 comfort stations (Nob Hill, Rock, Terrace)
- Cabin 101 (Nob Hill Cabin)
- Women’s Club/Terrace clubhouse
- Foster Curry Bungalow/Tresidder House

Before removal occurs, the site and structures will be recorded through drawings and photographic and written documentation. The park will follow relevant federal regulations and procedures governing the disposal of government property. Removal of the structures is anticipated to begin in the Fall of 2012 or as soon as conditions permit.

Public scoping occurred from February 22 to April 7, 2010, during which 33 letters were received. The EA was available for comment from August 8 to September 9, 2011; 32 letters were received. All comments were reviewed by park staff and were considered in the development of the FONSI.
Requests for hardcopies or CD-ROMs of the FONSI, available on a limited basis, can be submitted to: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park, Attn: Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project, P.O. Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389; or fax (209) 379-1294; or email: Hardcopies and CD-ROMs will also be available at the park’s monthly Open House on February 29, 2012, in the valley auditorium. (S. Gediman)

Invasive Plant Management – 2012 Work Plan and Associated Maps Available Online
As determined by the Invasive Plant Management Plan Update, each year the park will share its upcoming work plans related to the eradication of invasive plants. The Invasive Plant Management Plan, finalized in 2011, gives Yosemite resource managers greater flexibility to respond to present and future threats to park resources from non-native invasive species. No single method or herbicide is best in controlling all species in every situation. Detailed work planning , effectiveness monitoring, and outreach allows the park, its partners as well as the public to assess the scope of invasive plant problems in Yosemite today, as well as the safety and efficacy of the parks response.
To download the 2012 Invasive Plant Management Plan: The work plan summarizes the 2011 field season and proposed 2012 treatments. The work plan also describes the program's general approach as well as area specific plans. Thirty-six GIS maps display invasive plant infestation locations and site-specific details on all proposed treatment actions. Contact Martin Hutten for more information, questions, or comments: or (209) 742-3285. (G. Dickman)

Job Posting - Yosemite Conservancy - Interim Outdoor Adventure & Administrative Assistant
The Temporary Outdoor Adventure and Office Assistant reports to the General Manager and provides administrative support; and provides support to the Outdoor Adventure program by coordinating the sales and registration process for Yosemite Outdoor Adventure programs and Custom Adventures. This office-based position works collaboratively with the Resident Naturalist. This is a temporary 40 hour/week position starting in mid-June, 2012 ending in October or November 2012, while the staff person who normally fills this role is on maternity leave. For more information about Yosemite Conservancy, the position and how to apply, see (R. Miller)

Adobe InDesign Training
Need basic training in Adobe InDesign? Are you tired of having graphics jump around on the page while you try to prepare reports/papers/flyers, etc? Want to make your print projects look good on a small budget? Thinking about investing in InDesign but not sure if it fits your needs? Join us for a two hour class on InDesign Basics. Learn how to create custom desktop publishing documents, import pictures, standardize your reports, and prepare them for publishing. Training is currently scheduled for March 8 from 2-4pm in the Windowless Conference Room in the El Portal Maintenance Complex. Limited space; please RSVP to by March 2 for details and software requirements. (A. Freeman)

Volunteer Manager/Supervisor Training April 17-19, 2012 *Revised
Would you like to learn how volunteers can help your program? Want to learn some supervision skills and tools? Yosemite is hosting the How to Succeed with Volunteers in Parks and Yosemite Volunteer Management Training April 17-19. It will take place in El Portal, is free, and is open to NPS and partner staff (paid and volunteer) who work with volunteers. Yosemite staff have priority for the course. After that, the course is open first-come, first-serve service-wide. We'll be sharing lots of information and useful tools, and plan to have some fun in the process; the course has received great reviews -- ask someone who's gone if it's right for you. If you'd like to be in this course, apply by submitting your nomination form to Nomination forms can be found on SharePoint at or by requesting a form from the volunteer office at The nomination deadline is March 9. Please contact Heather with any questions at 379-1855. (H. Boothe)

Management Team Meeting Cancelled
The Management Team meeting on March 6th has been cancelled and will be replaced by the Leadership Academy on March 14-16. (K. Kosick)

St. Patrick’s Day Shuttle
Ethos Youth Center will once again be providing a shuttle service from El Portal to the Canyon Bar and Grill (and back) on St. Patrick’s Day. The shuttle will run from 7pm-2am and will stop at the Community Hall, the bottom of Rancheria, and at the NPS warehouse. Tickets cost $5 and will be available at Sal’s on March 8th, at the YEA Irish dinner on the 17th, and on the shuttle. All proceeds will benefit Ethos Youth Center in Mariposa. Ethos is a revolution of youth that is a catalyst for justice and social change. Visit to learn more information! Thanks to YEA and El Portal Dining for supporting this fundraiser! If you have any questions, please contact,, or call 209.742.5865. (A. Tudor)

Government Housing Rates Update
We have great news for employees residing in government housing in El Portal and the Valley! Based on the hard work of park staff, community members, and Mariposa County, the census information effecting housing rates has been adjusted by the U.S. Census Bureau in our favor. The U.S. Census Bureau was able to adjust the boundary of Mariposa to fit the community more appropriately. We are very happy to receive this news during such a difficult economic time.

As many of you know, government housing rental rates were due to increase on March 11, 2012. The 2012 rental rates for Yosemite Valley and El Portal housing areas were calculated based upon using Mariposa as the Nearest Established Community (NEC). Residents of these areas were either no longer eligible for an isolation deduction or the isolation deduction was reduced based on the miles to Mariposa instead of Oakhurst.

We are pleased to announce we have received official correspondence from the U.S. Census Bureau that the Census Bureau and Mariposa County have agreed to amend the boundary for Mariposa. This boundary change required a revised population count. Under the amended boundary, the revised 2010 population of Mariposa is 1,449. A Nearest Established Community (NEC) must have a population of 1,500. Therefore, because of this new information, the Housing Management Office will recalculate the 2012 rents for El Portal and Yosemite Valley tenants using Oakhurst as the NEC.

As a result, the rental rate increase will not be as drastic as expected. The Housing Management Office is working to compute the final amended rental rates for 2012. Amended 2012 rent notices will be mailed to those affected by this recent update. The revised rents will be effective no later than March 25, 2012.
All other 2012 rents will still go into effect March 11, 2012 as scheduled.

The Executive Leadership Team is working hard to improve morale on all levels. Employee morale is very important to us and we are glad things worked out in our favor. Again, we want to send a special thank you to Mariposa County for working with the Park Service to make this happen!

Don Neubacher

Big Oak Flat Road Closed
Big Oak Flat Road is now closed between the Foresta Road Junction on the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) and the El Portal Road (Highway 140) junction. It is anticipated that the work will be completed before the Easter Weekend. The park will issue periodic updates on the road reconstruction progress and estimated dates for reopening.

Charles Cuvelier will be acting Superintendent Wed. 2/29 - Fri. 3/2.

Randy Fong will be acting Deputy Superintendent Wed. 2/29 - Fri. 3/2and will be acting Superintendent if Charles is unavailable.
Roger Farmer will the be the acting Superintendent's Office Chief of Staff from Fri. 2/24 - Thur. 3/8. Roger can be reached at 379-1079.
Mike Yochim will be the Acting Division Chief for the Planning Division, Feb. 29th, Mar. 1st & 2nd. If you need to reach Mike you may phone him in his El Portal office at 379-1441. If unavailable you may leave a message with Doyle Harrison at 379-1110.
Paul Laymon will be Acting Chief of Facilities Management from 3/1 - 3/19. He may be reached at 379-1077. 
Sharon Miyako will be acting branch chief for Education until March 14th. She can be reached at 209-375-9503.
Gene Smith will be acting Roads & Trails Branch Chief 2/22/12 through 3/13/12 while Lou Summerfield is out of the park. He can be reached at 379-1120.
Madelyn Ruffner (379-1226) is on a 120-day detail as Acting Environmental Planning and Compliance Program Manager. Madelyn may be found at her regular desk location in the EPC Trailer. Elexis Mayer (379-1377) has temporarily moved to the Planning Trailer to continue her work on the Merced River Plan. For further assistance, you may also contact Jessica Zeek (379-1002), Administrative Support Assistant for Environmental Planning and Compliance.
Jack Hoeflich will be acting Valley District Ranger until further notice.
Andy Fristensky will be Acting Deputy Chief of Interpretive Operations until further notice. He may be reached at 372-0599.
Jeffrey Trust will be Acting Yosemite Valley Field Interpretation Supervisor until further notice. He may be reached at 372-0307.
Ron Watson will be the Acting Supervisory Information Technology Specialist until further notice. He may be reached at 379-1074.
Brenna Lissoway (379-1283) is on a detail as the Park Archivist. If you have need to access the Archives, or have archive related questions, you can call 379-1282 or 379-1104.

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