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Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project

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avatar Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 18, 2007 11:16AM
Public Scoping for the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project

Proposed rehabilitation project addresses safety, sanitation, and accessibility issues

The Wawona Tunnel View Overlook is popular scenic viewpoint located adjacent to Wawona Road at the east portal of the Wawona Tunnel. This overlook affords expansive views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome.

The overlook is a historic site and was constructed in 1932 during an era that heralded a boom in design and development throughout the National Park Service, and helped initiate the park service "rustic" design style. Wawona Tunnel and Tunnel View were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 because of their exemplary park service rustic design. Very little physical change has occurred to Tunnel View's physical features (including rockwork, circulation patterns, and configuration) since it was built in 1932. The site remains one of the most popular scenic overlooks in Yosemite National Park. Tour buses, tram tours, and single-family vehicles bring an estimated 5,000-7,000 people to the site per day during the height of the visitation season.

The purpose of the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project is to remedy safety issues, to correct drainage problems, to provide clear circulation patterns for pedestrians and vehicles, to enhance and maintain viewing opportunities for visitors, to provide accessibility to viewing areas for visitors with disabilities, to correct safety problems associated with the existing Inspiration Point trailhead, and to address sanitation issues while maintaining vistas and the naturalistic, rustic character and integrity of this historic site.

Public scoping for the Tunnel View overlook Rehabilitation Project will open on Monday, June 4, 2007, and close on July 9, 2007. Two public meetings will take place in June. A public meeting is scheduled for 1:00pm at the monthly Open House in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Wednesday, June 27, 2007. An evening meeting will be held at the Oakhurst Community Hall from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2007.

Written scoping comments should be postmarked no later than July 9, 2007. Comments can be submitted at public meetings, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. A draft document will be available for public review in fall 2007. To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the Draft EA and to submit written comments.


Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Tunnel View overlook Rehabilitation Project
Yosemite National Park
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Fax: 209/379-1294

Email: YOSE_Planning@nps.gov

Web: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning

PEPC: http://parkplanning.nps.gov

For more information on park planning efforts, visit the website at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning


Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 18, 2007 01:07PM
Oh how I've longed for a restroom at the Tunnel View!
Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 18, 2007 07:12PM
I'll be one making an email input for cutting down that young pine tree increasingly blocking the view to the east. Just like all those young alders that have sprung up after the 1997 flood, blocking the landscape in front of Valley View, park officials ought to spend a few seconds pragmatically taking a chain saw to such trees and be done with it. Afraid some rigid minded inconsiderate nut is going to protest? Neither of those paved and rock walled places have been anything close to natural for decades. Why make us suffer hampered near views just because the powers that are capable of doing something refuse to do anything apparently due to some unspoken unmentionable policy their paranoid about while a couple of truly world class views millions of people have been enjoying historically for decades suffer. ...David

Post Edited (05-18-07 21:15)

Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 18, 2007 08:42PM

But tell us what you really think.

smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 18, 2007 11:24PM
While we are at it, why don't we take all of the rockfalls that have occurred over the past century and superglue them back up where they "belong."

That should make the truly rigid-minded really happy.
avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 19, 2007 12:30PM
szalkowski, good post!

I think the tunnel view is fine, and since I avoid peak traffic times, the parking lot is just fine as well. And letterknit, there are restrooms at the base of Bridalvail Fall, what, 5 minutes away. Or (if you're a guy) sneak over the rock barrier at the viewpoint and pretend you're taking pictures...
avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 19, 2007 01:50PM
If you get up early, you can have it all to yourself:


avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 19, 2007 02:09PM
If you don't get up early, you can meet a bus there:


Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 19, 2007 03:33PM
So there I was in the tunnel view turnout one fine day, when a woman I do not know turned away from El Capitan and said to me, "It should be better than that."

I asked, "It's not good enough for you?"

And she said, "No. It should be better than that."


Well I'm sorry that the largest exposed granite face on earth isn't is as good as it should be. We shall have to setup the world's largest scaffolding right away and get going on some improvements.

It seems there's no pleasing some people.
Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 21, 2007 08:20AM
My wife's grandfather got married to a very old flame after his first wife died.

One time, before I met my own wife and when she was a young 'un, her family took her grandfather and his new wife to Yosemite. Her grandfather had seen and appreciated the place many times, but it was the new wife's first visit.

Afterward, my wife's family never knew whether it was her generally cantankerous ways or a real lack of appreciation, but her terse commentary afterward was, "I didn't like the way it was laid out." She never went there again.

Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 21, 2007 01:01PM
Maybe John Muir should have hired a staging company and a feng shui consultant before he setup the glacial activities that he used to build the park smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 21, 2007 04:05PM
I guess there are varying opinions on how the land should be managed. I heard something about a 19th century Miwok girl who lived in the Valley floor as a child, but returned late in her lifetime. She noted that the valley floor was "dirty" in that they couldn't see clear across the valley like she remembered from her childhood. Apparently the Miwoks would periodically burn down trees in Yosemite Valley to eliminate the "clutter". Years of management by the State of California allowed the forests to grow again.

We probably need to understand that much of Yosemite was never really pristine wilderness because native peoples lived and altered the landscape. I still think most of the land should allowed to grow on its own. Certainly it shouldn't be like a vague recollection of professional photographer who supposedly framed a "perfect" shot with a certain tree and then cut it down so that nobody else could ever replicate it.

avatar Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 22, 2007 12:11AM
The Miwok did their burns to promote the Oaks over the pines; their diet was heavy on acorns.

Re: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
May 22, 2007 06:41PM
As expected I have to laugh that the responses reflect the same rigid mindset of the powers that might do something. Why should people feel like we are doing something against nature when we clear vegetation directly in front of major world class view points? No that would not be re-engineering the valley but less than ten feet from our own cement. At Valley View those alders are growing directly in front of the 1997 flood repair cement and rock construction just a few feet from where people are supposed to have a viewpoint. I find it ridiculous people essentially give as arguments it is the start down a slippery slope of manipulations. That's small thinking folks. If we cut down those alders ten feet in front of the view point, that does not set a precedent for creeping manipulations beyond. We're intelligent humans that can be pragmatic in the way we build our park infrastructures without resorting to nonsense rigidity. ...David

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