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Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals

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Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 08:48AM
From today's Mercury News:

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_25147049/yosemite-national-park-drops-plans-ban-bike-and?source=rss

"In a major reversal, Yosemite National Park officials have dropped controversial plans to ban a wide variety of recreational activities in Yosemite Valley, including ending bike and raft rentals and tearing out swimming pools at the Yosemite Lodge and famed Ahwahnee Hotel."

For the rest of the story, follow the link.

I'm sure that many of you were riled up by this proposal, especially the bone-head idea of discouraging bicycling on the bike paths....
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 10:27AM
Yes, it one of the number of changes to the preferred alternative (alternative 5) that the Park Service is planning to adopt.

Here's the list of main changes between draft preferred alternative (#5) and the final one released yesterday:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,72228,72229#msg-72229

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avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 10:35AM
The MercuryNews article also failed to mention another significant change in regards to rafting in Yosemite Valley: watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

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Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 06:25PM
Quote
plawrence
The MercuryNews article also failed to mention another significant change in regards to rafting in Yosemite Valley: watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

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Any chance you could provide more information regarding the location of the 8 mile stretch. We always enjoy a leisurely float whenever the water is right.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 06:56PM
If the 8 miles refered to are in the valley then it's the whole valley from Happy Isle to the plummet at the BOFR/140 junction or thereabouts.

Oh look, I just rolled over 2000 posts.



Old Dude



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2014 06:59PM by mrcondron.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 07:15PM
Quote
mrcondron
If the 8 miles refered to are in the valley then it's the whole valley from Happy Isle to the plummet at the BOFR/140 junction or thereabouts.

Oh look, I just rolled over 2000 posts.
That makes sense, now that I think about it. Kudos on your 2k post!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 12:13AM
Quote
mrcondron
.

Oh look, I just rolled over 2000 posts.

Welcome to the 2K Club. wink

.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 02:11PM
Quote
plawrence
Welcome to the 2K Club. wink

Says the guy in the 3K Club: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/addon.php?3,module=topusers



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2014 02:12PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 03:28PM
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eeek
Quote
plawrence
Welcome to the 2K Club. wink

Says the guy in the 3K Club: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/addon.php?3,module=topusers

Says the guy in the 12K club.



Old Dude
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 08:34PM
Read through a portion of the report on River Segment 1 above Nevada Falls (6 - 10). Have to admit, I am not sure how I feel about rafting in that portion of river. Guess everything's a compromise.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 08:39PM
Bear in mind that the raft has to be hauled up there. There won't be much traffic.



Old Dude
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 09:23PM
True. Small pack rafts might be interesting to see, if not try.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 10:55PM
Hardcore kayakers are a hardy bunch. I wouldn't be surprised to see kayakers up there during the annual spring melt.

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avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 06:00PM
Quote
KC
True. Small pack rafts might be interesting to see, if not try.

I'd been meaning to take my raft to cross The Merced in LYV to go up to Lake Helen...
some nutjob was crazy enough to come down that "trail" with me last year when
Merced was low... so never did that... I had no idea that that was illegal.
Rafted in many a Yosemite Lake... but not in Merced or Washburn. I don't see
any difference. Sometimes the rules they have just don't make sense.
Maybe that's the reason they changed it. ???
fwiw... no way in heck would I get anywhere near the outlets of either lake when
the river was roaring... (a pack raft is NOT a kayak)
(learned my lesson last year crossing Cherry Crk!)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 06:28PM
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chick-on
(learned my lesson last year crossing Cherry Crk!)

We want details!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 19, 2014 06:17AM
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eeek
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chick-on
(learned my lesson last year crossing Cherry Crk!)

We want details!
It's not that exciting really. In trail boat... trying to get to a nice landing spot and not
get flippers wet... spent about 10 minutes rowing... and going nowhere...
getting sucked back by the undercurrents .. no danger... other than me getting tired.
Just a small lesson in the force and power of water.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 12:42AM
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troutwild
Quote
plawrence

The MercuryNews article also failed to mention another significant change in regards to rafting in Yosemite Valley: watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

Any chance you could provide more information regarding the location of the 8 mile stretch. We always enjoy a leisurely float whenever the water is right.


Under the preferred alternative (the one they're planning to adopt), the limits for commercial boating (i.e. DNC raft rentals) will remain the same (from Stoneman Bridge to just beyond Swinging Bridge), but private boating will be greatly expanded.

Within Yosemite Valley, private watercraft will be able to navigate the Merced River from Clark's Bridge (the bridge that connects Upper & Lower Pines Campgrounds with North Pines Campground and the Stables) all the way downstream to the Pohono Bridge (the bridge that connects Northside Drive with Southside Drive at the very west end of Yosemite Valley).

In addition...

Private (non-commercial) watercraft will also be allowed (via a new permit) to navigate the Merced River ABOVE Nevada Falls from the Headwaters of the main stem of the Merced River to the junction of the Half Dome and Merced Lake trails. The proposed permit quota for watercraft operating in this section of the Merced River (which is classified as a wild river) will be 20 boats per day.

All of this information is found in Volume 1 of the Merced River Plan: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/upload/Volume-1_web_2014Feb14.pdf



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2014 12:50AM by plawrence.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 07:43AM
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plawrence
Quote
troutwild
Quote
plawrence

The MercuryNews article also failed to mention another significant change in regards to rafting in Yosemite Valley: watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

Any chance you could provide more information regarding the location of the 8 mile stretch. We always enjoy a leisurely float whenever the water is right.


Under the preferred alternative (the one they're planning to adopt), the limits for commercial boating (i.e. DNC raft rentals) will remain the same (from Stoneman Bridge to just beyond Swinging Bridge), but private boating will be greatly expanded.

Within Yosemite Valley, private watercraft will be able to navigate the Merced River from Clark's Bridge (the bridge that connects Upper & Lower Pines Campgrounds with North Pines Campground and the Stables) all the way downstream to the Pohono Bridge (the bridge that connects Northside Drive with Southside Drive at the very west end of Yosemite Valley).

In addition...

Private (non-commercial) watercraft will also be allowed (via a new permit) to navigate the Merced River ABOVE Nevada Falls from the Headwaters of the main stem of the Merced River to the junction of the Half Dome and Merced Lake trails. The proposed permit quota for watercraft operating in this section of the Merced River (which is classified as a wild river) will be 20 boats per day.

All of this information is found in Volume 1 of the Merced River Plan: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/upload/Volume-1_web_2014Feb14.pdf

Wow, they are opening up a lot of the river that had been closed. Some of the stretches they are opening up are going to be pretty iffy for novice rafters. There are some iffy areas from off of site 62 in Lower Pines to the Awahnee, and again after the old El Capitan picnic area to Pohono. More rapids at the end of the Bridalveil Falls straight (eastern end). And I'd be real careful to make sure you get out of the river before Pohono because if you miss that opportunity if I remember right you drop into some pretty good rapids with large boulders. The old raft rentals used to take you from Stoneman to the old El Capitan picnic area.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 17, 2014 06:49PM
Quote
plawrence
watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

.

Im going to need a bigger cooler
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 08:15AM
Bike paths beyond the Lodge would be great.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 04:29PM
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ryanmj
Quote
plawrence
watercraft (including rafts) will now be allowed on an eight-mile stretch of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley (compared to the measly 2.4 miles of the Merced River that is currently allowed).

.

Im going to need a bigger cooler

Good one!!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 05:06PM
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ryanmj
Im going to need a bigger cooler

Sure you don't want a bit more?

avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 05:37PM
Motorized watercraft will still be banned. tongue sticking out smiley
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 06:01PM
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plawrence
Motorized watercraft will still be banned. tongue sticking out smiley

What about the eastern version?

avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 05:31PM
Quote
wherever
...I'm sure that many of you were riled up by this proposal, especially the bone-head idea of discouraging bicycling on the bike paths....
The rafts can go. The pools keep some people out of the river. I like the bikes and we need MORE and a bike path along South Side Drive would be great. More bikes = fewer cars. That's a good thing.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 15, 2014 07:16PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
wherever
...I'm sure that many of you were riled up by this proposal, especially the bone-head idea of discouraging bicycling on the bike paths....
The rafts can go. The pools keep some people out of the river. I like the bikes and we need MORE and a bike path along South Side Drive would be great. More bikes = fewer cars. That's a good thing.

+1 for more bikes. More bike access to non pavement trails.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 16, 2014 11:19PM
Good News!
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 08:38AM
Anyone know if these plans will be in effect by summer? I would love to do a longer float (assuming there is enough water).
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 10:30AM
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shaunsmomo

Anyone know if these plans will be in effect by summer?


A two-hour informational meeting, including a simultaneous webinar, will be held at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium on Thursday, March 6th at 1:00 PM to discus the Final Merced River Plan and its EIS.

For those planning to attend the meeting in person, park admission for that day will be waived. One can sign-up for the free webinar here: Yosemite National Park: Final Merced River Plan/EIS Webinar

In the past, the park planners have given the audience members (including those attending via the webinar) an opportunity to ask questions. If you have any questions regarding the timeframe when the new rafting regulations will go into affect, you will probably have an opportunity to ask them during this meeting (in person or via the webinar website).

After reading parts of the massive report, it appears to me that some of the new rules and regulations will be implemented soon after the plan is officially adopted (after the 30-day no-action period which will end in mid-March and a Record of Decision is prepared and signed) barring any last minute lawsuit and a court order injunction. So I wouldn't be surprised if the new regulations concerning rafting along the Merced inside Yosemite Valley is implemented this year.

The opportunity to raft or kayak the upper parts of the Merced River (above Nevada Falls) might take longer since they would need to put in place the proposed boat permit system for this portion of the Merced River.

.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 18, 2014 02:26PM
Thanks for the scoop! I will keep my fingers crossed and my raft ready.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 20, 2014 12:02AM
Quote
plawrence
. . . s n i p . . .
A two-hour informational meeting, including a simultaneous webinar, will be held at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium on Thursday, March 6th at 1:00 PM to discus the Final Merced River Plan and its EIS.
. . . s n i p . . .

If I can get the time off work I'm going to make this a 4 day weekend and attend this. I sure wish they would do these things on weekends when the normal working people can attend.

If anyone else will be there and would like to meet/compare notes/gangup on NPS/etc please PM me
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 20, 2014 10:59AM
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qumqats

I sure wish they would do these things on weekends when the normal working people can attend.

Generally speaking, the NPS planning staff don't work weekends (though I think one or two will be present during the Saturday of the Yosemite Conservancy's "Spring Gathering" to give a presentation to the Yosemite Conservancy members attending the event).

.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 21, 2014 06:01PM
bike paths to elcap and bridalvale would be great
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 21, 2014 08:57PM
Make it right along South Side Drive. It would keep people off of the river banks and they could do it without cutting down one tree.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 21, 2014 09:04PM
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Dave
Make it right along South Side Drive. It would keep people off of the river banks and they could do it without cutting down one tree.

Northside drive might be better because there is one very narrow part of the road just east of Bridalveil that might not have enough width for a bike lane.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 22, 2014 07:37AM
A bike path is needed on both sides of the Valley.
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 22, 2014 03:27PM
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Dave
A bike path is needed on both sides of the Valley.

I have no argument to that. The last time we tried to bike around the valley we almost got hit by cars on both Northside and Southside drives. You really have to watch out for RV mirrors.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 22, 2014 04:32PM
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parklover
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Dave
A bike path is needed on both sides of the Valley.
I have no argument to that. The last time we tried to bike around the valley we almost got hit by cars on both Northside and Southside drives. You really have to watch out for RV mirrors.

That's the main reason; safety. I hate seeing a family riding down the middle of the road. It's just not safe. Plus, they always get in MY way. no, stop, enough!
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 22, 2014 06:15PM
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Dave
I hate seeing a family riding down the middle of the road.

I hate what they do to my bumper! Grinning Devil
Re: Yosemite National Park drops plans to ban bike and raft rentals
February 22, 2014 11:42PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
parklover
Quote
Dave
A bike path is needed on both sides of the Valley.
I have no argument to that. The last time we tried to bike around the valley we almost got hit by cars on both Northside and Southside drives. You really have to watch out for RV mirrors.

That's the main reason; safety. I hate seeing a family riding down the middle of the road. It's just not safe. Plus, they always get in MY way. no, stop, enough!

I agree with that also. I hate when multiple people are riding bikes and weave back and forth across both lanes so you can't pass them.
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