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Fourteen Properties in Yosemite National Park Added to National Register of Historic Places

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avatar Fourteen Properties in Yosemite National Park Added to National Register of Historic Places
October 07, 2014 02:09PM
Properties Include High Sierra Camps and other Historic Cabins

Fourteen properties in Yosemite National Park have recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. These new listings include Yosemite’s High Sierra Camps and the historic Wilderness cabins. The High Sierra Camps include: Glen Aulin, May Lake, Merced Lake, Sunrise, Tuolumne Meadows, and Vogelsang High Sierra Camps. New listings of Wilderness cabins include Buck Camp Patrol Cabin, Frog Creek Cabin, Lake Vernon Snow Survey Shelter, Sasche Springs Snow Survey Shelter, Merced Lake Ranger Station and Snow Survey Cabin, Ostrander Lake Ski Hut, and the Snow Flat Ranger Station and Snow Survey Cabin.

In order to be listed, properties must embody qualities of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture. Additionally, the property must retain its historic integrity through aspects of location, design, setting, feelings, association, materials, and workmanship that relate to its significance. Most often, properties also must be at least 50 years old. All newly listed properties are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the history of Yosemite. Each of the listed buildings is also notable for its distinctive rustic architectural character. They are officially recognized in the National Register of Historic Places as important in areas of conservation, science, education, recreation, and architecture.

Prior to this addition Yosemite National Park had over 40 historic properties, comprising sites, objects, buildings, and districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The park is also home to five National Historic Landmarks: The Ahwahnee Hotel, Le Conte Memorial Lodge, Parsons Memorial Lodge, the Rangers’ Club and the Wawona Hotel & Thomas Hill Studio District. Other individual historic properties include diverse resources such as the Camp 4 Historic Site, the El Portal School, and the Tioga Pass Entrance Station. Yosemite’s historic districts include Camp Curry and the Yosemite Valley Mariposa Grove Historic District, as well as several archeological districts, with many containing hundreds of individual contributing resources. These places help reflect the historical, architectural, and cultural significance of Yosemite National Park. These new listings are a result of Yosemite’s ongoing efforts to identify new National Register properties, in keeping with the National Park Service’s role as the lead federal agency for managing and preserving our nation’s diverse heritage.

For more information on the National Register of Historic Places please visit http://www.nps.gov/nr/index.htm or http://www.nps.gov/yose/historyculture/nr-yose.htm.
NOOOO!!!! Not the High Sierra Camps!
avatar Re: Fourteen Properties in Yosemite National Park Added to National Register of Historic Places
October 07, 2014 03:48PM
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buster
NOOOO!!!! Not the High Sierra Camps!

Why not?
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eeek
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buster
NOOOO!!!! Not the High Sierra Camps!

Why not?

Well, not trying to start the HSC debate again, though I may have inadvertently. I would like to see the high sierra camps be removed. Listing them on the National Register of Historic Places will make that harder to do.
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buster

Listing them on the National Register of Historic Places will make that harder to...(remove).
While some may find the HSC's offensive, I for one laud this decision...specifically concerning Merced HSC.
Talk recently (Merced and Tuolumne River plans) had reductions slated in the number of tent cabins allowed at Merced and Glen Aulin... to be reduced but (According to a few Ranger friends, Tuolumne), they decided to retain past numbers at Merced while reducing the cabins at Glen Aulin.

IMHO, Merced HSC anchors/protects the Upper Merced drainage...a nexus of trails converging...a sheriff in the wilderness, well needed.
Additionally, a minimum number of beds/meals are needed to show a profit (or at least break even) at the HSC's. The HSC's are linked...much like the Missions - a days hike away. If Merced does not meet it's quota because of reductions - (not enough beds and dinners sold) and thus fails, soon Voglesang and Sunrise would soon follow suit. That would signal all the HSC's demise.
When younger, I thought the HSC's a blight on the park too...as I grow older, can more appreciate the access provided to the High Country when no longer able to carry a backpack...access for all.
There is something about park history, John Muir, and Yosemite lore associated with these camps - grandfathered in, much like camp 4...Todays strict quotas insure that HSC overuse doesn't really happen...Where is the harm?
In conclusion, I could easily do without White Wolf or the Tuolumne Lodge as they are drive-to establishments, not really camps per se, but realizing these two probably provide most of the profits needed to keep the others open...so be it.
To those who somehow got the HSC's included on the National Historic Register, (thus now protected?), I say "Nice Job!"
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markskor
While some may find the HSC's offensive, I for one laud this decision...specifically concerning Merced HSC.
Talk recently (Merced and Tuolumne River plans) had reductions slated in the number of tent cabins allowed at Merced and Glen Aulin... to be reduced but (According to a few Ranger friends, Tuolumne), they decided to retain past numbers at Merced while reducing the cabins at Glen Aulin.

IMHO, Merced HSC anchors/protects the Upper Merced drainage...a nexus of trails converging...a sheriff in the wilderness, well needed.
Additionally, a minimum number of beds/meals are needed to show a profit (or at least break even) at the HSC's. The HSC's are linked...much like the Missions - a days hike away. If Merced does not meet it's quota because of reductions - (not enough beds and dinners sold) and thus fails, soon Voglesang and Sunrise would soon follow suit. That would signal all the HSC's demise.
When younger, I thought the HSC's a blight on the park too...as I grow older, can more appreciate the access provided to the High Country when no longer able to carry a backpack...access for all.
There is something about park history, John Muir, and Yosemite lore associated with these camps - grandfathered in, much like camp 4...Todays strict quotas insure that HSC overuse doesn't really happen...Where is the harm?
In conclusion, I could easily do without White Wolf or the Tuolumne Lodge as they are drive-to establishments, not really camps per se, but realizing these two probably provide most of the profits needed to keep the others open...so be it.
To those who somehow got the HSC's included on the National Historic Register, (thus now protected?), I say "Nice Job!"

What you are saying about Merced Lake doesn't make sense. It is the largest HSC with a capacity of 60, while Vogelsang and Sunrise have capacities of 42 and 34 respectively. Reducing it's capacity just brings it inline with the other camps around it while reducing impacts. If anything, Merced Lake has an over capacity issue.

Additionally, how does a non-wilderness area performing non-wilderness related activities help act as a sheriff for wilderness?

Providing access for all is great. However, the HSC's provide far more than just access. They have toilets, showers, beds, gourmet meals, water and sewer systems, etc. That is for nearly $200 a night, which is clearly out of the price range for many folks. Plus providing access has to be balanced with impacts. Otherwise, why not allow ATV's or whatever as they provide access too. But of course those have significant impacts we don't want in wilderness. The HSC's have significant impacts on the wilderness. They need to be supplied and maintained, causing a ton of impacts on the trails. There is the infrastructure to keep the camps operational which has been upgraded and expanded since the camps were established. Plus there could be 60 guests, plus employees, at a backcountry Lake. That's a lot of people at any location in wilderness. The surrounding areas and trails in between are going to be impacted by all the HSC guests in the area. It's like having a trailhead 13 miles in the wilderness.

While I can understand the historic nature of the camps, just because they are historic doesn't mean they should remain if they are negatively impacting the park. The firefall, the bear feeding programs, camping on half dome, etc were all historic and memorable activities in the park that aren't done anymore because they had large negative impacts.
The Snow Creek cabin wasn't included?

(Nor was the Glacier Point dump for that matter. But that properly needs five more years to qualify. wink )
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plawrence
The Snow Creek cabin wasn't included?

I was surprised by that as well, considering every other cabin/structure in the wilderness was included. A quick search online seems to indicate it was included in the original nomination, but can't think of a good reason it wasn't officially recognized.
The Glacier Point dump is probably treated as if it were eligible for the register anyway. Cabins a good question, but perhaps it's had more recent modifications. Tough to say.
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