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Re: Yosemite National Park to Conduct Workshops and Webinars on Wilderness Stewardship Plan

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avatar Yosemite National Park to Conduct Workshops and Webinars on Wilderness Stewardship Plan
August 04, 2016 02:03PM
Multiple Public Meetings and Webinars to be Conducted Over the Next Several Weeks

Yosemite National Park will host a series of workshops to engage the public in the formulation of alternatives for the park’s Wilderness Stewardship Plan. The workshops will focus on two of the more complex issues to be addressed in the Plan—visitor use and capacity and stock use.

At these workshops, the planning team will share preliminary concepts for addressing these topics and will be looking for feedback and suggestions. The workshops will provide a forum to learn about the challenges faced by park managers in striking the balance between providing public access and protecting the wilderness throughout Yosemite National Park.

When completed, the Wilderness Stewardship Plan will include a broad array of management strategies for addressing issues such as natural resource management, ecosystem restoration, and trail maintenance. Due to the high level of public interest in visitor use and capacity and stock use, and due to the complexity of these issues, the upcoming workshops will primarily focus on these two components of the Plan.

The public is invited to participate in an upcoming webinar or attend a public workshop being conducted in the region.
  • Webinar #1 | Tuesday, August 9th | 12:00-1:00
  • Groveland, CA | Groveland Community Hall | Wednesday, August 10th | 5:30-8:30
  • Lee Vining, CA | Lee Vining Community Center | Thursday, August 11th | 5:30-8:30
  • San Francisco, CA | Fort Mason, Bldg. C | Monday, August 15th | 5:30-8:30
  • Oakhurst, CA | Oakhurst Branch Library | Thursday, August 18th | 5:30-8:30
  • Webinar #2 | Monday, August 22nd | 6:00-7:00
Public ideas regarding the issues being addressed, concepts for approaching them, and other thoughts regarding the planning process may be submitted online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yosewild. All submissions are due by September 30, 2016.

You may also submit ideas by emailing e-mail us or by mail to:

Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Wilderness Stewardship Plan
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389.

All submissions are due by September 30, 2016. For more information about the Wilderness Stewardship Plan and how to get involved, please visit the Yosemite Wilderness Stewardship webpage at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yosewild.

Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th Anniversary last year and is currently celebrating its Centennial Anniversary with the National Park Service. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan, approximately 90 different mammal species, and over 1,500 plant species.
Re: Yosemite National Park to Conduct Workshops and Webinars on Wilderness Stewardship Plan
August 05, 2016 09:00AM
For those interested, some documents with initial concepts for these two topics have been posted at the planning URL above.

For Visitor Use and Capacity, the documents consider changes to the current trailhead-based quota system, including zone-based, entry/exit, and assigned campsite (within popular areas) quota alternatives. The motivation is that visitors to extremely popular areas (e.g. the JMT/PCT corridor, Sunrise Lakes) tend to use most available permits for trailheads accessing these areas, resulting in very heavy use in these popular areas and little use outside them.

For stock use, the main topics seem to be campsite, trail, and grazing restrictions, with differences for private, commercial, and administrative use. IMHO what is missing here is the NPS needs to take a step back and first make a convincing case for continuing to allow commercial, non-ADA, and non-administrative stock use; the exponential increase in backcountry visitation--almost exclusively hikers--suggests that user capacity targets are being met easily with foot traffic alone. I also didn't see any discussion of head-of-stock to visitor ratios.
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