Tioga & Glacier Point Roads Closed for the Winter
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) and Glacier Point Road are closed due to snow; they usually reopen late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »
Yosemite National Park, from its minute wildflowers to its towering giant sequoias, is a place of contrasting beauty with a nearly intact natural diversity. The park's 11,000-foot elevation range provides a phenomenal variety of growing conditions, allowing 1,450 species to thrive. In spring and summer, Yosemite's native wildflowers erupt in profuse and spectacular displays, supplying food, habitat and shelter for a great variety of wildlife.
Not all invasive plants, however, impair the natural landscape. While only 10 percent or less rapidly displace native plants, this small percentage has a large impact—drastically changing native plant communities and their associated wildlife throughout the Sierra Nevada. Therefore, there's a need to control these spreading invasives. Yosemite prioritizes the control of these invasive species, according to their ecosystem threat and the park's ability to mitigate that threat. Yosemite's high-priority species are yellow star-thistle, Himalayan blackberry, common velvet grass, Italian thistle, and spotted knapweed. Their impact on natural ecosystems continues to grow despite best efforts of resource managers.
Yosemite's invasive plant management ensures the protection of all the park's diverse natural and cultural resources through a collaborative process. This process begins each winter with consultations between management staff and resource professionals, including park botanists, wildlife biologists, and archaeologists. To be transparent and garner the broadest understanding for control efforts, the park shares its annual work plans and reaches out to American Indian tribes and the interested public for feedback. Annual work plans are posted online, with the public encouraged to comment. An informed dialogue will be our greatest asset in protecting park resources from the spread of invasive plants.
Explore the primary elements of Integrated Pest Management to learn more about what Yosemite's invasive plant program is doing to protect the park's precious natural and cultural from degradation and displacement by non-native species.
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"On a global basis…the two great destroyers of biodiversity are, first habitat destruction and, second, invasion by exotic species." — E.O. Wilson, Harvard ecologist
Did You Know?
The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.