Scenic Vistas in Yosemite
Yosemite National Park was originally set aside for preservation due to its outstanding scenery. In 1851, Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, one of the first Europeans to gaze on Yosemite’s beauty, described the supreme grandeur of Yosemite Valley: "...the clouds...partially dimmed the higher cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of vision but increased the awe with which I beheld it, and as I looked, a peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being."
Millions of modern-day explorers have experienced this same view. Today, we call it Tunnel View. It’s just one of many iconic views and vistas for which Yosemite is famous.
Purpose of the Plan
The Scenic Vista Management Plan creates a program that will:
Is a Plan Needed?
The creation of this plan is called for by the 1980 Yosemite General Management Plan and activities of this type are specifically allowed for by the National Park Service Organic Act. Past management practices have allowed vegetation growth to adversely impact the park’s iconic views and vistas, discrete lines of sight, and meadow systems. This has impacted both natural and cultural resources in Yosemite as well as compromising the visitor experience. The National Park Service wants to identify appropriate management actions to respond to these impacts.
Protection of the Park’s historic viewsheds requires an understanding of the current status of these systems. A framework will be developed for evaluating and prioritizing research needs and management actions that may be necessary to ensure that park resources and values remain unimpaired.
What Methods are Proposed?
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Did You Know?
Giant sequoias are a fire adapted species. Their bark is fire resistant and fire helps open the sequoia cone and scatter the tiny seeds. Fire also clears forest debris from the mineral soil and provides a nutrient rich seed bed as well as clearing competing species.