• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley


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Parkwide Communication Data Network Environmental Assessment

The Parkwide Data Communication Network Environmental Assessment (EA) [15.2 MB PDF] is now available for public review until February 5, 2010.

A public meeting will be held in Mariposa during this review period, where park staff will be on hand to answer questions, review exhibits, and provide copies of the plan on January 13, 2010, 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Mariposa County Government Chambers. An Open House will be held on January 27, 2010 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in the Auditorium in Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite National Park announced the public scoping period for the Parkwide Data Communication Network Environmental Assessment (EA) in November 2008. Public scoping comments are used to assist the park in developing a range of reasonable and feasible project alternatives that meet the purpose and need, including a no action alternative, and analyze the environmental effects of each. A 45 day public scoping period for this EA opened on November 12, 2008, and ran until December 26, 2008. Written comments had to be postmarked no later than December 26, 2008.

Effective communications are critical to Yosemite National Park’s success in protecting park resources and delivering a range of services to park visitors. Currently, Yosemite relies on an outdated and unreliable communication system that performs poorly or fails in bad weather and does not share a single “backbone” to transmit telephone, radio, computer, or other information. Many developed areas of the park—Wawona, Crane Flat, Hodgdon Meadows, Hetch-Hetchy, and Tuolumne Meadows—are serviced by old telephone wires; employees therefore rely on time-consuming dial-up modems for computer network and internet access, and many types of data cannot be transferred. Only El Portal and Yosemite Valley have an upgraded system that provides shared network access, private branch exchange telephones (that use extensions), and high speed internet.

The purpose of the proposed project is to upgrade Yosemite’s internal communications system with more reliable, efficient technology and create a communications backbone that can support all the park’s communication needs. The new communication network would employ modern technology to provide a platform for computer LAN data, radio communications, security and safety video systems, telephony, burglar/intrusion and fire alarm systems, traffic collection data, and telemetry. This communication would be handled on one shared system rather than multiple independent systems.

A public open house took place during the Public Scoping Period:

December 3, 2008, 1pm to 4pm in the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium, Yosemite Valley

Park admission fee was waived for those attending

Comments on the EA are being accepted online through PEPC, via fax, and at the address below.

Via Fax: (209) 379-1294

Mail: Yosemite National Park Superintendent
Attn: Parkwide Communication Data Network
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Did You Know?

Yosemite Museum

When it opened to the public on May 29, 1926, the Yosemite Museum became the first museum building in the national park system, and its educational objectives served as a model for parks nationwide. It still functions much as it was originally intended, and currently exhibits items which mainly reflect the Native occupation of Yosemite Valley and its surroundings. When in the park, you can visit with one of three cultural demonstrators who primarily staff the Museum.