Merced Wild and Scenic River Draft Plan / EIS
Yosemite National Park presents the Merced Wild and Scenic River Draft Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. This January 2013 draft plan is intended to guide the management of the Merced Wild and Scenic River in Yosemite National Park for the next 20 years.
A "preferred alternative" is an agency-preferred course of action identified at the release of a draft environmental impact statement. For the Merced River Draft Plan, the National Park Service has identified Alternative 5 as the preferred course of action to ensure resource protection-restoring more than 200 acres of meadow and riparian habitat-and visitor use and access. Additionally, a number of campgrounds subject to flooding would be re-designed to reduce the likelihood of future impacts and a number of facilities would be removed to enhance the river's outstandingly remarkable values (ORVs). In addition, the draft preferred alternative would retain the essence of Yosemite, ensuring that the experiences enjoyed by generations are sustained over time. Visitors would continue to have the freedom to access Yosemite Valley by private vehicle while enjoying increased public transit and expanded shuttle bus service. Traffic congestion and crowding would be reduced through organized and efficient parking for day-use visitors and through implementation of recommendations of professional traffic engineers to improve circulation.
This draft plan's public involvement process, which dates back to 2009, has helped Yosemite's park management understand and consider what is important to the public. Through letters and participation in more than 40 workshops, you have shared specific ways Yosemite should take action to preserve the Merced River experience and ensure continued access. Your stories, suggestions, and solutions are reflected in the five action alternatives throughout the draft plan.
View Public Meeting Materials: Merced River Draft Plan public webinars and workshops were held as part of the park's robust outreach efforts in early 2013. Several informational webinars werew offered in February to brief the public on the plan's key elements prior to the start of the public meetings. In addition, a focused socioeconomic workshop was conducted to consider the social, financial, and economic impact of project alternatives within the draft plan.
DEIS Comment Period Closed: Due to the complexity of the Merced River Draft Plan and EIS, Yosemite held a comment period from Jan. 18-April 30, 2013, which included a 12-day extension to the original 100-day comment period. Although the comment period has closed for the Merced River Draft Plan/EIS, background content can still be viewed online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mrp_deis. During the comment period, public meetings were scheduled in various locations to allow multiple opportunities for the public, Yosemite's interdisciplinary planning team, and subject-matter experts to interact.
Interactive Map: An interactive web map viewer allows for a rapid, visual comparison of the alternatives in a map-based format. Actions regarding restoration, land use, and facility management are shown where they are proposed. Each alternative, including Alternative 5 (Preferred), can be turned on and off for easy comparison of differences within the alternatives. Users can "zoom in" to explore proposed actions for specific planning areas, such as Yosemite Valley, El Portal, and Wawona. For assistance, follow map-viewer instructions [1.2 MB PDF].
Request a Document: Contact Yosemite National Park's Planning Division to request the draft plan (available on CD or in print in limited quantities) or the Summary Guide or to ask to be on the park's email list--call 209/379-1365 or e-mail us. For general inquiries, call 209/379-1110. In addition, view the full document in more than a dozen libraries throughout the area.
Restoration [150 kb PDF]
Camping [198 kb PDF]
Parking and Traffic Circulation [184 kb PDF]
Visitor Use and User Capacity [179 kb PDF]
Overview of Alternatives [180 kb PDF]
Preferred Alternative [228 kb PDF]
National Environmental Policy Act [171 kb PDF]
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act [183 kb PDF]
Bibliography: Studies and scientific research in the draft plan draw from a broad base of professional disciplines to ensure that the park is painting a holistic picture of the current condition of the river and its ORVs. These disciplines include biology, hydrology, geology, social sciences, archaeology, and many others. View research documents that support the park's river research and data collection.
Plan Updates: You can also sign up for our park electronic newsletter to receive periodic updates about how to stay involved in the plan or follow the Merced River Plan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/YosemiteNPS. Contact Yosemite National Park's Planning Division to request the draft plan (available on CD or in print in limited quantities) or the Summary Guide or to ask to be on the park's email list--call 209/379-1365 or e-mail us. For general inquiries, call 209/379-1110. In addition, view the full document in more than a dozen area libraries.
Merced River Plan's Future Timeline: View an expected timeline to finalize the Merced River Plan / EIS.
Did You Know?
In 90 years of serving Yosemite National Park, the Conservancy has seen many accomplishments. From restoring the
habitat of the great gray owl to funding the first museum in the Valley, Yosemite Conservancy has played a vital role
in the preservation and protection of Yosemite. More...