• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley


    National Park California

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  • Tioga Road is Closed

    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed due to snow; there is no estimated opening date, although it usually opens sometime in May. More »

  • Rain and snow is forecast Friday and Saturday

    The Glacier Point Road is closed and will be reevaluated on Sunday. Tire chains may be required; bring and be prepared to use them if visiting this weekend. Check current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (then dial 1 then 1).

Steps to Create a Plan

Research papers, documents, supporting legislation and other materials are reviewed throughout the planning process to help inform the shape a plan will take. Some of the documents utilized throughout the planning process in Yosemite is:

The following is a list of the various stages that occur during a planning process. Though there are added public involvement opportunities such as meetings and workshops throughout, this outlines the major steps. They include:

Initial Public Outreach

Initiation of public outreach and internal scoping are early steps in the planning process to get general ideas and concepts out on the table for discussion. Initiation of public outreach and internal scoping are early steps in the planning process to get general ideas and concepts out on the table for discussion.

Internal scoping is an opportunity for National Park Service (NPS) staff to comment on the particular project or planning effort and to decide what should be analyzed for the necessary environmental National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document, whether it is a Categorical Exclusion (CE), Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Conduct Technical Study and Information Gathering

A great deal of information gathering as well as identification of information and data that still need to be collected is done during this step. This includes site visit planning and design work as well as any scientific studies and research necessary to inform the plan or project. Discussing the plan with other agencies or key players in the decision making process, also begins in this stage of the planning process.

Formal Public Comment

In this step, the public and other agencies are formally invited to submit comments related to the plan/project. This is a great opportunity to get your ideas and voices heard during the planning process. The comment period often includes open houses and workshops as well as opportunities to submit comments in writing. Check out the get involved page to learn about comment period opportunities.

Plan Development

Information gathered following the comment processes, information gathering and research conducting periods help to inform the spectrum of alternatives and in turn the actual plan/project. The Public Comment and Response Report as well as the environmental document become publicly available at this step in the process.

Public Review and Comment on Draft Plan/Project and Environmental Compliance Documents

Once again public review and comment are encouraged after the completion and publication of the environmental documents, either the EA or EIS. It is then available for public review following its publication and completion. Based on comments received during the document review, park managers and compliance employees will determine the need for re-assessment on specifics, alternatives, or other actions.

Produce Final Plan/Project

A finalized planning document is then created and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) package is presented to the park superintendent and regional director for their signatures. This package includes any technical corrections, public comments and responses on the document, and the overall statement of the alternative chosen. Once signed the plan is then finalized.

Implementation of Plan/Project

Once a plan/project has been approved the next step is put it into action. After which the plan/project is considered completed and it is on to the next plan/project.

Check out the progress of Yosemite’s current plans/projects.

Did You Know?

YLP Students in 2010

The Yosemite Leadership Program partners with UC Merced, to bring students to the park each summer for hands-on professional development through internships. Students work alongside scientists, educators, interpreters, business managers, and many other professionals of the NPS and park partner organizations. Some go on to become National Park Service rangers.