February 22, 2010
Yosemite National Park is initiating public scoping for the Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project. Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) will be coordinated through development of an environmental assessment (EA). The public scoping period for the EA will open on Thursday, February 25, 2010 and will extend through Wednesday, April 7, 2010. Public scoping comments will be used to assist the park in developing a range of reasonable and feasible alternatives that meet the purpose and need, including a no action alternative, and then analyzing the environmental effects of each alternative.
Curry Village is located at the base of sheer granite walls below Glacier Point near the eastern end of Yosemite Valley. As a result, portions of Curry Village are within the newly defined rockfall hazard zone established by Yosemite National Park. The Curry Village area is historically significant and is included in the Camp Curry (Curry Village) and the Yosemite Valley Historic Districts.
Yosemite National Park has realigned the boundary of the rockfall hazard zone in response to recent rockfall events in Curry Village. Park management has closed all of the structures within the updated rockfall hazard zone to reduce health and safety hazards. As a result, the disposition of the structures within the rockfall hazard zone must be addressed because:
- The closed structures create a nuisance that attracts curious on-lookers.
- Some visitors have circumvented the temporary hazard fencing and entered the rockfall hazard zone and abandoned structures, causing the potential for vandalism and creating an illicit use of the abandoned structures.
- Wildlife use the buildings for nesting or foraging in and beneath the buildings, which could cause further structural damage.
- The historic structures will continue to deteriorate and could be further damaged if not stabilized and maintained, or removed.
The purpose of this project is to:
- Mitigate inherent safety risks associated with unauthorized visitor access to the closed rockfall hazard zone.
- Minimize the potential for further loss of historically significant structures and/or features that contribute to the Curry Village Historic District.
- Identify appropriate mitigation to resolve the potential adverse effect on the Curry Village Historic District.
A public open house will take place on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium in Yosemite Valley. Park admission fees will be waived for those attending the open house.
Comments are encouraged to be submitted electronically through the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. A link to PEPC is provided on the project’s park website at http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/curry_village.htm
. Comments may be submitted through April 7, 2010 to:
Attn: Curry Village Rockfall Hazard Zone Structures Project
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389