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Missing CCC worker found dead in Yosemite National Park

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Date: July 15, 2006
Contact: Media Relations Office, 209/372-0529

The search for a missing California Conservation Corps (CCC) trail crew member working in Yosemite National Park ended on Friday, July 14, 2006 when his body was located half-way down the Royal Arches wall north of the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Michael Gresham, 24, stationed at the CCC's San Luis Obispo Center, was reported missing by members of his CCC trail crew when he did not arrive at their new base-camp on Thursday, July 13, 2006. A full-scale search was launched immediately utilizing both National Park Service ground search crews and helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and the California Army National Guard.

Gresham had been working on the trail crew in Yosemite for nearly three months as part of the CCC's elite Backcountry Trails Program. He had been a CCC Corps member for nearly three years, having attained the rank of Specialist. Gresham was known as a reliable, hardworking young man widely respected by his peers.

The cause of death is still under investigation.

This is a tragic loss for the National Park Service and the California Conservation Corps, which have had a collaborative partnership for over 25 years. Through the Backcountry Trails Program, the CCC provides thousands of hours per year building and maintaining trails throughout the park.

The CCC point-of-contact is Chris Skopec, Communications Director, at (916) 341-3223 [cskopec@ccc.ca.gov].

Did You Know?

American Indians use traditional ignition methods on a prescribed fire project

The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.