Yosemite National Park Announces Merced River Plan Public Scoping Meetings
Yosemite National Park managers invite the public to participate in public scoping meetings for the Merced River Plan. Those attending will have the opportunity to interact with park managers and planners and to share their ideas and suggestions for the management of the river. The public meeting schedule is as follows:
In 1987, Congress designated 81 miles of the Merced River, including the South Fork, as a Wild and Scenic River in Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. In August 2000, the National Park Service completed the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Merced River Plan), and its subsequent revision in 2005, to guide future land managers in the protection and enhancement of the river's "Outstandingly Remarkable Values" (ORVs). The Merced River Plan defined boundaries, classifications, ORVs and a user capacity management program for the river. However, due to ongoing litigation, the U.S. District Court in Fresno ordered the National Park Service to complete a new Comprehensive Management Plan for the Merced River. This new planning process will take approximately 33 months, with a final Record of Decision anticipated in September 2009.
The Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Merced River Plan was published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2007. The public scoping period for a new Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (MRP/EIS) began on March 30, 2007 and will run until June 9, 2007. Written comments must be postmarked by June 9, 2007.
If you submitted scoping comments for the two previous MRP/EIS efforts, your comments will be incorporated into this latest process. You can submit new scoping comments to us:
For information on this and other planning efforts in Yosemite National Park, or to subscribe to our Yosemite National Park e-newsletter and/or the Planning Update newsletter, go to www.nps.gov/yose/planning.
Did You Know?
The Merced River above Nevada Fall and South Fork Merced River above Wawona, numerous small meadows and adjacent riparian habitats occur. Owing their existence to the river and its annual flooding, these habitats help support eight special status animal species: harlequin ducks, black swifts, bald eagles, osprey, willow flycatchers, yellow warbler, western red bat, and Sierra Nevada mountain beaver.