Yosemite National Park Announces Public Scoping
Yosemite National Park is announcing the public scoping period for the Parkwide Data Communication Network Environmental Assessment (EA). Public scoping comments will be used to assist the park in developing a range of reasonable and feasible project alternatives that meet the purpose and need, including a no action alternative, and analyzes the environmental effects of each. A 45 day public scoping period for this EA will open on November 12, 2008 and will run until December 26, 2008. Written comments should be postmarked no later than December 26, 2008.
Effective communications are critical to Yosemite National Park’s success in protecting park resources and delivering a range of services to park visitors. Currently, Yosemite relies on an outdated and unreliable communication system that performs poorly or fails in bad weather and does not share a "backbone" to transmit telephone, radio, computer, or other information. Many developed areas of the park—Wawona, Crane Flat, Hodgdon Meadows, Hetch-Hetchy, and Tuolumne Meadows—are serviced by old telephone wires; employees therefore rely on time-consuming dial-up modems for computer network and internet access, and many types of data cannot be transferred. Only El Portal and Yosemite Valley have an upgraded system that provides shared network access, private branch exchange telephones (that use extensions), and high speed internet.
The purpose of the proposed project is to upgrade Yosemite’s internal communications system with more reliable, efficient technology and create a communications backbone that can support all the park’s communication needs. The new communication network would employ modern technology to provide a platform for computer LAN data, radio communications, security and safety video systems, telephony, burglar/intrusion and fire alarm systems, traffic collection data, and telemetry. This communication would be handled on one shared system rather than multiple independent systems.
A public open house will take place on December 3, 2008 from 1pm to 4pm in the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium in Yosemite Valley. Park Admission fees will be waived for those attending the open house.
Comments can be submitted at public meetings, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. A link to project information will be posted on the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/cdn.htm. Comments may also be submitted by mail.
Comment submission information:
Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.