Yosemite National Park Announces Public Review Period for the Tunnel View Overlook Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service (NPS) announces the opening of the public review and comment period for the Tunnel View Overlook Environmental Assessment (EA). The public is invited to review the document and submit written comments from Wednesday October 3, 2007, and closes Friday November 2, 2007.
The Wawona Tunnel View Overlook is a heavily used scenic viewpoint located adjacent to Wawona Road at the east portal of the Wawona Tunnel. This overlook affords expansive views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome that have captured the awe of visitors for 75 years. The overlook is a historic site and was constructed in 1932 during an era that heralded a boom in design and development throughout the National Park Service, and helped initiate the park service "rustic" design style. Wawona Tunnel and Tunnel View were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 because of their exemplary park service rustic design. Very little physical change has occurred to Tunnel View's physical features (including rockwork, circulation patterns, and configuration) since it was built in 1932. The site remains one of the most popular scenic overlooks in Yosemite National Park. Tour buses, tram tours, and single-family vehicles bring an estimated 3,000-5,000 people to the site per day during the height of the visitation season. The purpose of the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project is to remedy long-standing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian safety issues, to correct drainage deficiencies and problems, to provide clear circulation patterns for pedestrians and vehicles, to enhance and maintain viewing opportunities for visitors, to provide accessibility to viewing areas for visitors with disabilities, and to correct safety problems associated with the existing Inspiration Point trailhead, while maintaining the natural, rustic character and integrity of this historic site. Project alternatives and their environmental effects have been evaluated in the Environmental Assessment.
Public Review of the Environmental Assessment opens Wednesday October 3, 2007, and closes Friday November 2, 2007.
One public meeting will take place during the public review period, scheduled for 1:00 pm at the Monthly Open House in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Wednesday, October 31, 2007.
A link to the Environmental Assessment will be posted on the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning.
Written comments should be postmarked no later than November 2, 2007. Comments can be submitted at the public meeting, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. To submit written comments:
For more information on park planning efforts, visit the website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning
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.