Yosemite National Park Announcing Public Scoping for the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
The Wawona Tunnel View Overlook is a popular 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.
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 5,000-7,000 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 safety issues, to correct drainage 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, to correct safety problems associated with the existing Inspiration Point trailhead, and to address sanitation issues while maintaining vistas and the naturalistic, rustic character and integrity of this historic site.
Public scoping for the Tunnel View overlook Rehabilitation Project will open on Monday, June 4, 2007, and close on July 9, 2007. Two public meetings will take place in June. A public meeting is scheduled for 1:00pm at the monthly Open House in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Wednesday, June 27, 2007. An evening meeting will be held at the Oakhurst Community Hall from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2007.
Written scoping comments should be postmarked no later than July 9, 2007. Comments can be submitted at public meetings, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. A draft document will be available for public review in fall 2007. To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the Draft EA and to submit written comments:
Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
For more information on park planning efforts, visit the website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning
Did You Know?
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.