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Yosemite National Park Announces Opening of Public Scoping for Vogelsang Backcountry Utilities Improvement Project

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Date: January 3, 2008

Project will be accompanied by an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the environmental effects of a range of project alternatives

The purpose of the Vogelsang Backcountry Utility Improvement project is to address public health and safety issues and utility deficiencies at the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp (VHSC) and the Backpacker's Camp. The deficiencies exist for a variety of reasons including new state and federal regulatory requirements, age, and deterioration of existing facilities. The camp's water supply comes from an underground spring which has been used since the camp opened in 1923. The current water supply system was built in 1963 and the wastewater system was replaced in 1987. The composting toilet at the Backpacker's Camp was constructed in 1984 as an experiment and has been closed since 2004 due to extensive damage caused by marmots.

The water supply and wastewater system upgrades would incorporate measures to comply with both state and National Park Service regulations. The water supply component of this project may involve adding filtration and disinfection to the water supply and repairing or replacing the water storage tank. The wastewater component of this project may involve addressing grease build-up in the septic tank, fixing or replacing the dosing tank, and repairing the mound system or switching to chlorination and a spray field, and would explore grading and revegetation of the mound. Additionally, this project may involve replacing or removing the Backpacker's Camp composting toilet, removing facilities that are no longer in use, adding stock hitching poles to the backcountry utilities staging area, and restoring social trails.

Scoping is an opportunity early in the planning process for the public to suggest issues to be considered in the proposed project. Ideas and concerns from the public help to identify the range of issues that should be addressed in this planning effort. During scoping, the National Park Service mission, Yosemite's enabling legislation, and other relevant laws and policies are revisited to ensure any potential actions are consistent with all relevant guidance.

The public scoping process for this project will open on Tuesday, January 15 2008, and will be open until February 13, 2008. A link to project information will be posted on the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/vogelsang.htm. A public meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the monthly Open House in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium.

Written scoping comments should be postmarked no later than February 15, 2008. 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 summer 2008. To request a hard copy or CD ROM version of the EA and to submit written comments:

Mail: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Vogelsang Backcountry Utilities Improvement Project
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Fax: 209/379-1294

Email: YOSE_planning@nps.gov

PEPC: http://parkplanning.nps.gov

For more information on park planning efforts, visit the website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning.

Did You Know?

Granite Peaks and Clear Lakes in Torres Del Paine NP

That Yosemite National Park has a sister park in Chile? Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is located among the breath taking scenery of Patagonian Chile. Both parks feature remarkable geology, hydrology, flora and fauna--together the staff of both parks work together to share best practices and care for these landscapes so generations of visitors can revel in their stunning beauty.