Electronic Newsletter, April 5, 2011

Tuolumne River Plan Baseline Conditions Chapter Available
After five years of study and stakeholder involvement, the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Tuolumne River Plan/DEIS) will be released in summer of 2011.

In advance of its release, the National Park Service is providing the Tuolumne River Values and Baseline Conditions chapter as a preview into one of the plan’s most foundational elements. Sharing baseline information in advance of the plan will give members of the public an understanding of river conditions today and specific issues that will be explored in the Tuolumne River Plan. Public comments on all elements of the Tuolumne River Plan, including the baseline conditions chapter, will be accepted when it is released for review this summer.

This draft chapter provides a description of the unique values that make the Tuolumne stand apart from all other rivers in the nation. It also provides a snapshot in time, documenting overall conditions and implications for future management. In particular the baseline chapter examines,
  • What are the outstandingly remarkable values that make the Tuolumne River worthy of special protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA)?
  • What do we know about the condition of these values (in addition to water quality and free-flow), both at time of designation in 1984 and today?
  • Based on those conditions, what are the management concerns that signal the need for action(s) to protect and enhance those values?
When it is released this summer, the Tuolumne River Plan/DEIS will contain

  • The management elements required by the WSRA, including boundaries, classifications, river values, free-flowing condition (Section 7) determination process
  • River values and baseline conditions which describe water quality, free flow, outstandingly remarkable values, their baseline condition, and implications for future management action
  • Management objectives for river values and a monitoring program
  • An ecological restoration program and a suite of comprehensive management actions needed to protect and enhance the river
  • A user capacity program that establishes numeric capacities that are protective of river values
  • Alternatives that explore a range of use levels, types and levels of facilities, and types of visitor experiences that are protective of the river
Yosemite’s interdisciplinary team for the Tuolumne River Plan has devoted the last two years to not only finalizing data collection on baseline conditions, but tracking and reaffirming that all of the proposed actions in the plan tie back to the protection of the river—and address the implications discussed in the baseline chapter. In total, the Tuolumne River Plan represents a comprehensive strategy that will inform park managers and establish work priorities in the river corridor for the next 20 years.

For more information on the Tuolumne River Plan and to view the draft baseline conditions chapter, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/trp.htm. For questions about the plan, contact project manager Kristina Rylands at 209/379-1175 or by email.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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