Electronic Newsletter, September 2007

September 27, 2007

2005 Merced River Plan: Status of Appeal

The appeal for the 2005 Merced River Plan/Environmental Impact Statement was scheduled to be heard in the San Francisco U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) on October 10, 2007, but because of a court scheduling conflict, the National Park Service has just been informed that the hearing date will be rescheduled. In the meantime, the National Park Service has been mandated to complete a new Merced River Plan, scheduled to be completed in 2009 (see article below). Stay tuned for more info.


Announcing the Public Review and Comment Period on the Hetch Hetchy Communications System Upgrade Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS)

Hetch Hetchy Water and Power (HHW&P), a division of the City and County of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), manages a complex utilities system which provides drinking water to Groveland, the City of San Francisco and several Bay Area counties, as well as hydroelectric power for San Francisco municipal uses, for sale to irrigation districts, and for sale to other utilities. HHW&P utilizes communication equipment at O'Shaughnessy Dam, in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park in support of their operation. The existing radio and fiber optic equipment are obsolete and no longer supported by their manufacturers. The proposed project would update this infrastructure by replacing or updating components of the communications system throughout Tuolumne County, including potentially adding one new site within Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service has been working collaboratively with HHW&P, the City and County of San Francisco, the USDA Forest Service, and the public to prepare a joint environmental assessment document (EA/IS) EA/IS as required under NEPA and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The public review and comment period for the EA/IS begins on October 2, 2007 and closes November 2, 2007. Park and Forest Service staff will be available to provide additional Information, answer questions, or receive comments on this project at the following public meetings:

  • Wednesday, September 26: Open House from 1-5 pm at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium
  • Wednesday, October 31: Open House from 1-5 pm at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium

Park admission fee will be waived for those attending

Comments or requests for the EA/IS can be submitted by any of the means listed below

  • In person at public meetings
  • Fax: (209) 379-1294
  • Email: e-mail us
  • Mail: Yosemite National Park Superintendent
    Attn: Hetch Hetchy Communications System Upgrade Project
    P.O. Box 577
    Yosemite, CA 95389
  • You can also submit comments through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. Access the site at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/yose
Written comments must be postmarked or electronically submitted no later than October 31, 2007. The EA/IS will also be posted on the park's website at: www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/hetchyproject.htm .


Announcing the Public Review and Comment Period on the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment

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. 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 naturalistic, rustic character and integrity of this historic site. Project alternatives and their environmental effects have been evaluated in the Environmental Assessment.

The public review and comment period on the environmental assessment begins on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 and closes Friday, November 2, 2007. The following public meeting will take place during the public review period:

  • Wednesday, October 31: Open House from 1-5 pm at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium
    Park admission fee will be waived for those attending

A link to the Environmental Assessment will be posted on the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/tunnelview.htm.

Written comments should be postmarked no later than November 2, 2007. Comments can be submitted by any of the means listed above, Attn: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project.


Merced River Plan

Public Planning Work Session - "What we heard."

The National Park Service cordially invites you to participate in a public planning work session for the new Merced River Plan on Saturday, October 6, 2007, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium. Stay for the day and spend some quality time along the Merced Wild and Scenic River after the work session!

This work session will be devoted to getting acquainted with the range of public scoping comments received during the 2007 public scoping period that was held from March 27, 2007 to June 9, 2007. Participants will engage in work groups to become familiar with the range of issues, concerns and recommendations the park received during the scoping period. Public scoping comments provided during the two previous Merced River Plan efforts will be included in this exercise.

All public scoping comment letters are available on the park's web site: www.nps.gov /yose/planning/newmrp/scoping.htm. If you have difficulty accessing the site, try the new web address: www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/planning.htm.

Please RSVP to Elexis Mayer, Project Manager, by Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 209/379-1377 or e-mail us.


Project Updates

Reconstructing Critically Eroded Sections of El Portal Road: Public review and comment period on the environmental assessment was held from June 4 until July 3. Comments are posted at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/planning.htm. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on July 20, 2007. It can be viewed online at the above web address. Construction is anticipated to begin soon.

Hodgdon Meadow Trailer Replacement Project: Public review and comment period on the environmental assessment was held from July 16 until August 15. Comments are posted at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/hodgdon.htm. A Finding of No Significant Impact was signed on September 7, 2007. Construction may begin as early as fall 2007, with the majority of construction occurring in 2008.

Glacier Point Road Rehabilitation: The public review and comment period for the environmental assessment occurred from June 27-July 29, 2007. A decision document is currently being prepared. Construction is anticipated to occur in 2008.


Changes to Planning Website
The Yosemite planning website is changing as part of an effort to unify the look of all National Park Service web pages. This consistency will make navigating NPS websites more user-friendly. The new web address is: nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/planning.htm. In the future, the old site (www.nps.gov/yose/planning) will redirect you to this new page. There may be occasional difficulties in accessing the site during the transition. If you experience difficulty and want to request a document, email e-mail us.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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