October 14, 2009
Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Dave Uberuaga announces a series of public scoping meetings for the new Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan. This new effort will include planning for the entire 81 miles of the Merced Wild and Scenic River in Yosemite National Park, and will also contain detailed planning for Yosemite Valley, El Portal, and Wawona, along with a park-wide transportation plan. These meetings will be held in and around Yosemite National Park throughout October and November. Each of these meetings will occur from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. except for the October 28 meeting in Yosemite Valley, which will occur from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Yosemite National Park staff will be at each meeting to answer questions and discuss the new MRP. Please see table below for meeting dates and locations.
The NPS completed the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan (MRP) in August 2000. Soon after, two lawsuits were filed and several years of litigation ensued. On September 30, 2009, the Friends of Yosemite Valley (FOYV), Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government (MERG), and the Department of the Interior /National Park Service (NPS), Yosemite National Park jointly announce the completion of a formal Settlement Agreement in the lawsuits concerning the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP). The settlement resolved litigation on Merced River planning begun in 2000, and also resolves the complaint challenging the Yosemite Valley Plan. The parties to the litigation are pleased to have come to a final agreement.
The settlement agreement also stipulates that a new Merced River Plan will be completed by December 2012. The settlement agreement can be found at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/litigation.htm.
Public scoping comments will be accepted through December 4, 2009. Scoping is a process where the National Park Service solicits public ideas on what the scope, or extent of analysis, should be in the plan/environmental impact statement (EIS). Scoping comments submitted when the National Park Service (NPS) first initiated public scoping on March 28, 2007 are still valid and do not need to be resubmitted.
Written comments should be addressed to the Superintendent, Attn: Merced River Plan, Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389, or faxed to (209) 379-1294. Emailed comments can be sent by email.
For more information on this new planning effort, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/newmrp.htm.
Individuals wishing to attend public scoping meetings are welcome to attend all or a portion of the meeting. All meetings, except the October 28 meeting, will follow the below agenda: