Release of the Parkwide Communication Data Network Environmental Assessment
Yosemite National Park announces the release of a Communication Data Network (CDN) Environmental Assessment (EA), which is now open for public comment through February 3, 2010. The purpose of the proposed project is to upgrade Yosemite’s internal communications system with more reliable, modern technology and create an efficient communications backbone to support all the park communication needs. Public scoping began in November 2008, followed by public site visits in spring 2009. Comments and concerns received from the public, tribes, and other agencies have contributed to the development and refinement of a range of alternatives presented in this EA. The EA describes the “no action” and two action alternatives, presents analysis of the potential environmental impacts of each, and includes mitigation measures to avoid or minimize impacts to sensitive resources.A new data network would consolidate and upgrade the existing system, providing a more efficient platform for such communication needs as computer LAN data, radio, security and safety video, NPS telephones, alarms, traffic data, and telemetry. The park would add some key new sites to the network, including Wawona maintenance yard, Hodgdon maintenance yard, Hetch Hetchy entrance station, May Lake junction (underground cable to Tuolumne via Tioga Road), and Big Oak Flat Road (Rockefeller Grove Road reflector).
A public meeting will be held in Mariposa during this review period, where park staff will be on hand to answer questions, review exhibits, and provide copies of the plan on January 13, 2010, 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Mariposa County Government Chambers. A Yosemite Valley Open House will be held in the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on January 27, 2010. Project information is posted on the park's website at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/cdn.htm (the EA will be posted shortly). Comments may be submitted at public meetings, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) system. For full consideration, please submit your comments in writing, by February 3, 2010: e-mail us (subject: CDN EA), via Fax: 209/379-1294, or by mail, to: Yosemite National Park Superintendent, Attn: CDN EA, P.O. Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389.
Yosemite Institute Environmental Education Campus Final Environmental Impact Statement
The Yosemite Institute Environmental Education Campus Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is currently being prepared and will be available for the public in mid-January. It describes alternatives for redeveloping the Yosemite Institute (YI) Environmental Education Campus in Yosemite National Park, California. YI, a non-profit park partner, has provided environmental education in Yosemite since 1971, and has based its programs out of park facilities at Crane Flat since 1973, under a cooperative agreement. Public scoping for this project was initiated in 2002. Public, tribal, and agency participation has continued to be an important part of this project. In May, 2009, a draft EIS was released for a 60 day public review. The park received 47 public comment letters on the draft, and has considered them carefully in preparing this final document.NPS staff will provide a presentation on the Final EIS at the public open house in Yosemite Valley on Wednesday, January 27, 2009 (held from 1-4 pm in the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium). Copies of the EIS will be available at the open house and online at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/eecampus.htm. Copies will be mailed directly to those who commented on the draft EIS, and distributed to the general public, local libraries, agencies, tribes, and government representatives.
Wawona Road Rehabilitation Project
The project is scheduled to begin in March or April of 2010 with completion in November of 2011. It will affect 24.5 miles of the Wawona Road from Yosemite Valley to South Entrance. The pavement rehabilitation work will stop approximately 1/2 mile north of South Entrance and extend north to Southside Drive in Yosemite Valley. This project will have up to 30-minute daytime delays (6 am to 11 pm) and 60-minute nighttime delays (11 pm to 6 am). (The exception will be in the Wawona Hotel-Campground area, where there will be no delays scheduled between March 15 and July 15 in 2010 or 2011, but which will be subject to 30-minute daytime delays during the rest of the project period.) Delays during commuting hours will be reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.
Tioga Road Chipseal Project
This project will occur during a four- to eight-week period in July and August, 2010 and includes the Tioga Road from May Lake to Tioga Pass, along with some secondary roads and parking lots. Expect delays up to 30 minutes during the daytime.