The Merced Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, released in February 2014, addresses the renowned Merced Wild and Scenic River's 81 miles within Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site and functions as the guiding document to protect and enhance river values and manage use within the river corridor for the next 20 years.
The Final Merced River Plan/EIS protects the Merced River's free-flowing condition, water quality, and the unique values that has made the celebrated river worthy of special protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA). The final plan represents a rich collaboration amongst the public, research scientists, park partners, traditionally-associated American Indians, and park staff to explore visions for the future of Yosemite Valley and the Merced Wild and Scenic River. The final plan brings forward the best in science, stewardship, and public engagement to ensure continual protection and enhancement of the rare, unique, and exemplary qualities of the Merced River.
The Final Merced River Plan/EIS will:
- Establish the Wild and Scenic River's boundaries and segment classifications and provide for protection of the river's free-flowing condition in keeping with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act's Section 7.
- Present descriptions of the river's outstandingly remarkable values (ORVs), which are the unique, rare, or exemplary river-related characteristics that make the river worthy of WSRA designation.
- Document the conditions of ORVs, water quality, and free-flowing condition.
- Identify management objectives for the river, and specific actions that will be implemented to achieve these objectives.
- Commit to a program of ongoing studies and monitoring to ensure management objectives are met.
- Establish a visitor-use and user-capacity management program that addresses the kinds and amounts of public use that the river corridor can sustain while protecting and enhancing river values.
- Fulfill the 1987 legislation designating the Merced River as a component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. Make appropriate revisions to Yosemite's 1980 General Management Plan.