Yosemite Museum Master Plan

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The following is a list of the various stages that occur during a planning process. Though there are added public involvement opportunities such as meetings and workshops throughout, this outlines the major steps. They include:

> Initial public outreach <
Technical Study/Report
Public scoping
Plan development
Public review & comment
(EA or EIS)
Produce final plan/report
Decision document
Implementation of plan/project

Take a step back in time. . . and enter the Yosemite Museum. Yosemite’s collection of over 2 million items is one of the oldest and finest in the National Park Service in size, value, and complexity. The Yosemite Museum Master Plan is a joint project of the National Park Service and The Yosemite Fund to address renovation and, where necessary, expansion of the museum to house the exhibits, museum storage, work spaces, library and archives of Yosemite National Park. An emphasis of the plan is enhanced preservation and protection of museum objects, as well as more public access to this important collection.

The Yosemite Museum Master Plan will provide a means to address these issues, modernize our museum facilities, and develop a museum program that will better serve park visitors.

The objectives of the Yosemite Museum Master Plan include:

  • Provide sufficient and appropriate space for Yosemite’s museum exhibits, archives, and library.
  • Restore the historic Yosemite Museum to its original function as a museum.
  • Improve public access to collection for research and education purposes.
  • Consolidate museum collections in one location.
  • Provide sufficient and appropriate storage space for collections.
  • Examine the potential for integrating visitor center functions into the new museum facility.

Important questions that will need to be addressed in the Yosemite Museum Master Plan include:

  • Is it necessary to renovate and/or expand the Yosemite Museum?
  • What function does the museum serve at Yosemite National Park?
  • Should collections and archives storage be located with the museum exhibit facility in Yosemite Valley or can some storage functions be located in the El Portal Administrative Site, a gateway community, or in another location?
  • Should the park combine some Visitor Center functions with the new museum facility or keep those functions separate?
Yosemite Museum Building
Yosemite Museum Building

NPS Photo

At present, the Yosemite Museum Master Plan is following the guidance of the Yosemite Valley Plan and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which proposes to restore the function of the historic Museum building, relocate collections storage to Yosemite Valley, adaptively reuse or replace the Valley Visitor Center as a museum facility, and potentially relocate the Valley Visitor Center to another Yosemite Village location. The planning team has been carefully documenting the future needs of the museum program, and is analyzing the suitability of the Yosemite Valley Plan proposal to provide for this future program. If changes to the Yosemite Valley Plan proposal result from Museum Master Planning, then the park would complete the appropriate environmental analysis and documentation. The park is currently determining the compliance level of the project based on museum function programmatic needs. Information and updates will be available online.

Documents pertaining to this project:

Last updated: September 19, 2016

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