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Events present a great opportunity for public to get involved in important planning effort
Yosemite National Park announces a series of Public Workshops, Site Visits, and Webinars for the public to engage in the alternative development process for the Comprehensive Management Plan for the Merced Wild and Scenic River (MRP). The meetings are a continuation of the park's outreach efforts from last fall in which the public was asked to provide input on what they would like to see included in the management alternatives evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to be released later this year. The MRP is a very important plan and will guide the future management of Yosemite within the Merced River corridor. These spring workshops will be yet another chance for the public to review work in progress and provide input directly to park planners about a range of conceptual approaches to protecting river values and managing use within the corridor. The MRP will guide future decisions about land use such as restoration, transportation, camping, parking, lodging, employee housing and other administrative uses, and set user capacity - most notably within Yosemite Valley - and will establish the management strategy and actions for the next 20 years by modifying the General Management Plan.
"This is a critical step in the public planning process and I can't stress enough how important it is for the public to remain engaged and invested," stated Don Neubacher, the park superintendent. "We ask that the public continue to inform this process and let us know what they think."
The Preliminary Alternative Concepts Workbook for the MRP will be published on the web site mid-March 2012 and distributed in hard-copy late March 2012. This document will provide a synopsis of each alternative concept as compared to existing conditions. Copies will also be provided to each of the Workshop/Site Visit participants.
The Workshop schedule is:
- Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Yosemite Valley Auditorium
- Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Golden Gate Room, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
- Thursday, April 12, 2012, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., El Portal Community Hall
- Friday, April 13, 2012, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wawona Community Hall
Site Visits will provide an opportunity to discuss proposed actions "on-the-ground" at the locations where they may be implemented. They will be conducted in conjunction with the Workshops outlined above. Visitors are asked to wear comfortable walking shoes.
The Site Visit schedule is:
- Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 1:00 p.m, to 3:00 p.m., meet at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium
- Thursday, April 12, 2012, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., meet at the El Portal Community Hall
- Friday, April 13, 2012, 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m., meet at the Wawona Community Hall
There will also be two webinars conducted that will review the draft alternatives. These will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., and on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. People can participate in the webinars by logging into yose.webex.com
Park entrance fees will be waived for people attending the Public Workshops/Site Visits for the MRP. Visitors are asked to tell the park ranger at the entrance station that they will be attending one of the Public Workshops/Site Visits.
For the latest information on the MRP and all park planning efforts, please visit www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/planning.htm.