Yosemite National Park to Welcome Delegation from Berchtesgaden National Park in Germany

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Date: June 14, 2016

Sister Park Arrangement between parks signed in November 2014

A delegation from Berchtesgaden National Park in Germany is visiting Yosemite National Park from June 19, 2016 to June 25, 2016. The purpose of the visit is for park managers from Berchtesgaden to exchange ideas and practices with Yosemite National Park managers and to further the Sister Park Arrangement. Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the leading parks in Europe currently working with other protected areas. Berchtesgaden is involved in cooperative efforts with the Carpathian and the Caucasus Mountain Ranges in Central and Eastern Europe.

Dr. Michael Vogel, Superintendent of Berchtesgaden National Park, visited Yosemite in June, 2014, to explore the possibilities of mutual collaboration and the formal arrangement between the two parks was signed in November, 2014.Yosemite National Park was then able to send a delegation to Germany from May to June, 2015.

Yosemite National Park and Berchtesgaden National Park have identified challenges common to both parks that will form the foundation of their sister park relationship. These include resource management techniques, environmental education and youth engagement programs, managing visitor use, working with indigenous people, wildlife management, and partnerships with non-profit groups and local communities. During the visit, 10 staff members from Berchtesgaden will engage in a series of meetings, workshops, and field trips throughout Yosemite. Joining the delegation from Germany for the duration of the visit is Honorary Yosemite National Park Ranger Horst Kaindl from Weissbach, Germany. Topics slated to be covered include meadow restoration, visitor management, search and rescue, fire operations, tourism, and relations with park partners. 

Berchtesgaden National Park is located in the mountainous area south of the town of Berchtesgaden in the Free State of Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany. The National Park was established in 1978 to protect the landscapes of the Berchtesgaden Alps. The park was designated a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve in 1990 and is best known for its magnificent high mountain vistas, fabled blue and green lakes, spectacular waterfalls, and its unique wildlife.

On Thursday, June 23rd, at the edge of Cook’s Meadow, officials from the two parks will sign a work plan extension outlining mutual goals for the next five years. The news media is encouraged to attend the signing and meet with park officials from Berchtesgaden and Yosemite National Parks.

Yosemite National Park currently has 12 sister parks around the world, and actively participates in staff and technical exchanges with each park and protected area for mutual benefit. The latest sister park arrangement was signed in April, 2016, with three parks in Nepal.

Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th Anniversary last year and is currently celebrating its Centennial Anniversary with the National Park Service. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of plants.

Last updated: June 14, 2016

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