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Yosemite National Park Tuesday March 14th, 2017

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Tuesday March 14th, 2017
 
Today: Sunny. Highs 66 to 76 at 5000 feet...55 to 65 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 38 to 48 at 5000 feet...28 to 38 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Highs 62 to 72 at 5000 feet...50 to 60 at 8000 feet.
 
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
 
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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
 
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Today
A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for the employees involved in the fatality at Half Dome Village on 3/5/17 will be held on March 14th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Valley Briefing Room at the Valley District Office. Claudine Ronay will be facilitating.  Contact Shannon Kupersmith at 372-0562 or shannon_kupersmith@nps.gov for more information.
 
A heart felt thank you to all of the staff that assisted in that tragedy with closing campgrounds, relaying information, and helping to redirect visitors as needed.  Your professionalism was noticed and greatly appreciated.  (S. Kupersmith)
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Yosemite Forum Today
"Fire, Drought, and Big Trees" by Dr. James Lutz, Utah State University
 
Fire and drought are both characteristics of the Sierra Nevada.  Fire exclusion in the 20th century has probably made the consequences of fire and drought more severe, leading to higher levels of tree death.  Using data from the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot, the largest forest monitoring plot in the National Park system, Jim Lutz will discuss changes in this mixed-conifer forest from 2010 to 2016, capturing the dynamics of the Rim Fire and the subsequent drought.
 
The Forum will take place today, March 14th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium.  Please contact Ami Knighten at 379-1301 for additional information.  (G. Stock)
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Traffic Disruption near Valley Gas Pumps Today
The traffic lane immediately west of the AT&T building will be closed Tuesday afternoon, March 14th through late Wednesday for replacement of electric lines.  Access to the gas pumps and utility area will be re-routed and a few parking stalls will be closed.  (K. White)
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Data as a Legacy: Information Management and Long-term Monitoring
Each field season the Sierra Nevada Network Inventory & Monitoring Program (SIEN) sends crews out to lakes, high-elevation forests, bird-monitoring sites, and wetlands all over Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI), Yosemite National Park (YOSE), and Devils Postpile National Monument (DEPO) to collect data on the condition of park resources. To ensure the data they collect are available for current and future managers and scientists, it’s critical that those data are well-documented, managed, organized, and archived.
 
SIEN initiated a review of its data/information management program in February 2016 to give a broad overview of the status of data management in the program, uncover specific deficiencies in the system, and identify areas for future improvement. Peter Lindstrom, Data Manager in Yosemite National Park, conducted the review. He collected information from published documents and network files, interviews with SIEN staff, and a survey of natural resource staff at network parks. His report is now available at: https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/567065.
 
The Sierra Nevada Network thanks Peter for his thorough work and insights, Yosemite National Park for making him available, the Inventory & Monitoring Division for funding the detail and providing helpful input, and all the park staff from SEKI, YOSE, and DEPO who responded to survey questions and provided thoughtful input and comments that informed the evaluation.  (L. Mutch)
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PG&E Electric Outage in Hodgdon Meadows Thursday
PG&E will be temporarily interrupting electric service to perform maintenance in the Hodgdon Meadows area on Thursday March 16, 2017 from 10:00am-4:30pm. For more information contact Heather Gonzales, PG&E Outage Coordinator at 726-5588.  
(K. Bablitch)
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Yosemite National Park Continues Work to Repair Big Oak Flat Road - News Release March 13, 2017 
Highway 41 opened to one-lane traffic 
 
Yosemite National Park continues work to repair the Big Oak Flat Road (continuation of Highway 120 ) leading to Yosemite Valley. Severe winter storms have impacted the road and it has been unsafe for vehicular travel since late February. The park is working with Federal Highway Administration officials and contractors to completely assess the situation and design and implement repair work. There is no estimated date for the road to reopen.
 
Significant rain and snow this winter has saturated the soils, resulting in soils under the road sliding downhill. This movement caused a large fissure to form in the roadway that has resulted in both lanes of traffic being unsafe for vehicles. Soils continue to move, causing further damage to the roadway. Over 200 feet of roadway has been impacted. 
 
“We pledge to work diligently on the repair and communicate regularly  about progress that is made,” stated Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Woody Smeck. “We know this road closure places a burden on the surrounding communities and we are working as quickly as we can to get the road reopened safely. We appreciate the Federal Highway Administration’s assistance in expediting this project. We greatly appreciate the patience and support of all communities along the Highway 120 corridor.”
 
Visitors are still able to visit Yosemite National Park via the Big Oak Flat entrance. Crane Flat and the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias are accessible and open. The park has waived the entrance fee for visitors entering the park via Highway 120. Park entrance fees still apply to all visitors entering the park via the Arch Rock and South  Entrance Stations.    
 
The Wawona Road (Highway 41) is currently open to one-lane controlled traffic.
 
Highway 140 (El Portal Road) remains open and clear for all vehicular traffic  Visitors traveling on this road are urged to drive with caution and be aware of rocks and debris on the road. 
 
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.  (S. Gediman)
 
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RECENT NEWS
 
Highway 41 Reopened
Caltrans has reopened Highway 41 between the south boundary and Fish Camp to one-way controlled traffic. Federal Highways contractors are working on the Big Oak Flat Road, but there's no estimated opening date yet. For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1,1.  (M. Roubal)
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YEA Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration Friday
Put on your greenest garb and jig on down to the Community Hall this Friday, starting at 5pm. Be ready to dance the night away with live music by Bootstrap Circus! Traditional Irish meals will be served by Heidi Pusina. There will be face painting for little lads and ladies and the kegs will be flowing, so please BYOP - bring your own pint cup. Admission is $1 members/$10 non-members. 
 
YEA is still looking for a few volunteers to help make this special event possible! Volunteers will receive two free drink tickets. Email yea4us@gmail.com to sign up for shifts. 
 
For more updates, check out yeaforus.com or join the YEA! Facebook group. 
 
Reminder: No Sal's night on Thursday, 3/16.  (M. Patton)
 
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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
 
El Portal Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 1
Mar 13 to Mar 17:  Contractor will install the main sewer line at the parking lot between El Portal Market and the Gas Station. One lane closure on HWY 140 nearby El Portal Market and the Gas Station will occur. Please watch for workers on the road and stopped traffic. This schedule is subject to changes.
 
Pedestrian Detours: The stairs behind Nature Bridge will be closed for the duration of the project. Please observe pedestrian detour signs.
 
Additional information is available on the Construction Update Boards located at the Post Office, El Portal Market, and the Project Office Trailer (parking lot west of Nature Bridge). For more information email jamie_richards@nps.gov.  (Y. Lugo)
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Sentinel Drive To Become One Way For Spring Construction
Beginning Monday, March 6th at 7 AM, Sentinel Drive will be configured as a one way road from Southside Drive to Northside Drive. Direction of travel will be from south to north. Access to Half Dome Village from Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge will be via El Cap Cross. This configuration will likely be in place until the Friday before Memorial Day. An updated detour map is available at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/roadwork.htm.  (L. Acree)
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Emergency Services Complex
Construction continues. Insulation is nearly complete and wall and ceiling finishes are being applied; electrical and telecom cables are being pulled; mechanical control systems are being installed. Siding and roofing is being installed as weather allows. Completion is expected in the spring.  (K. White)
 
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ACTING DESIGNATIONS
 
Ron Watson will be acting Administrative Officer until March 17. He can be reached at 379-1173 or ron_watson@nps.gov.
 
Glenn Dean will be acting Safety Manager until March 17.  He can be reached at glenn_dean@nps.gov or 379-1064.  
 
Scott Carpenter will be acting Division Chief for Resources Management and Science until March 17. He can be reached at 379-1314 or 379-1060.
 
Kristin Kirschner will be acting Emergency Services Coordinator until March 18.  She can be reached at 372-0216.
 
Heather Boothe will be acting Hetch Hetchy Program Manager and Yosemite Conservancy Liaison until May 15. She can be reached at 372-0238.
 
Sally Kintner will be acting Volunteer Program Manager until May15. She can be reached at 379-1850.
 
Sheri Ogden will be acting Division Chief of BRM until further notice. She can be reached at 372-0316.
 
Ron Gaunt will be acting Division Chief of Project Management until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1027.
 
Sabrina Diaz will be acting Division Chief of Interpretation & Education until further notice. She can be reached at 372-0291 or 347-0113.
 
R. Brad Lewis will be acting Branch Chief of Design and Construction for Project Management until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1006.
 
Garrett Dickman will be acting Park Botanist until further notice. He can be reached at 379-3282.
 
John Barton will be acting Wawona Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 375-9510 or john_barton@nps.gov
 
Shawn Zumbrunnen will be acting Valley Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 372-0560 or shawn_zumbrunnen@nps.gov