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Yosemite National Park Wednesday March 15th, 2017

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Wednesday March 15th, 2017
Today: Mostly sunny. Breezy. Highs 62 to 72 at 5000 feet... 50 to 60 at 8000 feet. Over higher elevations, southwest winds around 25 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 50 mph over higher elevations.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows 37 to 47 at 5000 feet...27 to 37 at 8000 feet. South winds around 25 mph with gusts to around 45 mph over higher elevations.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Highs 61 to 71 at 5000 feet...50 to 60 at 8000 feet. Over higher elevations, south winds around 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph in the morning.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
Yosemite Community Scholarship Application Now Available
Calling all high school seniors and their families in the Yosemite community! Did you know there is a scholarship available to you based on your parents' affiliation with Yosemite and El Portal employers? The Yosemite Community Scholarships are available to graduating seniors whose parents or guardians have been employed for at least six of the last twelve months within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park, the El Portal administrative site, or enrolled in the El Portal, Wawona, or Yosemite park schools, and who will be enrolling in vocational schools, colleges, and universities. These scholarships are made possibly by the generosity of community organizations, companies, and individuals who have given donations. To learn more and to apply, please visit the Facebook  page at or email  (H. Boothe)
Fair Weather Announcement
Please be aware that during school hours (Monday - Thursday 8am-4pm & Friday 8am-1pm) the Yosemite Valley School campus is closed to employee/guest activity... aka basketball/baseball/frisbee/play-structure etc. While the staff appreciates everyone's desire to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, their first priority is to keep students both safe and focused during the school day. Thank you.  (C. Archer)
Run in the Merced Canyon Endurance Runs
The 2nd annual Merced Canyon Endurance Runs will take place at Briceburg on Saturday, April 15th. Runners have the option of running the shortest ultramarathon in the country (44K - just over a marathon!) or a 14K. With the great winter this year, the wildflowers are going to be spectacular!  
All proceeds from the Merced Canyon Endurance Runs go to benefit a local non-profit group, Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC).
There are only 2 spots left in the 44K and 14 spots left in the 14K, so don't delay your registration!  To register to run or if you would like to volunteer to help on race day (and get our coveted trucker cap!), go to  (K. Wallace)
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:
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)
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)
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)
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 to sign up for shifts. 
For more updates, check out or join the YEA! Facebook group. 
Reminder: No Sal's night on Thursday, 3/16.  (M. Patton)
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  (Y. Lugo)
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  (L. Acree)
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)
Ron Watson will be acting Administrative Officer until March 17. He can be reached at 379-1173 or
Glenn Dean will be acting Safety Manager until March 17.  He can be reached at 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.
Josh Keyes will be acting Utilities Branch Chief until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1077.
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
Shawn Zumbrunnen will be acting Valley Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 372-0560 or