Woman struck by falling tree dies in Yosemite National Park.
Posted by Seth Conners
Posted by Seth Conners
May 18, 2016
Submitted by Yosemite National Park
The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park will open for all vehicular traffic tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at noon. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada.
“We would like to thank all of our road crews, as well as our partners in Mono County and Caltrans, for all of their hard work in clearing the road for the opening tomorrow,” stated Don Neubacher, Superintendent.” Visitors are urged to travel with caution, as there will be ongoing roadwork and the possibility of ice in some places, especially in the early morning hours.”
Snow and icy conditions may still exist on hiking trails at the higher elevations. Visitors are urged to be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings while hiking the back-country in the early season. Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road. Limited visitor services will be available over the next several weeks. Additionally, late spring storms may change the status of the road and cause temporary closures. For updated, 24-hour road conditions, please call 209-372-0200 and follow the prompts.
All campgrounds along the Tioga Road remain closed. All commercial services, including the Tuolumne Store, and Village Grill, are also closed. There are no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities at this time. The gas station in Tuolumne Meadows is permanently closed and the nearest gas stations are Crane Flat to the west and Lee Vining to the east.
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.
cover photo provided by Yosemite National Park
submitted by Yosemite National Park
Rare Species of Sheep Reintroduced to Yosemite in March of This Year
Yosemite National Park announces a new episode of “Yosemite Nature Notes” entitled “Bighorn Sheep” is now available for viewing. The video features stunning footage of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, interviews with wildlife biologists, and a special focus on the re-introduction of these magnificent animals to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park in March 2015. The video is posted on the park’s website and on Youtube.
The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. This animal was listed in 2000 after the population plunged to a low of about 100 individuals. The population has since increased to over 600, which marks an important milestone towards their recovery. Prior to the arrival of western settlers, which brought unregulated hunting and diseases in their livestock, bighorn sheep populations likely numbered in the thousands.
In order to bolster the population of bighorn sheep, as part of a multi-year recovery effort, Yosemite National Park worked with several other agencies on reintroducing bighorn sheep to Yosemite’s backcountry. Working collaboratively with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Inyo National Forest, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ten ewes (females) and three rams (males) were moved to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park in March of this year. The “Bighorn Sheep” Yosemite Nature Notes episode features rare footage of the recovery effort, including the capture and release.
Overall, the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are doing well. Wildlife biologists conduct periodic field surveys and all of the animals are equipped with GPS collars. Lambs were born in early summer and the herd is adapting well to their new surroundings.
The reintroduction of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is one of Yosemite National Park’s signature projects for the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial. In August 2016, the NPS will commemorate its 100th Anniversary, also known as the Centennial. In order to mark this significant milestone, the park has identified several projects that will benefit Yosemite’s iconic natural and cultural resources. Other Centennial Signature Projects include the landmark restoration of Giant Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove, rehabilitation of the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, and restoration of fragile ecosystems surrounding the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers.
Yosemite Conservancy funded equipment and experts to bring the new herd into Yosemite National Park, as well as the GPS collars to track the animals’ movements and locations. Over the past 20 years, Yosemite Conservancy has funded nearly $630,000 to help protect bighorn sheep by supporting research, translocation efforts, radio and GPS collars.
“Yosemite Nature Notes” began in 1922 with a newsletter highlighting unique natural and cultural features of Yosemite National Park. After hundreds of issues, the publication was discontinued in 1961 due to high printing costs. “Yosemite Nature Notes” was resurrected in 2008 when filmmaker Steve Bumgardner began producing videos about the natural and cultural aspects of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Conservancy provided funding for Yosemite Nature Notes to ensure that this important video library of the park continues to grow, serve as an educational resource and inspire stewardship of the park. Twenty-seven episodes of Natures Notes have been produced covering a variety of topics, such as Black Bears, Big Trees and Glaciers.
Yosemite Nature Notes can be viewed on the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photosmultimedia/ynn.htm and on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/yosemitenationalpark.
About Yosemite Conservancy
Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. Work funded by the Conservancy is visible throughout the park, in trail rehabilitation, wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is also dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering, wilderness services and its bookstores. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $100 million in grants to Yosemite National Park for more than 530 completed projects. Learn more at yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-800-469-7275.
Tenaya Fire Currently at 500 Acres
A wildfire above Yosemite Valley began Monday afternoon, September 7, 2015. The “Tenaya Fire” is currently at approximately 500 acres and is burning above Yosemite Valley. The fire is located along both sides of the Lehamite Creek Trail from the north rim of the Valley to the Tioga Road. Smoke from this fire is visible throughout the park.
Full suppression efforts began Tuesday which include approximately 60 firefighters, six air tankers, and three helicopters. Additional resources will arrive in the park Wednesday.
Trails on the north rim of Yosemite Valley south of the Tioga Road and east of Yosemite Creek are closed.
Currently there are no threats to structures and no injuries have been reported.
There is no containment at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
COVER PHOTO BY GARY YOUNG
At approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning (Friday, August 14th), a limb from an oak tree fell in Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley, striking a tent in which two minors were sleeping. Park Rangers responded to the campground to provide medical assistance, yet both minors were deceased.
The names, ages, and places of residence of the victims are not being released. The incident remains under investigation.
“Our thoughts are with the families as they grieve this tragedy,” stated park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
cover photo, Yosemite Valley, by Gary Young.
Highest road across the Sierra dedicated exactly 100 years ago
A historic rededication ceremony on the Tioga Road, conducted exactly 100 years after the original dedication ceremony, was held in Yosemite National Park, Tuesday July 28th. Former First Lady Laura Bush, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, and Yosemite Conservancy Vice President Jerry Edelbrock participated in the reenactment ceremony. Highlights of the event included a rechristening of the road, a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and celebrating the history and importance of philanthropy in Yosemite and national parks across the country.
The Tioga Road, a 46-mile road in the northern portion of Yosemite National Park, is the highest road crossing the Sierra at an elevation of 9,945 feet above sea level at Tioga Pass. The road is an extremely popular route for the park’s four million visitors per year and is generally open for May through September each year. Highlights along the Tioga Road include Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, and trails leading into the park’s spectacular backcountry.
“I’ve loved our parks for many years and hiked in parks all over the country accompanied by my friends,” stated Former First Lady Laura Bush, who is the Honorary Co-Chair for the National Park Service Centennial. “I urge all Americans to think about parks in the upcoming year and find their park. I found Yosemite,” said Mrs. Bush.
On July 28, 1915, Stephen Mather, prior to becoming the first director of the National Park Service, formally dedicated the opening of the Tioga Road. The route previously was a rutted private toll-road through the park. Mather and some friends purchased the 46-mile-long road for $15,000 and donated it to the Federal Government so it could be repaired and open to all at no cost. Standing at the crest of the Tioga Road, framed by the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Mather, joined by park supporters, dedicated the road by breaking a bottle filled with Pacific Ocean water on a rock with “$15,000” painted on it, symbolizing the purchase price of the road.
“The re-dedication of Tioga Road reminds us of the importance of protecting remarkable places like Yosemite’s high country and of the need to encourage future generations to visit our parks so they are inspired to be stewards of natural lands,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
“Even before Congress created the National Park Service in 1916, philanthropists helped to create our stunning national parks. Their commitment remains just as deep today among individuals, families, foundations, and corporations,” said Frank Dean, President of Yosemite Conservancy. “Philanthropy has had a dramatic positive impact on our park system.”
Yosemite Conservancy donors have helped restore famous overlooks including Tunnel View, Glacier Point and Olmsted Point, which is located along Tioga Road. $20 million is being raised for the restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which will be matched by the National Park Service. A $13.5 million effort restored 100 miles of trails, the largest trail repair program in park history. Contributions helped reintroduce Bighorn sheep and peregrine falcons and install bear-proof lockers. Another $13.5 million went to the Lower Yosemite Fall project, with more than $11 million from 14,000 contributors, setting a new world-class standard for improving iconic natural locations. More than $1 million annually goes to programs for youth of all ages to create a new generation of park stewards.
Caltrans will be closing State Route 108, Sonora Pass at 4pm today (Wednesday, May 13th). Caltans officials indicate this closure is due to a incoming storm. In addition, Yosemite National Park will close State Route 120, Tioga Pass at 8pm tonight in advance of expected adverse weather.
Caltrans reminds folks that as is often the case this time of year, closure of mountain passes occur due to weather conditions. Caltrans notes that crews closely monitor highways to determine if it is safe for the traveling public.
cover photo by Gary Young. www.garyyoungphotography.com
Tioga Road and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park Temporarily Closed. Caltrans shuts down 108, Sonora Pass.
The Tioga Road and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park are temporarily closed due to snow and icy conditions. A storm system in the area necessitated the temporary closure. The park is currently receiving snow at the higher elevations. Both roads will remain closed throughout today (Thursday) and will open when conditions permit safe travel. There is no estimated time for the roads to reopen. For updated, 24-hour road conditions, please call 209-372-0200.
Caltrans has closed state route 108, Sonora Pass. Caltrans notes that the route will be reopened after Caltrans can assess the roadway after the storm passes.
cover photo by Gary Young. Yosemite National Park. garyyoungphotography
Michael “Mic” Dahl, 20, Missing Since Saturday, March 21
Yosemite National Park Rangers and search volunteers continue to search for Michael “Mic” Dahl, a 20 year old male, from southern California. Dahl, has been missing since Saturday morning, March 21, 2015. A student at University of California, Santa Barbara, Dahl arrived in Yosemite on the morning of Saturday, March 21, with three friends. He was discovered missing by his friends after a planned day hike.
At approximately 10:00 a.m., Dahl and his friends walked the paved path to Lower Yosemite Fall. The group began “scrambling” on the rocky area just below the Lower Fall, when they noticed Dahl was missing. After searching for Dahl for approximately two hours, they reported him missing to Yosemite Valley Rangers.
Dahl is 6’ 01” and slender with light brown/reddish hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a light blue hoodie sweatshirt and jeans, and was carrying a digital SLR camera with a removable lens. Visitors who were hiking in the Yosemite Falls area between Saturday, March 21, and Monday, March 23, 2015, who may have seen Dahl are asked to call 209-372-0259.
Approximately 50 people are involved in the search effort and the park is utilizing dog teams and a helicopter to search for any signs of Dahl. The park is receiving assistance from Madera County, Mariposa County, Tuolumne County, and Marin County Search and Rescue, and the California Highway Patrol out of Auburn.
UPDATE, 12:15 Monday
Missing Hiker Found Alive in Yosemite National Park
Michael “Mic” Dahl was Missing Since Saturday, March 21
Missing visitor, Michael “Mic” Dahl, was found alive this morning, at approximately 11:00 a.m., in Yosemite National Park. He was spotted by visitors on the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail. The visitors recognized him from the missing persons flyer. Dahl was found approximately a quarter mile east of the Lower Yosemite Fall trail, in a large boulder field below Sunnyside Bench. Dahl sustained multiple injuries and is being transported to a local hospital via ground ambulance.
Dahl was reported missing by a group of friends on Saturday night, March 21, 2015, after a short hike to Lower Yosemite Fall. His last known location was at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall in Yosemite Valley. Approximately 50 search and rescue crew members have been searching for him since the initial report was received.
The park received assistance from, and would like to thank, Madera, Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Marin County Search and Rescue and the Auburn office of California Highway Patrol.
Fox photographed with remote motion-sensitive camera
Yosemite News Release
Yosemite National Park is excited to report the first confirmed sighting in the park of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in nearly 100 years. Park wildlife biologists had gone on a five-day backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park to check on previously deployed motion-sensitive cameras. They documented a sighting of the fox on two separate instances (December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015) within the park boundary. The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.
“We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”
“Confirmation of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park’s vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal,” stated Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist in Yosemite National Park. “We’re excited to work across our boundary to join efforts with other researchers that will ultimately give these foxes the best chances for recovery.”
The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists from U.C. Davis (UCD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have been monitoring a small Sierra Nevada red fox population, first documented by the USFS in 2010. Prior to 2010, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the region was two decades ago.
The Yosemite carnivore crew will continue to survey for Sierra Nevada red fox using remote cameras in hopes of detecting additional individuals. At each camera station, the crew also set up hair snare stations in the hopes of obtaining hair samples for genetic analysis. Through genetic analysis, the park can learn more about the diversity within the population and to confirm whether the fox(es) detected in Yosemite is genetically related to individuals from the Sonora Pass area.
These Sierra Nevada red fox detections are part of a larger study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy to determine occurrence and distribution of rare carnivores in Yosemite National Park. Thank you to all our colleagues who have been helping us with this project in many important ways (UCD, USFS, CDFW, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Bureau of Land Management, and Yosemite backcountry rangers and volunteers).
Photo Credit: NPS Photo