Daily Report - Yosemite National Park Friday, August 2, 2013

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Friday, August 2, 2013

WEATHER

Yosemite Valley
Today: Sunny, with a high near 94.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 57.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 95.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 95.

El Portal
Today: Sunny, with a high near 98.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 58.
Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 100.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 100.

Wawona
Today: Areas of smoke before 11am. Sunny, with a high near 88.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 49.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 90.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Tuolumne Meadows
Today: Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 69.
Tonight: Areas of smoke before 11pm. Mostly clear, with a low around 34.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 69.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

Contracting and Procurement Closure
Contracting & Procurement will be closed starting noon Monday, August 5 through Wednesday, August 7 and will reopen on Thursday, August 8. In case of an urgent situation or emergency please contact Teri Austin at 379-1042. (J. Auerbach)
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Property Turn-ins
Due to warehouse changes and personnel shortages I am requesting that all property turn-ins for survey(disposal) to the Property Management Office must be by appointment only. Call me at 379-1024. (M. Groark)
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Changes to the Employee Telephone List
All of the entries past Robinson disappeared from the Employee Telephone List on SharePoint late last week. The missing data has been restored, but the list will be kept in a read-only state until a redesigned list is rolled out next week. Plus, good news - most phone numbers from the old list (including cell and fax numbers, if present) have made their way into the Google Directory. So you can search for your coworkers' information from Gmail Contacts as well. (P. Lindstrom)
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Yosemite Community Church VBS
Yosemite Community Church - VBS (Vacation Bible School). It's this time of year again! August 5th-9th, 10:00am - 11:30am Come join the fun! (F. Moore)

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RECENT NEWS

Water Conservation in Wawona
Dear Wawona community and friends:

We continue to experience a very dry spring and summer and the water levels in the South Fork Merced have continued to decline. Yesterday, the South Fork Merced dipped below 3 cubic feet per second (cfs) – please exercise all water conservations measures possible and consult the Yosemite Water Conservation Plan.
What to expect:
Informative signs will be installed in the Wawona Campground. Entrance stations will advise campers about the water shortage and the need for water conservation. Park staff and volunteers will pass on conservation information during public contact opportunities and all interpretive programs. For residents, we ask that you review the Water Conservation Plan and practice these measures in the coming months as we continue into the driest part of the year.
Some key measures we are asking you to do to help us all to conserve water are:
- Check faucets, toilet, pipes, and other water sources for leaks and have them fixed.
- Take shorter showers and install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors.
- Don‘t let the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving. Use a wash basin.
- Don’t let the faucet run while preparing food or cleaning, and use your automatic washing-machine only for full loads.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks, and steps, and don’t run the hose while washing your car.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it and only on cool and calm days.
In Wawona, domestic water use will always take precedence over the irrigation of lawns. Now that the water levels have dropped below 3 cfs, there will be no irrigation of the Wawona Hotel lawns from the Wawona Water System. However, reclaimed water will be available for golf course irrigation.
For a complete list of conservation measures, please refer to appendix B in the Water Conservation Plan. If you have any questions, please contact District Ranger Eric Scott at: 209-375-9520.
We thank you for your attention and support as we all address this important issue. Through our combined efforts, we can work to maintain adequate domestic water use while still preserving the ecosystems of Yosemite National Park.
- Don Neubacher, on behalf of the Executive Leadership Team
Useful Links:
Water Conservation Plan http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/op_plans.htm
Yosemite hydrology http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/hydrology.htm
Water gauge at Wawona http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryFx?s=smw (J. Friesen McCabe)
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Yosemite Lion's Club Golf Tournament
The Yosemite Lion's Club will be hosting their annual Golf Tournament at the beautiful Wawona Hotel on Saturday, September 7th. Plan to enjoy a relaxed and fun filled day on the greens, participate in a dynamite raffle, and indulge in the season finale Wawona BBQ for dinner. Your participation in this enjoyable fund raiser directly benefits local charities. For more information, please contact Shari Badoux @ 209-628-5941 or Kym Wright @ 209-372-1221 or email us at yosemitelionsclub@yahoo.com. You can also visit our facebook page or yosemitelionsclub.blogspot.com. (A. Lanting)
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For Rent
Jerseydale Road area, 4 bedroom, fully furnished (including washer/dryer, dishes, linens), quiet, just off paved road, great views. About 33 miles from El Portal. Storage available. No indoor pets, no smoking. Available early September. $1,425/month includes local phone/internet & satellite TV (will consider exchange for care-taking work) plus deposit. Contact thor@yosemite.net. (C. Baker)
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2013 Aerial Forest Survey
• Aerial surveys of Yosemite National Park and adjoining portions of the Stanislaus and Sierra National Forests were conducted July 23 and 24.
• Large areas at the lower elevations of the Forests and Park were mapped with ponderosa mortality and topkill from western pine beetle and pine engraver, and typically contained scattered sugar pine mortality as well.
• Lodgepole mortality from mountain pine beetle and defoliation from lodgepole needle-miner was mapped at the higher elevations, along with red fir mortality and damage from fir engraver and Cytospora, and to a lesser extent Jeffrey pine mortality.
• Mortality in knobcone pine and Douglas-fir was mapped in localized areas.
• Gray pine mortality was seen throughout the foothills. Blue oak defoliation evident in prior flights to the south was not observed during these flights.

Summary:
Acres surveyed: 1.7 million acres
Acres with mortality: 58,312
Number of dead trees: 161,763
Acres with other damage: 12,021

NPS employees may view the full update with map and photos at U:\EP Commons\Roads&Trails\Forest Health\Yose2013.pdf
Others may view archives and (eventually) final products at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/forest-grasslandhealth/?cid=fsbdev3_046696 (B. Mattos)
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Aspen Fire Air Quality Update
Update courtesy of Dr. Lee Tarnay, YNP's air quality specialist:
Haze and moderate smoke continue to blanket the park from the Aspen fire to our south. Heavier smoke is being experienced by those directly to the NE of the fire in the path of the afternoon plume coming out the top of the San Joaquin canyon, and down-canyon of the fire at night. Monday night there was an incursion of the smoke into the Fresno area and points as far south as Porterville. Fire managers and meteorologists seem to agree that more of the same is in store for the next few days.

Air quality in Yosemite Valley is measured at the Visitor Center, and is in the moderate range of the Air Quality Index. An additional monitor has been set up in YV at the Lower River Amphitheater, and a monitor will be set up in Tuolumne Meadows. (J. Meyer)
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Yosemite in the News
A Plan to Save Yosemite by Curbing Its Visitors
By: Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times
July 28, 2013

"Far humbler corners of America have faced a similar dilemma: How much human activity should be allowed in a natural setting that is also promoted as a tourist destination? ..." Read more at:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/us/plan-for-yosemite-calls-for-scaling...

National park visitors leave roadkill in their wake
By: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY
July 29, 2013

"Animal-vehicle collisions in national parks have been up and down, varying by park and by species. Total reported roadkill in Yosemite National Park hit 33 in 2011 but fell to 24 in 2012..." Read more at:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/27/national-park-road-... (M. Snyder)
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Bear Facts July 21 - July 27
Bear Activity Summary: This week bears caused three incidents in Yosemite Valley Campgrounds. All three incidents occurred because either food or attractants were left out after campers went to sleep. Always store all food and scented items in a latched bear locker.
Bears continue to be active in Yosemite’s backcountry. Many visitors have reported seeing a bear rolling bear canisters away from campsites near the Snow Creek footbridge. Additionally, a sow with cubs has been reportedly checking out bear canisters at the Cloud’s Rest junction on the JMT. Always place bear cans in backcountry campsites within ear-shot or headlamp range and be prepared to scare bears away from camp at night by yelling.
This week, a bear was attempted to gain entrance to a residence in El Portal through an open window. Protect your home by closing kitchen windows and windows close to your kitchen when you are not in the room. Always close and latch all windows and doors when you are not home. If you sleep with windows open, please be prepared to wake up to scare a bear away if it tries to get into your home.

Weekly Incidents By Location
3 – Snow Creek
3 – JMT
1 – Illilouette Canyon
1 – Matterhorn Canyon
2 – North Pines Campground
1 – Camp 4 Campground
1 – El Portal

Yearly Incident Total
Parking Lots – 4 incidents, $720 damage
Campgrounds – 13 incidents, $208 damage
Other Areas – 18 incidents, 1,1225
Wilderness – 34 incidents, $2,255 damage

If you see a bear during your visit please report it to the Save-A-Bear Hotline at 209-372-0322.

Red Bear, Dead Bear: This week two bears were hit by vehicles. One bear was hit near the Big Oak Flat entrance while the other was hit on Highway 41 near Grouse Creek. So far this year, Nine bears have been hit by vehicles. Please protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and paying attention while driving.

Interesting Bear Fact: American black bears can run up to 30 mph, that’s 7 mph faster than the fastest human.

Other Wildlife Sightings: Two mountain lions were reported this week. One lion was reported on the trail to Ostrander Lake. The other lion was reported crossing Highway 41 near the Wawona Campground. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm. (C. Lee-Roney)
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Management Team Minutes
The July Management Team meeting minutes are available here. (L. Schafer)
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Entrance Station Etiquette - Friendly Midsummer Reminder
I know we are all overheated and the park is in full swing, but please always remember to be courteous and polite to the entrance station staff. They are a professional group that prides themselves on good customer service, even when they are not treated politely. As a park employee and partner, please make sure you are one of the people who makes their day better, not worse. Simple rules of etiquette include stopping at the stop signs, making eye contact with the entrance station employee(s), and even waving and rolling down your window to yell out a hello now and then. Thank you! (K. Kirby)
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Celebrate the Contributions of Early Chinese in Yosemite
FREE PROGRAM FOR ALL YOSEMITE VISITORS: Join the National Park Service and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in Celebrating the Contributions of Early Chinese in Yosemite on Saturday, August 3, 2013.
Location: The Pioneer Yosemite History Center "Grey Barn" in Wawona. Schedule below:
3:30 Student presentations on the contributions of early Chinese in Yosemite
4:30 Guest Registration (no fee)
5:15 Welcome by Yosemite National Park and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
5:30 Presentation by Ranger Yenyen Chan: "A Hard Road on Gold Mountain: The Early Chinese in Yosemite"
6:30 Discussion of backpacking trip to Sing Peak by Jack Shu and Steven Ng
(Sing Peak was named for the USGS's Chinese cook, Tie Sing, in 1899.) (Y. Chan)
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Aspen Fire
Smoke is to be a continuing factor. Mammoth area and other East Side locations are receiving smoke.
For air quality check: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm.
For more information on the Aspen Fire: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/

The Fire is located within the Sierra National Forest in Fresno County and is approximately seven miles North of Big Creek. It is currently burning off Stump Springs Road, North of Aspen Springs. The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team is in command of the Aspen Fire. Over the past several days, the inversion layer has caused smoke to accumulate in the low laying areas of the fire which hampers visibility of firefighters on the ground and in the air. As the smoke clears in the early afternoon, a more defined smoke column(s) may be seen from several miles away. Recreation and businesses remain open in the Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Lake Thomas Edison, Florence Lake and the Mono Hot Springs areas. (G. Wuchner)
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Mule Deer Fawns
Mule deer fawns are typically born mid June and July in Yosemite. People concerned about these young animals often pick them up or pet them, which will likely reduce their ability to survive.

Fawns are born relatively scentless and are brown with white spots. These characteristics provide camouflage which allows fawns to conceal themselves from predators: this is their primary form of defense. When approached by a human, the natural response of a fawn is to remain still and silent, lay its head down and try to hide. Even when physically touched, the fawn may not move. Adult female deer do not remain close to their fawns in order to prevent drawing attention to them. The adult female deer will come to find them several times per day to nurse.

The best course of action when you see a fawn is to leave it alone and keep your distance from it so that the adult female can regularly return to nurse. (C. Lee-Roney)
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South Gateway Activities
Saturdays, Pony Rides & Petting Zoo, Century 21 Ditton, 12 noon to 5 pm, Bass Lake
Friday, 8/2, Sierra Art Trails Sneak Peak Preview, 5 pm to 8 pm, Oakhurst
Saturday, 8/3, “An Evening with Joe & Allison Sharino” at Bass Lake Event Center, Bass Lake
Saturday & Sunday, 8/3 & 4 – 43rd Annual Indian Fair Days Pow Wow at North Fork Recreation Center, North Fork
Saturdays & Sundays through July – “Dark Deeds at Swan’s Place” melodrama at Golden Chain Theatre, Sat. 7 pm, Sun. 2 pm, Oakhurst (J. Hussain)
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North Gateway Events
August 3 Berry Pruning, Building & Using a Food Dryer. Demonstration Garden located at 251 So. Barretta Street in Sonora, (Cassina High School Campus). There is no cost to tour the garden. Tuolumne County Master Gardener Hotline at 209-533-5912 email: mgtuolumne@ucdavis.edu
August 3 Groveland Flea Market at Mary Laveroni Community Park on Highway 120 near Yosemite sponsored by the Yosemite Hwy120 Chamber of Commerce - Gates open for Vendors 7am - Free to Buyers starting 8am
Sierra Club Weekly Hike – Meet at 8am at Mary Laveroni Community Pakr in Groveland, bring water and picnic lunch, hiking boots and poles, dress appropriate for half to full day hike. (C. Botell)
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Rental
For Rent on allred rd near Bootjack and 49 south 3 bed 1 and ½ Bath Mobile $700 mo $700 Deposit. Call Sherrie (209) 742-6768 (Sherrie)

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATES

Valley Water Tank Road Closure, July 16 - Aug 16
The water tank road in Yosemite Valley will be closed to all vehicle, pedestrian and stock traffic beginning Tuesday, July 16 to effect water main repairs. It is expected to remain closed for 4 weeks but will open sooner if possible. Use of the stock trail is permitted and open around the work area. Staging, parking or traveling on the road or water tank area will not be permitted. Any questions contact Chad Thomas at (209) 372-0560 (P. Laymon)
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Road Maintenance on Wawona Road
Be advised that roads crews will be conducting roads maintenance on Wawona road. Work is expected to take place near South entrance and and just north of Grouse Creek. Short traffic delays may be encountered . (D. Dozier)
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Tuolumne Grove Road Delays—5 Minute Traffic Delays (July 11th thru August 15th)
Trenching for communications fiber optic cable along Tuolumne Grove Road beginning on July 11 will continue for one month. Constructions crews will be directing one lane traffic Monday thru Friday from 7:00AM to 5:00PM. There will be an approximate 5 minute delay. (K. Blew)
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Tioga Road--15-Minute Traffic Delays (July 22nd thru September 30th)
Starting next week, July 22nd and continuing thru September 30th park crews will be scaling loose rock along Tioga Road from White Wolf to Tioga Pass, Monday thru Friday 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM with single-lane traffic control and up to 15-minute traffic delays. There will either be pilot car operations or alternating stop and go traffic with flaggers, depending upon the length of single-lane closure. No holiday or weekend work is planned at this time.

Park hand scaling and equipment crews will be removing the loose rocks along the upslope (cutslope) side of the Tioga Road embankment. Safety netting will be used during these operations, however please slow down, be patient and cautious when traveling thru these zones and DO NOT STOP in work zone unless directed to do so by NPS staff. If you have comments or questions, please contact Russ Kish at (209) 379-1119. (M. Pieper)
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Construction Commencing at South Entrance Station (with intermittent 15-minute delays)
Monday, July 22, 2013 crews are beginning to mobilize equipment and materials to commence improvements to the South Entrance Station area. The project includes replacing the existing fee collection booths with three new fee collection booths placed approximately 350-ft. south of the their current location. This project will include intermittent 15-minute delays with trucks crossing the existing roadway. This project will start off with daytime work, however as work progresses it will also include night time operations. No weekend work is currently planned. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2013. Please be cautious of the trucks and equipment as you are coming into and out of the South Entrance Station area. (M. Pieper)

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ACTING DESIGNATIONS

David Engelstad will be acting Division Chief for Project Management on Friday, August 2, 2013. David can be reached at 379-1277.

Ninette Danielle will be the acting Branch Chief of Wildlife Management on Friday, August 2. She can be reached at 379-1457.

Madelyn Ruffner will be Acting Branch Chief for Environmental Planning and Compliance until further notice. She can be reached at 379-1226, or you may leave a message with Sarah Henderson at 379-1202.

Sue Beatty will be Acting Branch Chief for Vegetation and Ecological Restoration until further notice. She can be reached at 209-379-3290.

Jennifer Hardin will be acting Branch Chief for Anthropology from Monday, July 29 to August 2, 2013. She can be reached at 209-379-1232.

Gabriel Harlan will be acting Branch Chief for History, Architecture and Landscapes starting Monday, July 29 through August 6, 2013. She can be reached at 209-379-1470

Ron Watson will be the Acting Supervisory Information Technology Specialist until further notice. He may be reached at 379-1173.

Garrett Dickman will be Acting Invasive plant program manager until further notice. He can be reached at 209-379-3282.

Brenna Lissoway (379-1282) is on a detail as the Park Archivist. If you have need to access the Archives, or have archive related questions, you can call 379-1283 or 379-1104.

Alison Colwell will be Acting park botanist until further notice. She can be reached at 209-379-3295.