Open Houses Scheduled For Public Input on Merced River Plan At Yosemite National Park

A series of public meetings has been scheduled so Yosemite National Park officials can hear your thoughts on the continuing evolution of a plan to manage the Merced River corridor through the Yosemite Valley.

As it was designated a "wild and scenic river" in 1987, park officials must protect the Merced's outstanding remarkable values, its stream flows, and its water quality. Differing views over those points have long delayed an updated management plan for the Yosemite Valley, as groups that opposed the Park Service's earlier proposals successfully battled the agency in the court system.

It was late in September 2009 when the Park Service and the Friends of Yosemite Valley and Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government settled their differences over the Merced River Plan and agreed to stop sending their lawyers to court. The litigation -- which claimed the Park Service was allowing inappropriate development to intrude upon the wild and scenic river corridor-- began shortly after Yosemite officials completed their first Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management plan in August 2000.

The current planning is intended to provide the framework for management decisions regarding the Merced River and the Merced River Corridor in Yosemite. The park contains 81 miles of the river.

The series of workshops this spring is designed to inform visitors and elicit feedback about management issues necessary to complete the Merced River Plan. Each spring workshop will focus on a different and unique management concern that directly relates to the Merced River.

Spring meetings on the Merced River Plan will occur on the following dates:

March 25

Yosemite Valley Auditorium, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Topic: Recreation

April 22

Yosemite Lodge--Garden Terrace, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.. Topic: Hydrology, biology, geology

April 26

Yosemite Lode--Garden Terrace, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Topic: Transportation

April 27

Yosemite Valley Auditorium, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Topic: Cultural Resources

April 29

Yosemite Lodge-Garden Terrace, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.. Topic: User capacity.

May 13

Yosemite Lodge-Garden Terrace, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Topic: Science forum

Each workshop will also be available for viewing as a webinar. Online webinar participants will be able to view each workshop in real-time video as it is delivered to the live audience. In addition, webinar participants will be able to submit questions. For more information on how to view these workshops as webinars, and to learn more about the Merced River Planning effort, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/mrp_meetings.htm.