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Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:24 pm

Is there some activity that is allowed in the Emigrant Wilderness that is not allowed in Yosemite, or vice versa? Dogs? Fires? Anything?


These are perfect reasons to continue to pursue this, dogs for sure, hunting not allowed in Yosemite, but do not know about that part of Emigrant (Russ?), but will find out. :thumbsup:
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby rlown » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:36 pm

hunting is allowed in Emigrant Wilderness: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Portals/0/I ... ne-Map.gif

If you zoom in I think it's zone D-6. Only special closures (such as wildfires) and being a National Park restrict hunting.

The real question is would a hunter go that far without stock to hunt. It's a long way out carrying a deer on your back. Trust me on that... :o

You don't really have to worry about hunters until Mid/Late August (bowhunting) or Sept (rifle). June/July/early Aug would be fine for backpacking.
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:54 pm

Great, thanks Russ.
Now I have to track down this Land Program Manager who can do boundary adjustments, otherwise it's dealing with DC, which I would prefer not to spend to much time on.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:55 am

Well, it is winter and we are bored! This is a fun and interesting piece of trivia, but in the big picture not very consequential. I have worked with GIS and map overlays, and unless someone actually goes out there to survey it (and a GPS survey is not adequate), and that would cost $$$$, it will not be resolved and has a .000001 chance of actually happening. I think I will go to that lake with my dog and wait until a ranger comes up and gives me a citation! :wink:
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:30 am

I think I will go to that lake with my dog and wait until a ranger comes up and gives me a citation! ;)


You'll be waiting a long time Daisy, just let us know when you plan on going so we don't become concerned after not seeing you post any more. :)
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:33 pm

Spoke to the Emigrant Wilderness Manager, explained the situation, including the 1905 boundary line established by congress, also the hunting and dog issues. He will be having a meeting with the Yosemite Wilderness Manager next week, in which he will be addressing this issue, and get back to me sometime towards the end of the next week.
Stayed tune.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby Hobbes » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:04 am

oldranger wrote:Key is the description of the boundary on the nw corner of the map: "Divide Between Cherry Creek and Eleanor and Falls Creeks".


But does the mystery lake drain into Kendrick which then becomes Eleanor? That would put the lake within the Yosemite side of the divide. I've looked closely at both aerial satellite views & flipped G-Earth over sideways, and as Daisy suggested, it looks like it could very well drain both ways.

If you zoom all the way in on the little round tarn just below the lake (sort of like Sicily by the boot of Italy), does it drain to the tarn right next to it (slightly to the NW)? Or is it just an upper catch basin for the main part of the lake which then drains to the NE when full?

It really seems like somebody (or a group like a meet-up) needs to go up there, pour about a liter of water on the ground between the two tarns and observe (and possibly film) which way the water flows. :D
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby kpeter » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:41 am

Hobbes wrote:
oldranger wrote:Key is the description of the boundary on the nw corner of the map: "Divide Between Cherry Creek and Eleanor and Falls Creeks".


But does the mystery lake drain into Kendrick which then becomes Eleanor? That would put the lake within the Yosemite side of the divide. I've looked closely at both aerial satellite views & flipped G-Earth over sideways, and as Daisy suggested, it looks like it could very well drain both ways.

If you zoom all the way in on the little round tarn just below the lake (sort of like Sicily by the boot of Italy), does it drain to the tarn right next to it (slightly to the NW)? Or is it just an upper catch basin for the main part of the lake which then drains to the NE when full?

It really seems like somebody (or a group like a meet-up) needs to go up there, pour about a liter of water on the ground between the two tarns and observe (and possibly film) which way the water flows. :D


I concluded the same thing. It is not possible from the maps or Google Earth to figure out whether the surface drainage is to the NE or the SW or both. What is likely is that when snowmelt is at its peak there is surface drainage in both directions, and when snowmelt is over there is surface drainage in neither direction.

For the NE: There is haphazard jackstraw to the NE and a small, dry snowmelt pond. In the trapezoidal basin that butts up against the granite to the NE there is a low point more visible from Google Earth through which the water may drain, and possibly a fallen tree or granite berm that looks like it may be a kind of intermittent dam, and a sketchy line of bushes below. It looks like snowmelt accumulates in that NE area and seeps over the lip to the NE.

For the SW: The SW "Sicily" tarn is definitely connected to the main lake. One question is whether the SW "Sicily" tarn drains to its NW to the other "Corsica" tarn. I'm not sure it does. The granite between them looks pretty dry for that satellite pic. On the other hand, there is an inlet from the main lake that may connect to the Corsica tarn during snowmelt--there seems to be bare dirt and jackstraw rather than granite linking the inlet with Corsica. During heavy snowmelt that area would be inundated.

In just looking at vegetation, it is clear that there is more water coming down to the SW from Corsica than going to the NE from the main lake; this water feeds the tributaries of Fawn Lake and Kendrick Creek. See, for example, the inlet stream snaking into the tarns to the NW of Fawn Lake. It looks substantial in the satellite pics. I'd be inclined to take that as evidence that the bulk of the drainage goes SW to Kendrick--although it is probably more seepage than surface stream in the immediate vicinity of our lake.
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby gdurkee » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:29 am

This is pretty fun. Using Arc 10, I've got the Yosemite boundary shapefile which matches the ones that show the lakes as outside Yosemite. The legal description of 1905 is the key. The boundary is the divide between the two drainages. I think the cartographers who drew the most recent boundary got it right. Both a topo map and satellite imagery suggest they drew the boundary right along a granite rib which is the watershed boundary.

They may just have been compounding the error, but all of Yosemite's data (lakes, trails, elevation models, hillshade) are all clipped at that boundary. This also makes it difficult to tell for absolute sure because, at least with an elevation model, you could tell if they got it right but mine doesn't continue to the north.

Also, as far as Yosemite administration is concerned, the boundary they've drawn is what they've been managing. Which is also to say if you had a dog at that lake and somehow a ranger showed up (hah!), you'd have a good argument that it was allowed.

Still: A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.
Philosopher and scientist Alfred Korzybski, 1931
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Re: Who owns this lake? Yosemite or Emigrant?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:55 am

"A map is not territory it represents" - how true. Unless they went out and surveyed with real survey equipment, the accuracy depends on the source of the data. DEM's or digital elevation models have accuracy limits. LANDSAT data is 30 meters. Most USGS maps are based on 30 meter accuracy data. If a feature is smaller than 30 meters, it could land on either side of a "line" which is also located with a 30 meter accuracy. In other words the map will not tell you! GPS accuracy has been improving, but it also has accuracy limits. One really needs to go out to that location and see with your own eyes, where the lake is located relative to the "ridge" that shows up on the map based on the DEM. Since you would need to determine the high point/ridge near the lake you would also need to bring a laser level. Now we all have a project! "The HST Community Lake Verification Program"!
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