Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14. | High Sierra Topix  

Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14.

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Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14.

Postby rlown » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:45 pm

More of an FYI from the Yose planning email list:


March 11, 2013

Don’t Forget! Submit Your Comments on the Tuolumne River Draft Plan and EIS
The Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Draft Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement is available for review and comment through March 18, 2013. The draft plan has been available for public review since January 8, 2013.

The draft plan analyzes four alternative approaches for managing the visitor experience, facilities, and natural and cultural resources within the Wild and Scenic River corridor. Under the Preferred Alternative (Alternative 4), access to Tuolumne Meadows would be improved by directing vehicles to an increased number of spaces in formal parking areas, which would replace the informal roadside parking. A new visitor contact station on the south side of Tioga Road would be located closer to the Tuolumne store and the campground and would serve as the primary trailhead for Parson’s Lodge. New, short, formalized, hiking trails would connect the visitor contact station, the campground, Parson’s Lodge, and other facilities along the road. Informal trails that are damaging vegetation would be restored to natural conditions. The store, grill, and post office would remain in their current locations, while the public fuel station and mountaineering shop would be removed and replaced with parking. The Tuolumne Lodge and Tuolumne Meadows Campground would retain their present capacities, though campsites and lodging closest to the river would be relocated to protect sensitive riparian areas.

To learn more about the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Draft Comprehensive Management Plan and EIS, download a copy of a summary guide, the draft plan, presentations, and other informational materials visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/trp.htm.

Comments on the draft plan may be provided:
• online via the Planning, Environment, Public Comment (see next item) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/trp_deis
• via email to yose_planning@nps.gov
• U.S. Mail to Superintendent, Yosemite National Park, Attn: Tuolumne River Plan, PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389

Comments received after March 18, 2013, will not be included in the official record.

PEPC Scheduled Maintenance

The NPS Planning, Environment, Public Comment (PEPC) website will be temporarily unavailable on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, due to scheduled maintenance. Yosemite has three plans currently open for public comment: the Tuolumne River Draft Plan and EIS (closes 3/18), the Merced River Draft Plan and EIS (closes 4/18), and the Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias DEIS (closes 5/7). PEPC should return to service by March 14, 2013. If you are unable to wait to submit your comments, we will still accept them via US mail or email to yose_planning@nps.gov.

More MRP Public Meetings This Week!

Join us on Thursday, March 14, 2013, from 5-8 pm at the Senior Center in Oakhurst or Friday, March 15, 2013, from 1-4 pm in the Wawona Community Center for a presentation on the Merced River Draft Plan and EIS. These meetings are an opportunity to learn more information about the plan, interact with park staff, and provide feedback. The meeting will consist of a short presentation about the plan, a question and answer session with park managers and planners, and an open house with background materials about the plan.

Merced River Plan Public Meetings

Date Time Location
*Wednesday,
Feb. 27, 2013 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Visitor Center Auditorium
Yosemite Valley, CA or http://yose.webex.com

Wednesday,
Feb. 27, 2013 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Visitor Center Auditorium (Open House)
Yosemite Valley, CA
Wednesday,
March 6, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Clark Community Hall
El Portal, CA
Thursday,
March 7, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Board of Supervisors Chambers
Mariposa, CA
Thursday,
March 14, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Senior Center
Oakhurst, CA
Friday,
March 15, 2013 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Community Center
Wawona, CA
Wednesday,
March 20, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Community Center
Groveland, CA
Thursday,
March 21, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Fort Mason Center Room C370
San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. L.A. River Center and Gardens--Atrium of the California Building
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday,
March 27, 2013 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Visitor Center Auditorium (Open House)
Yosemite Valley, CA
*This workshop specifically discussed Socioeconomics. A recording is available via webinar at http://yose.webex.com.

The public comment period for the MRP is open through Thursday, April 18, 2013. To download a copy of the plan or provide a comment visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mrp_deis.htm
Last edited by rlown on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18 and more..

Postby oldranger » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:58 pm

At 11:55 3/18/13 I posted the following:


Dear Tuolumne Planners

It is nearing the deadline and I have after a lapse of several weeks returned to reviewing your document. I have several observations to make.

First your common to all action alternative actions seem to be appropriate given your description of the Outstandingly Remarkable Values and the existing condition description. (except changing the colors of tents at Glen Aulin, the white is historically correct and it fits with the light colored granite of the region)

The remainder of my comments reflects over 60 years of visits to Yosemite and at least 55 years since my first visit to Tuolumne Meadows. I also had over 16 years as a NEPA nerd for the Forest Service and BLM, not to mention 10 seasons as an NPS ranger (most as a backcountry Ranger in SEKI).

So here goes.

My second observation is that under existing management, with the exception of a couple portions of meadows, all of Outstandingly Remarkable values are supported by the existing condition of the affected environment.

Consequently it is appalling that you would be willing to reduce recreational opportunities under alternative 1 by eliminating Concessioner Accomadations and amenities. Furthermore without reducing or controlling numbers of vehicles entering the Tioga road from both east and west you seem to think that limited parking will somehow solve overcrowding and the need for such amenities. Without adequate parking alternative 1 seems to guarantee gridlock. But there is not even a suggestion of that possibility in the Environmental Consequences analysis.

Similarly the elimination of facilities at Glen Aulin is not warranted by the description in the affected environment. As I am well into my 7th decade I am coming to appreciate the role of the High Sierra Camps in extending my backcountry travels.

Alternative 2, while mostly reasonable, eliminates all but 2 Composting Toilets at Glen Aulin as permanent structures. As a result more stock trips would be required at the beginning and end of the season to set up and tear down the camp.

Alternative 3, I don’t understand how a reduction of about 3% of the total daily users can result in the reduction of 17% of NPS staff when the reduction comes from fewer concessioner accommodations and yet there is no reduction in concessioner employees.

The reduction in tents at Glen Aulin would seem to make it less economically viable to run the High Sierra Camp and would reduce availability to independent hikers if the same number of saddle trips and ranger led trips were maintained. Same comment about Alternative 4

Also the table concerning Alternative 4 seems to be in error concerning the number of busses. I assume that is a typo.

Again the changes in daily uses vs. NPS staff is difficult to understand.

Finally I was extremely disappointed in the environmental consequences analysis. It was primarily a list of judgements that required me to guess what beneficial or adverse consequences were the outcome of an action under an alternative. For example a recurring theme for Glen Aulin was that relocation of trail access to the camp would be beneficial—I guess that means a worn down to bare earth section of trail would become revegetated. I still don’t know what the threat of the leach mound is to vegetation. I always thought that vegetation was a good way to filter out nasties.

And the discussion of risk of the leach mound to water quality is never really assessed. What is the probability of some kind of breach? What would the magnitude actually be? Would would the water quality impacts be (quantifiably) downstream? It is also laughable to think that a high sierra camp will impact bear or deer migrations in any significant manner in a national park

I really have to think that the greatest risk to water quality is the risk of a motor vehicle accident at the Bridge over the Tuolumne or along side the Dana Fork and the introduction of petroleum products into the river. That risk is not even mentioned or assessed in the entire document.

Finally I would consider some additional actions to mitigate some of the problems the various alternatives try to resolve.

1. No over night stock at Glen Aulin, except that a packer horse and 2 or 3 pack animals may stay 1 night on what used to be the saddle horse trips. If the entire HSC loop were done from Tuolumne Meadows to Vogelsang to Merced Lake to Sunrise to May lake on horseback then the People capable of that amount of riding should be able to walk down from May Lake to Glen Aulin and walk up to Tuolumne Meadows from Glen Aulin, the easiest leg of the loop. All other service trips must be round trip from Tuolumne Meadows. This would greatly reduce the need for corral facilities and reduce the need to pack feed down to Glen Aulin.
2. Similarly no overnight stock use should be permitted in Lyle Canyon (or if most use is currently multiple nights then consider a one night limit.)
3. I am strongly in favor of not allowing grazing until meadow conditions are suitable. Nor should stock use be permitted if trail conditions are such that the stock will go off trail to avoid muddy sections.
4. Do not dismiss the impacts of NPS use servicing trail crews. Many user trails have been created by NPS pack strings.
5. Finally manage the busses in a manner that encourages use. For example consider a parking area in Lee Vining. And a shuttle from there. Provide one night free in Backpackers Camp for people who arrive on a bus, from either the east or west. Do something creative here, think of other ways to encourage people to give up their cars!

mike
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Re: Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18 and more..

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:56 pm

Thanks for doing that, Mike. Much appreciated.

Russ
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Final Tuolumne River Plan and EIS Available

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:21 pm

March 13, 2014

Yosemite National Park Announces the Release of the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Yosemite National Park announces the release of the Final Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The plan is the result of using the best available science, resource stewardship, and public input to create a robust vision for the Tuolumne River Corridor for the next 15-20 years. The Tuolumne River flows through the northern portion of Yosemite National Park and is one of the two federally designated Wild and Scenic rivers within Yosemite.

“The final plan is a major achievement to ensure the long-term health of Yosemite’s high country and provides a road map to preserve the area’s fragile resources and accommodate quality visitor experiences,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite Superintendent.

The final preferred alternative (Alternative 4: Improving the Traditional Tuolumne Experience) identifies a set of management actions that will work together to protect river values while accommodating existing amounts of day and overnight use and providing improved opportunities for day visitors at Tuolumne Meadows. This selected alternative responds to a range of public concerns by balancing desires to retain a traditional Tuolumne experience with desires to reduce development and make visitor use more sustainable. It also addresses the need to provide a meaningful introduction to the Tuolumne River for the growing number of short-term visitors.

...
Specific Highlights of the Tuolumne River Plan include:

Protecting the Tuolumne River’s Health and Other Resources:
• Restoring 171 acres of meadow and riparian habitat and 2 acres of upland habitat
• Directing river access to resilient areas and restoring native riparian vegetation
• Removing or mitigating the effects of trails and roads through meadows by re-routing trails, repairing culverts to improve hydrologic connectivity, and fencing restoration areas
• Removing roadside parking and replacing it with designated parking lots in more durable upland areas nearby
• Consolidating NPS and concessioner stables to minimize the development footprint
• Upgrading the wastewater treatment plant to tertiary treatment
• Implementing water conservation measures in Tuolumne Meadows, including upgrading water distribution lines and fixtures to be more efficient, installing water meters, and limiting water withdrawals from the river to 10% of low flows
• Relocating all development from within 100 feet of the river, including 21 campsites at the Tuolumne Meadows Campground
• Reducing the impacts of the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp by reducing packstock resupply trips, limiting water consumption and associated wastewater production, and replacing flush toilets with composting toilets
• Reducing pack stock use and associated impacts on trails in the river corridor by discontinuing commercial day rides
• Designating stock campsites in Lyell Canyon and limiting stock access to times when meadows are “range-ready” based on snowfall and rain patterns
Preserving and Enhancing Recreational Opportunities
• The Tuolumne Meadows Campground will be reconfigured while remaining at its current capacity of 329 sites and 7 group sites. Primary improvements will include upgrading and adding restrooms, repairing the campground roads, delineating camping spots to reduce resource damage, relocating the entrance road and kiosk out of the floodplain, and relocating campsites away from the river
• The Tuolumne Lodge will remain at its current capacity with some facilities relocated away from the river and a new shower house provided for guests and members of the public
• A new visitor contact station and trailhead parking lot will be built in a central location on the south side of Tioga Road to replace the existing visitor center in Tuolumne Meadows. The new facility will offer easy access to the Parsons Memorial Lodge trail across the meadows. A new trail will be provided along Tioga Road to connect the visitor contact station with the campground, store and grill
• The existing visitor center will be converted to administrative uses and trailhead parking for Cathedral Lakes, with a connecting trail constructed
• The Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp will continue its operation at a slightly reduced capacity
• Private whitewater boating will be allowed on a trial basis through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, from Pothole Dome to Pate Valley, within the current wilderness permit quota system
• Picnic areas will be improved and expanded at Lembert Dome and at the store and grill
Managing Visitor Use to Ensure High Quality Visitor Experience
• Visitation levels will be limited to those seen over the past several years with a maximum of 4,727 visitors to the Tuolumne River corridor. Day-use capacity will be managed by controlling parking supply and public transit use and through ongoing monitoring. Overnight-use capacity will be managed through wilderness permits, reservation systems for lodging and camping, and associated parking supply
• To improve scenic vistas, reduce congestion, and address safety hazards, roadside parking along Tioga Road will be removed. Parking will instead be directed to designated parking lots in less visible and less sensitive upland areas nearby with a limited number of scenic viewing pullouts retained. The total amount of parking will increase slightly
• Commercial day rides will be discontinued from Tuolumne Meadows, significantly reducing the conflicts between hikers and stock users on trails

...

For a copy of the complete three-volume Plan and EIS (approximately 1,300 pages), please visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/trp.htm or http://parkplanning.nps.gov/trp_feis.
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Re: Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14.

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:42 am

guess the Merced was more important than the Tuolumne. Bump. thinking no one cares?
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Re: Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14.

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:33 pm

Amazing, they actually incorporated some of my ideas! Gee I could have been a planner, oh yeah I was!

Mike
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Re: Yose TRP Comments Due 3/18/13. FINAL IS OUT 3/13/14.

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:21 pm

you are a god. now get over it.
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