YOSEMITE – Yosemite Conservancy is providing $15 million in support to Yosemite National Park to restore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, protect great gray owls and rebuild spectacular hiking trails, among 34 projects being funded in 2016.
“Everywhere you look in the park you can see the impact of Yosemite Conservancy grants and programs, whether that’s hiking a restored trail, spotting protected wildlife, earning a Junior Ranger badge or joining an Outdoor Adventure program,” said Frank Dean, Yosemite Conservancy president.
“During the National Park Service’s Centennial year, it reminds us to look back at our successful partnership with Yosemite National Park, which has provided vital support for conservation efforts and enhancements to visitor services thanks to gifts from donors.”
Dean said Yosemite Conservancy grants are supporting a variety of wilderness, wildlife and visitor experience improvements in 2016. This year, funding is going to help restore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Over the life of this multi-year effort, the Conservancy is providing $20 million, matching the National Park Service’s contribution. The project to protect the Grove, which will improve natural water flows, re-establish sequoia habitat, create accessible trails, and enhance the overall visitor experience, is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
Conservancy donors are also funding work in 2016 to restore the meadow habitat of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, which play an essential role in healthy ecosystems. Several major trails will be improved, including stretches of the John Muir Trail along the Tuolumne River, the Matterhorn Canyon section of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail, and the Yosemite Falls Trail. Additionally, funding will restore populations of rare frogs and turtles, and protect the Sierra Nevada red fox, great gray and spotted owls and black bears.
“Glimpsing an owl soaring overhead or watching a black bear amble through a Valley meadow is an incredible moment that reminds us of the importance of keeping wild creatures wild,” said Dean. “Yosemite inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to care for the natural environment. We think it’s especially important to support youth programs that create the next generation of environmental stewards.”
Conservancy donor-funded grants also are going to nine Youth in Yosemite programs to transform lives of young people and the park. These programs span the entire range of youth development, from children earning their Junior Ranger badges while learning about the natural world, to young adults restoring backcountry trails and receiving on-the-job-training for future careers.
Yosemite Conservancy has funded 530 completed projects with more than $100 million in grants over the past two decades.
The Conservancy’s arts, cultural and theater programs forge deeper connections with park visitors of all ages to create lasting memories and encourage life-long stewardship. Dozens of accomplished artists teach Yosemite Conservancy’s art workshops. Yosemite Theater performances at the Valley Visitor Center entertain and educate visitors from around the world. Sales from Conservancy bookstores, which sell items like trail maps and educational books and videos, are poured back into Yosemite. At park Wilderness Centers, Conservancy staff provides bear canister rentals and backcountry permits. Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventure programs are a unique way to see, learn about and experience the park, and inspire people to care for one of the world’s natural treasures.
Learn more at yosemiteconservancy.org or call 415-434-1782.