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Yosemite Updates Wilderness Management Plan

YOSEMITE — Public scoping for Yosemite National Park’s planning and environmental impact analysis for the Yosemite Wilderness Stewardship Plan is open, and comments will be accepted through Jan. 29, 2016.

Yosemite’s Wilderness is currently managed under the 1989 Wilderness Management Plan. The park needs to update this plan to incorporate current information about visitor use patterns, methods of managing visitor use, techniques for trail design and construction, and concepts for managing stock in wilderness.

The updated plan will provide management direction and a framework that preserves wilderness character in Yosemite. Qualities of wilderness character include: 1) natural, 2) opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation, 3) undeveloped, 4) untrammeled, and 5) other features of value, including scientific, educational, scenic or historical values.

This planning effort will also incorporate new policy direction for wilderness management. Finally, the plan will determine the extent to which commercial services will be conducted in the Yosemite Wilderness.

A public scoping meeting was held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at REI Berkeley to review the goals of the planning effort and to provide an opportunity for the public to interact directly with park staff. Another scoping meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium.

Additionally, webinars will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from noon to 1 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 6, from noon to 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 7 p.m. More information can be found at http://parkplanninng.nps.gov/yosewild.

Public comments regarding the issues being addressed, alternative ways to approach them, and other feedback regarding the planning process may be submitted online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yosewild (electronic comment submittal saves resources and allows for direct entry into the National Park Service’s comment analysis system).

You may also submit comments by emailing yose_planning@nps.gov or by mail to:

Superintendent, Yosemite National Park, Attn: Wilderness Stewardship Plan, P.O. Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389. Written comments will also be accepted during public scoping meetings.

For more information about the Wilderness Stewardship Plan and how to get involved, please visit the Yosemite Wilderness Stewardship webpage at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yosewild.

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