Merced River Plan Alternatives 2 & 3

First, a howdy to our new readers from my Sports Basement talk in Walnut Creek last night. Good folks.

OK, so we are corn-fused about the Yosemite Lodge impacts. The plan does say (1,000’s cabins). Sonke of our Hamburg Bureau did some sleuthing and thinks they may be referring to the rooms in the “1,000” numbered series. He’s stayed recently and recalled the rooms being numbered 3,XXX, 4,XXX. But I did see this reference for Concept 1:  Yosemite Lodge: Converted from lodging to day-use, parking and camping (~160 sites). So the dozers may be lined up soon. And feast your blue eyes on these words:

Facilities Proposed for Repurposing Across All Alternatives

• Yosemite Village Sports Shop

• Convenience Shop

• Nature Shop

Facilities Reduced Across All Alternatives

• Camp 6 Day-use Parking Area

• Wawona Campground

• Lower Pines Campground

• Curry Village Residence Area

• Yosemite Valley Backpackers Campground

Now on to Alternative 2 & 3 – the Highlights:

Alternative 2

This alternative would see a total of 293 acres restored to natural conditions, with significant restoration at Stoneman and Ahwahnee Meadows, the former Upper and Lower River Campgrounds, Wawona golf course, and the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp. To promote free-flow conditions, Sugar Pine and Ahwahnee Bridges would be removed, as would more than a mile of rip-rap. Campsites at North Pines, Lower Pines and Backpackers’ Camp would be removed if they are located within 150 feet of the high water mark. Upper Pines, however, would be expanded by approximately 40 sites. Housekeeping Camp would be re-purposed as a day-use area, and the Camp 6 parking lot would be moved north, protecting wetlands and reducing parking within 150 feet of the river. In terms of recreation, limited private paddling would be allowed by permit on river stretches within all segments. No commercial paddling would be allowed. Lodging, in total, would be reduced by approximately 400 units, campsites would decrease by approximately 20 sites, and peak daily visitor use levels within Yosemite Valley would be managed at around 14,900 people, a roughly 27% decrease compared to current peak visitor use levels.

And Alternative 3

This alternative would restore 218 acres to natural conditions. To promote freeflow conditions, Sugar Pine and Ahwahnee Bridges would be removed, as would more than a mile of rip-rap. Camping opportunities would increase by about 230 sites, with new campground development of more than 100 sites at the former Upper and Lower River Campgrounds, close to 100 sites in Upper Pines, and approximately 40 sites west of Yosemite Lodge. The Curry Village Stables would be converted to approximately 40 camping sites. In the High Sierra, the Merced Lake Backpackers’ Camp would remain and be expanded. The Camp 6 parking lot would be moved north, protecting wetlands and reducing parking w thin 150 feet of the river. Lodging would be reduced by approximately 210 units. In terms of recreation, limited paddling would be allowed for commercial use on the stretch of river currently used for this purpose in the Valley. Private paddling would be allowed by permit on stretches within all segments of the river. This alternative would manage peak daily visitation within Yosemite Valley at approximately 17,000 people, a 17% decrease from current peak visitation levels. Tomorrow we’ll look at the last two alternatives.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.” John Lennon 

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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