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Strong Groveland Presence at Yosemite Gateway Partners

Groveland turned out in force at Thursday’s Yosemite Gateway Partners Quarterly meeting at Yosemite Lodge. A dozen locals representing Highway 120 businesses and nonprofits were joined by Matt Reed from Congressman Tom McClintock’s staff, Tuolumne County District 4 Supervisor Kathleen Haff, the Yosemite Highway 120 Chamber, and Visit Tuolumne County. Top Yosemite National Park officials updated gateway partners on the upcoming season, federal grant-based infrastructure projects, and this year’s iteration of the Reservation System. Other presentations included the remarkable story of rock climbing icon Ken Yager “Camp 4 Dirtbag to Yosemite Ambassador,” the National Weather Service’s new technologies in weather forecasting, and the magical world of Big Wall Bats.

Hanging out with Bats on El Capitan. Photo: Yosemite Conservancy

Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon reported that park staff will double over the next few weeks as they prepare for record numbers of visitors this season. The meeting start was delayed due to major hazardous fuel mitigation being completed in Yosemite Valley. The long-awaited new Welcome Center is now open, and crews are working hard to clear Tioga Pass. 

The latest YNP Reservation System, which went into effect fully last weekend, was the hot topic. Statistics were shared about advance bookings of the 60% of available slots released last January and visitors last weekend. The bottom line appears to be that advanced reservations for Saturdays are sold out; there are still some Sunday advance reservations available. Additional Saturday and Sunday openings are released seven days in advance, and reservations for afternoon entry are also available. 

Confusing? Absolutely, and the Park Service acknowledges that this process isn’t over. Staff is still processing more than 8300 comments received during the July - September 2023 public engagement period. We can expect another round of public engagement in the early Fall as the NPS attempts to land on a stable and sustainable solution.

Yosemite Gateway Partners will be hosting a “Listening Session” for the Highway 120 Community on June 7 at 12:30 pm at Firefall Ranch. Stay tuned to the Weekly for updates on this forum.

Yosemite's Spotted Bat. Photo: Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Fun Fact: Do you love bats? You should. They are Nature’s free pest control service. One bat eats 600 mosquitoes in an hour. 


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