Archive for September, 2007

NPS Seeks Tunnel View Comments

  Date Monday, September 24th, 2007

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the opening of the public review and comment period for the Tunnel View Overlook Environmental Assessment(EA). The public is invited to review the document and submit written comments from Wednesday October 3, 2007, and closes Friday November 2, 2007.

The Wawona Tunnel View Overlook is a heavily used scenic viewpoint located adjacent to Wawona Road at the east portal of the Wawona Tunnel. This overlook affords expansive views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome that have captured the awe of visitors for 75 years.

The overlook is a historic site and was constructed in 1932 during an erathat heralded a boom in design and development throughout the National Park Service, and helped initiate the park service “rustic” design style. Wawona Tunnel and Tunnel View were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 because of their exemplary park service rustic design. Very little physical change has occurred to Tunnel View’s physical features (including rockwork, circulation patterns, and configuration) since it was built in 1932. The site remains one of the most popular scenic overlooks in Yosemite National Park. Tour buses, tram tours, and single-family vehicles bring an estimated 3,000-5,000 people to the site per day during the height of the visitation season.

The purpose of the Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project is to remedy long-standing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian safety issues, to correct drainage deficiencies and problems, to provide clear circulation patterns for pedestrians and vehicles, to enhance and maintain viewing opportunities for visitors, to provide accessibility to viewing areas for visitors with disabilities, and to correct safety problems associated with the existing Inspiration Point trailhead, while maintaining the natural, rustic character and integrity of this historic site. Project alternatives and their environmental effects have been evaluated in the Environmental Assessment.

Public Review of the Environmental Assessment opens Wednesday October 3, 2007, and closes Friday November 2, 2007.

One public meeting will take place during the public review period, scheduled for 1:00 pm at the Monthly Open House in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Wednesday, October 31, 2007.

A link to the Environmental Assessment will be posted on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose/planning.

Written comments should be postmarked no later than November 2, 2007.
Comments can be submitted at the public meeting, by mail, fax, email, and through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) commenting system. To submit written comments:

Mail: Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Tunnel View Overlook Rehabilitation Project
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

Fax: 209/379-1294
Email: YOSE_planning@nps.gov
PEPC: http://parkplanning.nps.gov

For more information on park planning efforts, visit the website at
www.nps.gov/yose/planning


Psychic Fair – Sept. 29 and 30

  Date Friday, September 21st, 2007
If you’re a psychic this blog is unnecessary as you already know what we’re about to announce. But, if you’re not, then continue reading. Psychics will be gathering for food, fun and fellowship Sat., Sept. 20 and Sun., Sept. 30 at “Synchronicity” in the basement of the historic Mariposa Hotel (5029 Hwy 140 – in downtown Mariposa, California).

No appointment is needed. As, after all, your arrival has been pre-ordained. Just drop in and sign up for a reading with whichever psychic you’d like to see. Sessions are priced at 20 minutes for $25. In anticipation of the fair, Synchronicity has been restocked with DVDs, t-shirts, books and other gifts, and as an added surprise (if indeed surprises can occur in a room filled with psychics), a Chakra Crystal Bowl will be raffled for $5 a ticket or five for $20.


Lassen Park Concessionaire Wins Environmental Award

  Date Friday, September 14th, 2007

California Guest Services (CGS), which operates concessions in Lassen Volcanic National Park, is among four companies recently honored by the National Park Service (NPS) for environmental achievement.

The Red Bluff company received an honorable mention in the 2007 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards for its Green Buying program in which the NPS said it “significantly improved its purchases of environmentally friendly products” in food and beverage operations, serviceware and supplies, retail items, and janitorial and housekeeping.

Among its many environmental efforts, CGS was recognized for serving only organic, fair-trade certified and shade-grown coffess in all its concession operations, a change so well received by its guests that it expanded its use of these coffees to all its operations beyond Lassen Volcanic National Park. CGS strove to support local vendors by locating locally grown and manufactured products, such as Pacific Sun Olive Oil, a woman-owned, family-run, sustainable farming operation near Chico. CGS was cited such actions as helping in reducing the impact from trucking and shipping while benefitting the local economy.

Other CGS actions commended by the National Park Service included replacing plastic cups with Greenware Cups, removing 2,000 non-degradable plastic cups from the waste stream by switching to biodegradable, recycled, chlorine-free, compostable cups for use in hotel rooms, and replacing over 10,000 less environmentally preferable cups in retail operations. Similar actions replaced grocery bags, firelogs, insect candles, soap and janitorial supplies with more environmentally sensitive materials.

Of the four companies honored by the National Park Service this year, CGS was the only company not owned by the large National Park Service concessionaire, Xanterra Parks & Resorts. CGS is an operating company of The California Parks Companies, a family-owned company based in Red Bluff, Calif.

For more about the company and its operations, visit www.drakesbad.com and www.calparksco.com


Yosemite Getaway Sweepstakes Ends on Sunday

  Date Friday, September 14th, 2007

The last chance to win a getaway trip to Yosemite and Mariposa County ends Sunday at midnight when the fall version of the Yosemite Getaway Sweepstakes closes.  For more about the sweepstakes, CLICK HERE.