Big Yosemite Pow Wow in Mammoth Saturday


The Sierra has been abuzz with concern over the recreational and economic implications of the proposed Tuolumne River and Merced River Plans.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, Yosemite National Park employees Kathleen Morse and Mike Yochim will be in Mammoth to provide information on the two proposed plans. They said they would open the floor for questions.

The meeting will be in Suite Z on the second floor of the Minaret Shopping Center. It will be an open house with display boards starting at 9 a.m. Presentations will begin at 9:45 a.m., and will be followed by a question and answer session until noon.

Members of the Mono County Board of Supervisors gave  their two (or five, perhaps) cents about the proposed plans at their Feb. 19 meeting.

Mono County Supervisor Fred Stump called the proposals, a “giant leap backwards,” and Supervisor Tim Fesko said the plans eliminate some of the main reasons he gives the park his business.

Local horse packers also have chimed in.

“They’re not going to let us into Yosemite National Park anymore,” said Dave Dohnel, owner/operator of Frontier Pack Trains in June Lake.

The proposed Tuolumne River and Merced River Plans aim to restore these two congressionally designated Wild and Scenic rivers within Yosemite National Park.

For Yosemite National Park, it has been a long road, dating back to the late 1990s, Morse said. The areas addressed in these plans, she said, are some of the most highly visited in the park.

Since a court ruling on the Merced River Plan in 2008, Morse said, they have been charged with two main goals: protect the river’s “outstandingly remarkable values,” and provide access for public use.

Morse, a former ranger in Mammoth, said she appreciates this area and is looking forward to opening a dialogue with the community of the Eastern Sierra.

For those interested in commenting, the deadline is March 18 for the Tuolumne Rier Plan and April 18 for the Merced River Plan. Email comments to Yosemite National Park.