YOSEMITE CONSERVATION HERITAGE CENTER FINAL REPORT 2017 SUBMITTED BY BONNIE J. GISEL, CURATOR

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1 YOSEMITE CONSERVATION HERITAGE CENTER FINAL REPORT 2017 SUBMITTED BY BONNIE J. GISEL, CURATOR TOTAL DAY VISITATION May June July August ` September 2937 * (*10 days) TOTAL 11, , TOTAL DAY VISITATION May June July August *1728 (*20 days) 2363 September 2495 * *1988 (*19 days) 2680 (*17 days) TOTAL 13,076 10,545 12,661 11,054 12,816 TOTAL DAY VISITATION May June July August September TOTAL 13,414 12,018! 1

2 TOTAL EVENING PROGRAM VISITATION May June July August September 421 * ( (*6 programs) TOTAL May (8 programs) June (14 programs) July (8 programs) August (9 programs) (1 cancelled) September 553 *474 (2 programs cancelled) 260 (6 programs) TOTAL May 375 (9 programs) 384 (9 programs) June 271 (7 programs) 341 (8 programs) July 366 (7 programs) 216 (6 programs) August 169 (5 programs (2 cancelled: El Portal fire) 342 (9 programs) September 549 (11 programs) 296 (7 programs) TOTAL (39 programs) May 344 (7 programs) 340 (8 programs) June 235 (7 programs) 282 (7 programs) July 214 (7 programs) 229 (5 programs) August 246 (6 programs 1 cancellation) 266 (7 programs) September 221 (6 programs) 241 (8 programs) TOTAL 1260 (33 programs) 1358 (35 programs)! 2

3 TOTAL DAY VISITATION & PROGRAM ATTENDANCE 14,691 11,159 11,697 11,235 10,149 12,438 14,420 13,435 11, ,264 12,879 14,178 12,784 14,395 14, ,376 TOTAL PROGRAMS May June July August September TOTAL May June July August (1 program cancelled) September (2 programs cancelled) 6 TOTAL May 9 9 7! 3

4 June July August 5 (2 cancelled due to El Portal fire) 9 6 (1 cancelled0 September 11 (including 3 hikes) 6 TOTAL May 8 June 7 July 5 August 7 September 8 TOTAL 35 TOTAL PROGRAM HOURS: May/June/July/August/September: 105 TOTAL VOLUNTEERS May June July August September October 4 TOTAL May June July August September (7 clean-up) TOTAL ! 4

5 TOTAL NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER HOURS 2002` May June July August September October 92 TOTAL May June July August September (Muir Tribute) October 96 TOTAL May 405 June 640 July 484 August 535 September 403 TOTAL 2467 NEW VOLUNTEERS May 3 June 3 July 7 August 9 September 1 TOTAL 23! 5

6 RETURNING VOLUNTEERS May 14 June 24 July 13 August 13 September 15 TOTAL 79 OPERATIONS 1.The center table project during 2017 focused on Love Your Nature, an extension of the Sierra Club, Equity, Inclusion, Justice program. This environmental project was an opportunity to give thought to share our differences, similarities, stories, and justice for all, and embrace the protection of the natural world. By the end of September, 1451 hands of visitors to the YCHC from across the United States and around the world were traced and strung across the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center mantel. 2.The curator was interviewed in September, at the request of the NPS, by the BBC for a television show based on historic train travel into Yosemite National Park. The interview focused on the history and present-day campaigns of the Sierra Club. WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS, FIRE, ROCKSLIDES, AND TRAFFIC The season began with extensive snow in the high country, which kept Highway 120 East (Tioga Pass) closed until early July. In addition, 120 West was closed due to a sinkhole that developed on the road and remained closed until repairs could be made in early May. Through April, May, and June concern for possible extreme flooding kept the NPS and all Park Partners vigilant. Temperatures in Yosemite Valley were high throughout July and August (and into September). In July, August, and early September, three extreme fires compromised both air quality and traffic into and out of Yosemite National Park. These fires included a fire in the Mariposa region (Highway 140); the Wawona area of YNP; and the Railroad fire, outside YNP, to the south (Highway 41). At various times 140 and 41 were closed and remained closed for extended periods of time. In addition, several rock falls on Highway 140 closed 140 for several days, until the rocks were removed. On September 27 and 28, two significant rock falls on El Capitan, compromised traffic, due to road closure. During 2017, Yosemite National Park experienced an influx of unprecedented numbers of visitors and their vehicles due in part to the high level of water activity and a growing! 6

7 interest in National Parks. The amount of traffic made it impossible for visitors to park there are simply not enough parking spaces therefore visitors were not able to get out of their vehicles. This and all of the conditions described above are cause for decreased daytime visitation at the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center. YCHC VOLUNTEERS During 2017, the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center Volunteers continued to make full-use of YNP to better serve visitors to the YCHC. The YCHC volunteers did an excellent job representing the Sierra Club during the 2017 season. A special thank you to George Pettit, who, over the years, has been a cornerstone of the spirit of all things YCHC. Without George, the YCHC would not be what it has become and is today. Thank you to Michael Bryant for taking on the name tag and flyer design and preparation for YCHC 2018 The YCHC has been invited to participate in the 2018 Yosemite National Park Earth Day Celebration under the direction of the NPS. A call for approximately 15 new volunteers will be directed to Sierra Club Chapters in November * In closing, at the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, the volunteers and the curator continue to share with our many visitors from across America and around the world and all walks of life, the ideal of inclusiveness engendered by the Sierra Club and its goals for the future, that bring forth the best in all of us to care for each other, seek justice for all, and preserve and conserve cities, suburbs, rural areas and wilderness. END OF REPORT Bonnie J. Gisel, Ph.D., Curator, For the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center and the Sierra Club October 9, 2017! 7