Yosemite National Park Facelift Yields Over 20,000 Pounds of Trash

Approximately 1,150 Yosemite Facelift volunteers collected approximately 5,000 pounds of litter and 15,000 pounds of concrete, asphalt, and other large trash, at the ninth annual Yosemite Facelift event in Yosemite National Park.  Dozens of miles of roadway, riverbed, and trails were cleaned.  The annual event was held in the park from Tuesday, September 25 through Sunday, September 30, 2012.

Over the past eight years, Facelift volunteers have made a huge impact on significantly eliminating small trash throughout Yosemite National Park. The areas that have been regularly cleaned during each past event have
yielded less and less small trash.  Therefore, this year, Facelift volunteers were able to focus on a number of large-scale special projects throughout the event.

“The annual Yosemite Facelift is an event we treasure, and look forward to each year.  Since Facelift began, we have noticed that there is incrementally less litter accumulated each year.  We feel this is a direct result of the park’s educational program and efforts through Facelift and we are extremely proud of this,” remarked Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent.

One of the special projects Facelift volunteers focused on was cleaning trash and other items from the base of the Half Dome Cables and along the side of the dome where the cables are installed.  Throughout the year, hikers climbing the cables accidentally drop hundreds of water bottles, shoes, cameras, and other small items.  Many of these items cannot safely be recovered and remain on the side of the dome.  Facelift volunteers skilled in technical rope and high angle skills were able to successfully collect hundreds of pounds of small trash from this hard to reach area.

Another special project Facelift volunteers were able to complete included picking up trash that had accumulated along the steep cliffs adjacent to the Tunnel View vista in Yosemite Valley.  Throughout the year, hundreds of pounds of trash and other items have collected along steep cliff sides lining the famous view of Yosemite Valley.  Much of this trash could not be removed without protective gear due to the steep angle of the cliffs. Facelift volunteers successfully removed all of the trash along a quarter mile stretch at Tunnel View.

Other special projects included removing old culverts from Lower Rivers Campground in Yosemite Valley, cleaning up at the base of popular rock climbing routes throughout the park, assisting in removing invasive plants throughout the park, and removing old telephone wires in Yosemite Valley.

Missing Employee Located Alive

Yosemite Search and Rescue located missing employee, Jessica Garcia, in the early afternoon on October 9 after she had been missing for two days. Although injured, Garcia is alive, and has been transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation. She was found less than two miles up the South Fork of the Merced River in the southern portion of the park near Wawona where she was scheduled to begin working on Sunday.

Approximately 50 people were involved in the Search and Rescue operation, including six dog teams, 15 ground searchers, a mounted Park Ranger, a helicopter crew and many others. Many thanks to all of the people who contributed to this happy ending.