Rafting the Merced River
Have you ever taken a leisurely float down the Merced River in Yosemite Valley? As you may have heard, the park is currently working on a plan for the Merced River that calls for a change in the way visitors use the river in Yosemite.
River rafting is a popular way to cool down on a summer afternoon while enjoying some of the iconic sights from a unique perspective. How many people can enjoy the river at once without over-crowding it and harming the ecosystem?
In the draft version of the Merced River Plan, the preferred alternative calls for the removal of raft rentals, and proposes a permit process for private rafts and flotation devices.
Because different sections of the river have different designations, the number of permits would vary depending on which section of the river you’d like to be on. In Segment 2, the section that includes Yosemite Valley, the plan calls for restricting boating to 100 people per day using private vessels only on specific stretches of the river.
You can review rafting details for the Yosemite Valley segment in the draft plan (pdf) on p. 8-250, and justifications for some of the proposed changes are in a table on page 8-260.
What do you think?
Submit a comment to the National Park Service. The comment period is open until April 18, 2013. Your comments matter. Public input has strongly helped to shape the draft plan, and it’s important for everyone to continue to provide feedback for the next phase as planners develop a final plan. Learn more about the Merced River Plan.
Housekeeping Camp bridge in snowPhoto: Theresa Ho
Have you been paying attention to the sweeping changes being proposed for Yosemite National Park? The park has set up some webinar and public meeting times to help you understand what is being proposed. Now is the time to voice your opinions on the park’s ideas for traffic and parking, lodging options, number of campsites, and services like the availability of bike or rafting rentals!
The National Park Service has released alternatives for two new plans for Yosemite. One of these plans, the Tuolumne River Plan (TRP), contains proposed changes for the Tuolumne high country, and the other, the Merced River Plan (MRP), proposes several options for Yosemite Valley and the Merced River.
To help you understand the proposed plans, the Park Service has made both documents available online (MRP and TRP), along with summaries and charts to help you understand what is going on. You can also attend one of a series of webinars and public meetings (MRP and TRP) to help give you an overview of the plans and answer any questions you might have.
You have only until March 18 to comment on the TRP, and the MRP public comment period closes after April 18, 2013.
You can read the official NPS press release here.