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Public Comment Sought for Environmental Assessments

The public comment period for the Draft Curry Village and East Yosemite Campgrounds Improvement Project and the Draft Yosemite Lodge Area Redevelopment Project Environmental Assessments (EAs) will be open from September 12-October 11, 2003.

The Curry Village and East Yosemite Campgrounds Improvement Project implements the planning guidance outlined in the Yosemite Valley Plan (YVP). This project addresses needs associated with increased visitor use, aging of existing facilities, and improvements required to address flood damages to portions of the project area that occurred in 1997.

Among the actions proposed in the Draft Curry Village and East Yosemite Campgrounds EA are additional cabins with bath and the removal of some tent cabins in Curry Village, restoration of most of the Curry Orchard to natural conditions (including the removal of the non-native apple trees), and increasing the number of campsites in the East Yosemite Valley area.

In accordance with the General Management Plan and the Yosemite Valley Plan Record of Decision, the National Park Service is undertaking a comprehensive redevelopment of the Yosemite Lodge area, including redevelopment of Yosemite Lodge, redesign of Camp 4 walk-in campground, and relocation of Northside Drive. In addition, the National Park Service in partnership with the American Indian Council of Mariposa County (aka Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation) is developing an Indian Cultural Center.

The Northside Drive reroute will help to solve the current traffic/pedestrian situation at the Lower Fall intersection and create a vehicle free zone in the Camp 4, Yosemite Lodge, and Lower Yosemite Fall areas.

The Camp 4 redesign/expansion maintains the character of existing Camp 4, adds two rest-rooms, and, in the preferred alternative, adds a free standing climbing display building and a common cooking pavilion.

The Yosemite Lodge area would include increasing the total rooms to 251, removing all buildings from the 100-year floodplain, and, in the preferred alternative, a new pedestrian promenade linking the Lower Yosemite Fall and Yosemite Lodge areas

The Indian Cultural Center would provide for a traditional tribal presence for the American Indian Council of Mariposa County (aka Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation) to continue their traditions in Yosemite Valley. It would provide a ceremonial roundhouse, sweatlodge, cedar bark umachas, and a community building.

A public open house will be held in Yosemite Valley, East Auditorium on September 24 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Submit comments to Superintendent, PO Box 577,Yosemite, CA 95389, by fax to 209-379-1294, or by e-mail to Yose_planning@nps.gov. The documents may be reviewed at www.nps.gov/yose/planning.