Yosemite Fund webinar

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

On Tuesday, the Yosemite Fund (YF) held a live webinar for interested parties. It was their first ever and I applaud them. As I tried to log on, I got ERROR messages. Aarrgghh. Later, the Tech support person gave me the correct link.   Then the phone number they gave to ask questions on-line went to an unrelated company. So I did not hear the very beginning and not sure who was speaking. But I assume it was Mike Tollefson, the President of YF. The audio was accompanied by several nice pictures that I did a screen grab on for future use. (See the one above.) They reviewed the 2009 Projects. The “Signature” project was the Half Dome overlook on Hwy 120 – on your right as you get close. As seen above, they improved the parking area and put a bronze relief sculpture of Half Dome. Pretty cool. Other 2009 projects were: *Yosemite Falls Bronze Relief, *Bear Lockers, *Visitor Center improvements, *Film: “Spirit of Yosemite”, *Olmstead Point improvement, *Ask a climber program, *Thomas Hill center in Wawona, *Great Grey Owl program, *Peregrine Falcon Program, *Trail work, * “Social trails”,  *Mariposa Grove exhibits.

2010 will see $5.5M spent on 34 prroects. The Signature project will be Programs for Youth. *YCC Youth Conservation Corp, *CCC California Conservation Corp, *Jr Ranger Program, *Merced Intern Program, *SCA Students Conservation Assn, *Big Horn Sheep Program, *Nic Fiore memorial, *Wilderness Restoration, *Tioga Road trailheads improvement, * Mariposa Grove improvements.

A brief overview of the pending consolidation of YA and YF into the planned Yosemite Conservatory was given. There will be a blending of board members and 2 new committees to focus on Retail and Education. The YA office will remain in El Portal. Other plans are still fluid. Both boards will be briefed in December. Sounds to me like YF is the driving force and will mostly be in control.

Other info: After the Ken Burns NPS show, YF saw a 66% increase in website traffic. Donations also spiked. The NPS bought 11 acres near the current Mariposa Tourism Center. Congress must approve the integration into the park service. It might house a new expanded Visitor Center. The NPS got $800M in Federal stimulus funds in 2009. The Glacier Point road improvements were paid for out of that. Social Networking may come into place in 2010.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Dream it, Plan it. Do it.” – Adventure magazine tag line.
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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