Yosemite National Park has received a $12.5m donation to fund 36 projects including improving the visitor experience at Bridalveil Fall.
The donation was made by Yosemite Conservancy, which acts as a fundraising organisation to support Yosemite National Park. Other projects funded by the $12.5m include rebuilding a section of trail around Tenaya Lake and the collection of data using 3D aerial mapping to improve resource management.
“We want everyone’s visit to Yosemite to be inspiring, just like the park itself, today and for future generations. Our grants focus on protecting and preserving the park and enhancing the visitor experience,” said Frank Dean, president of Yosemite Conservancy.
Projects funded by donors to the Conservancy include trail and habitat restoration, wildlife management and education programmes, among others.
In 2018, funding will go towards a major project to restore Bridalveil Fall involving improvements to trails, viewpoints and traffic circulation, and habitat protection at the 188m waterfall in Yosemite Valley.
Another grant will help scientists use data from airborne laser scanning to produce a 3D map of Yosemite to learn about and help manage forest health, drought impacts and rockfall hazards.
“Conservancy contributions catalyse important work in the park, such as projects to repair popular trails and restore meadows; make roads safer for bears; and preserve vast historical collections,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds.
“That work occurs because of the generosity of Conservancy donors and the dedicated employees of Yosemite National Park.”
With grant funding, park aquatic biologists will be releasing native red-legged frogs, and wheelchair athletes will use adaptive equipment to scale rock walls.
On the slopes of Yosemite’s highest peaks, glacier researchers will study the park’s retreating ice fields. In Lyell Canyon, crews will be rehabilitating a critical wetland and rebuilding portions of the John Muir Trail.
Yosemite Conservancy has provided a total of $119m in grants to the national park.
Image: c. Yosemite Conservancy/Nancy Robbins.