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Yosemite Releases Tuolumne River Plan

Posted: 03/21/2014
By: Megan Hooker

Yosemite National Park has announced that they will open opportunities to enjoy the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne by kayak. On Friday, March 14th, Yosemite National Park released their Final Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, stating that boaters on this reach will be managed under the established overnight wilderness permit system.

The run will start at Pothole Dome below Tuolumne Meadows and end at Pate Valley. Exact details about put-in, take-out, portage trails and landing/no-landing zone locations will be determined in the near future in consultation with the boating community, tribal interests and National Park Service resource experts. Boaters making the run will be required to carry their boats 3 miles to the put-in, and carry them 8 miles from the take-out at Pate Valley to the White Wolf trailhead.

Boating on this run is being introduced on a trial basis, and the Park Service will monitor activity and adjust the guidelines and management actions as needed (i.e., flow restrictions, seasonal closures, group size and equipment restrictions, and wilderness camping regulations). The Park has also made it clear that if boaters violate the prohibition on boating on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the Grand Canyon run may be temporarily or permanently closed.

While we’re pleased that boaters will be able to legally boat the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne between Pothole Dome and Pate Valley, we’re disappointed that the plan continues to prohibit boating on the rest of the river. Unlike the Merced River Plan, which places boating on an equal footing with other similar activities within the Park, the Toulumne River Plan excludes boaters while allowing other similar uses to continue. At this point, it is unclear why the Park adopted a fundamentally different approach on the Tuolumne River Plan.

Stay tuned for more updates about put-in and take-out information. We’ll update you when more details are available.

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