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ACTION ALERT–Help to open Yosemite to boating!

Posted: 02/08/2013
by Megan Hooker

Yosemite National Park is currently seeking the public's input on how the Wild and Scenic Merced and Tuolumne Rivers will be managed in the future, including the question of whether to open paddling within Yosemite National Park. The Park's current policy is to prohibit boating on all rivers within the Park except for a short segment of the Merced in Yosemite Valley and a segment of the South Fork Merced downstream of Wawona Swinging Bridge. The Park is considering numerous alternatives for managing boating on the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers, and we're pleased to see that some include opening boating. Unfortunately, the Park's Preferred Alternatives for both rivers keep the long-standing prohibition on paddling in place between Sentinel Beach and Pohono Bridge and in the Merced Gorge on the Merced River, and also continues to ban paddling on the entire length of the Tuolumne River. American Whitewater believes that all rivers within the Park should be open to paddling. 

 
Paddling is human-powered, place-based, low-impact, quiet, non-consumptive, skill-based, and Wilderness-compliant. In short, it is exactly the kind of activity and experience that the Park system was created to foster. Banning boating on our public rivers doesn't line up with National Park System policy, and prohibiting paddling on Wild and Scenic Rivers is inconsistent with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Boaters should be allowed the freedom to choose whether or not to experience all of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers given their individual skills and abilities.
 
Now is the time for the Merced and Tuolumne to join the numerous other rivers in the National Park System that are open to paddling. The Park needs to hear from you about whether the Wild and Scenic Merced and Tuolumne Rivers should be open to boating and why! If you need help getting started, take a look at a sample letter. You can view the Wild and Scenic River Draft Comprehensive Management Plans and Environmental Impact Statements for the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers. 
 
How to Submit Comments
 
Online at the Park Planning, Environment and Public Comment Site for the Merced and Tuolumne.
 
Via fax: 209-379-1294
 
By mail: Superintendent 
Attn: Merced and Tuolumne River Plan
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389.  
 
Public comment is open until March 18, 2013 for the Tuolumne River Plan, and until April 18, 2013 for the Merced River Plan. 
 
Attend a Public Meeting
 
Webinars will be held February 14th and 27th for the Merced.
 
Public meetings will be held throughout the state for the Tuolumne River Plan between February 19-27, and late February and throughout March for the Merced. For more information about webinar and public meeting dates, times and locations, visit the Public Meeting Page for the Merced and Public Meeting Page for the Tuolumne
 
With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening these stunning and amazing rivers to the public!


Associated Rivers

Documents

Associated Projects

Yosemite Whitewater (CA)
AW advocates for opportunities to enjoy the unique and spectacular rivers of Yosemite National Park.