Yosemite Valley Prescribed Fire Notification – October 21st, 2005
The National Park Service announces plans to conduct a prescribed fire in the east end of Yosemite Valley, weather and air quality conditions permitting, on Friday, October 21st.
This unit is 13 acres and the project should be completed in one day.
This project is significant for many reasons. Yosemite fire managers and the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation are completing this project together for mutual benefit. It will provide important community protection as well as the many ecological benefits of fire on the landscape.
A specific goal of this project is to restore the wetland in the area by clearing conifers (ponderosa pine and incense-cedar) that have encroached and therefore lowered the water table. This creates a drier environment that continues to benefit conifers.
A second goal is the removal of the non-native Himalayan blackberry through timed burning. The Himalayan blackberry is very invasive and is choking out native, ethnographic resources that typically grow in this unit. For this reason, the prescribed fire is designed to achieve both ecological and cultural goals.
Monitoring plots are in the unit to determine the effectiveness of the fire on the unit as well as other methods that are being used in this restoration project. For example, plots will help determine if prescribed fire followed by removing Himalayan blackberry at the root system is more effective than fire alone.
The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Anthropogenic fires clear meadows and open the canopy for sun-loving species like the black oak –a staple food source for the indigenous people of Yosemite Valley.
Smoke impacts are possible– particularly through the east end of the valley including the valley campgrounds, the Ahwahnee, and Curry Village. People should use caution when exerting themselves in smoky areas.
For further information:
・ Yosemite’s Fire Information Office: 209/372-0480.
・ Yosemite Fire Management Website: www.nps.gov/yose/fire (D. Schweizer – 10/20/05)