Bridges of Yosemite Valley

National Treasures

Bridges of Yosemite Valley

  • Location: Yosemite National Park, California

The National Park Service is preparing a comprehensive management plan for the Merced River, which flows through the heart of Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately, three historic Rustic Style bridges, built in 1928 and 1932, are being considered for removal and face an uncertain future.

In 1864, Yosemite became the nation’s first park devoted to the protection of natural scenery. Today, nearly four million visitors a year journey to its spectacular centerpiece, the seven-mile-long Yosemite Valley, framed by the world-famous Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. A Merced River Management Plan should protect the river while preserving its iconic and historic bridges.

Yosemite National Park also boasts one of the earliest stone rustic buildings in a national park. The Parsons Memorial Lodge is a popular destination with summertime visitors to Yosemite National Park. Built in 1915 by the Sierra Club, the Lodge has been the site of the Parsons Memorial Lodge Summer Series since 1992, drawing more than 1,400 people on weekend afternoons to enjoy inspiring speakers and performers in Tuolumne Meadows. A $97,000 grant from Partners in Preservation: National Parks will support needed restoration work at Parsons Memorial Lodge to reverse damage done by high elevation weather.

Campaign Goals

  • Work with the National Park Service to protect the historic bridges over the Merced River
  • Use the bridges of Yosemite Valley to raise awareness about threats facing historic structures, both in parks and along hundreds of waterways classified as Wild and Scenic Rivers

Success!

The National Park Service released on February 14 the final plan for managing the federally-designed ‘wild and scenic’ Merced River; the good news is the plan does not call for the removal of any of the Yosemite’s historic stone bridges—which has been the focus of our advocacy on Yosemite National Park.

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