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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Last month National Park Service officials made headlines when they announced their plan to remove the historic names from many of Yosemite National Park's treasured amenities, like the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village, it sparked a public outcry.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Some popular Yosemite landmarks including the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village will soon be getting new names thank to a lawsuit over intellectual property associate with the park.

Longtime concessionaire Deleware North contends that it owns the trademark to the names, and wants $50 million from the new concessionaire Aramark, which takes over March 1st. The National Park Service disputes the trademark claims. Scott Gediman is the Yosemite spokesperson.

Rockfall Closes Highway 140 In Yosemite

Jan 7, 2016
National Park Service

A rockfall early this morning below the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite National Park has closed Highway 140. Massive boulders are currently blocking the roadway, which is near the site of the 2014 Dog Rock Fire. The road is currently closed from the park entrance to the junction of Highways 120 and 140. 

It's unknown when the roadway will re-open. Services in El Portal are still open. The rockfall happened at about 5:45 A.M. Thursday morning, following several wet El Nino storms. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about El Niño related storms that have begun to hit the region. Daniel Swain joins the conversation. He runs the website Weather West, which has provided a unique California weather and climate discussion since 2006. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University.

Scott Lange and Nick Foster / http://www.darkskyphotography.com/

Imagine for a moment hiking the majestic John Muir trail in the High Sierra from Yosemite to Mount Whitney. Now imagine doing it in the middle of the night, with a load of sophisticated cameras, tripods and telescopes. That’s just what Scott Lange and Nick Foster did last summer, all in an effort to produce breathtaking long-exposure nighttime images of heavens and the landscape. 

www.alexhonnold.com

Alex Honnold is a real life Spiderman. He’s climbed heights like El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. But what sets him apart from other climbers is that he leaves ropes and carabiners behind. In this interview FM89’s Ezra David Romero speaks with Honnold about his new book Alone on the Wall detailing 20 years of climbing history.  

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The California Department of Public Health is investigating a case of human plague after a child was hospitalized following a visit to Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest.

The child from Los Angeles County stayed at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite in mid- July. The child, whose identity has not been released, was the only one ill among family members. State health officials said Thursday that the child is recovering.

'Wild' Draws Huge Crowds To The Pacific Crest Trail

Jul 14, 2015
Lesley McClurg / Capital Public Radio

The Pacific Crest Trail runs two-thousand-six-hundred-fifty miles from Mexico to Canada. Usually a few hundred hardy souls make the trek every year. But, this year about ten times that number are attempting the arduous journey. Lesley McClurg hiked a section of the trail to find out what’s driving its popularity.

The Tuolumne Meadows post office in Yosemite National Park is packed. Ragged hikers wait in a long twisting line outside. 

Google

For years, Google users have relied on the company's popular "Street View" technology to get a sidewalk level view of shops and restaurants. Now that concept is going vertical, with a unique 360-degree digital trek up Yosemite's El Capitan with some of the world's top climbers.

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The contract to run concessions in Yosemite National Park - everything from gift shops to the Ahwahnee Hotel - is the largest in the National Park System. And soon, a new company could be running those amenities, with a new contract worth an estimated $2 billion. 

Last week Yosemite officials announced that Aramark has been selected to be the park's new concessionaire, replacing Delaware North, which has run operations in the park since 1993. The move sparked a flurry of discussion about what the move means for park visitors. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The National Park Service announced Wednesday that Yosemite Hospitality, LLC, a subsidiary of Aramark, will receive a 15-year contract for visitor services in the park. Park officials say the deal is valued at $2 billion in gross revenues over the life of the contract. 

Park spokesperson Scott Gediman says while changes in concessions are common in other national parks, this deal is unique.

Gediman: "This is the largest single concession operation in the National Park System."

Caltrans

A popular route into Yosemite Valley is about to get a makeover. FM89's Joe Moore reports on the effort t fix damage that happened nearly 10 years ago.

In May 2006, a rockslide in the Merced River Canyon severely damaged Highway 140 between Briceburg and El Portal. Caltrans eventually reopened the road later that year with a temporary detour around the unstable mountain of rock, but that temporary detour is now almost a decade old. 

Two climbers died May 16 as they attempted a wing suit flight in Yosemite National Park. Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were BASE jumping, a sport that involves parachuting from a fixed structure.

www.nps.gov

Thousands of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep once called the Sierra Nevada home.  Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on the latest efforts in restoring the species to their natural habitat.

It’s a good day for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, which was thought to be extinct 100 years ago in Yosemite National Park. Two herds were relocated to Yosemite and Sequoia national parks this week from other parts of the Sierra.

Dana Dierkes is the spokesperson for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Yosemite National Park

Often when we hear news about threatened or endangered species, it’s bad news – populations dwindling, and species struggling to survive. But last week there was a bit of good news, when park wildlife biologists made an amazing discovery. For the first time in nearly 100 years, the rare Sierra Nevada red fox was spotted in Yosemite National Park last month. It’s a major milestone for a species that is thought to consist of only 50 individual animals.

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