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Photo of a typical day at the Big Oak Flat Visitor Contact Station; visitors experience waiting in a significant line at the restroom.

Replace the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex

Yosemite National Park » Replace the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex » Document List

The National Park Service plans to improve visitor services, address deferred maintenance, improve safety, and increase operational efficiency at the Big Oak Flat welcome center complex. The environmental assessment for the project has been released and the comment period is open until December 20, 2018 (click the "open for comment" link on the left side of the screen to view the document and comment).

The Big Oak Flat entrance serves about one million visitors annually, with the welcome center serving over 50,000 annually. Big Oak Flat welcome center complex (formerly called the Visitor Contact Station) provides a public restroom, information, campground reservations, wilderness permits, bear canister rentals, and retail sales. It also currently serves as the district law enforcement office. The project will improve visitor orientation and safety, reduce lines, and upgrade accessibility and utilities.

The purpose of the action is to replace the existing welcome center complex at the Big Oak Flat entrance to improve visitor experience and operational efficiency. Action is needed because the existing facilities do not meet visitor demands, and NPS staff struggle to provide quality public service due to inadequately sized and ineffectively organized facilities.

The EA describes and analyzes one action alternative to improve visitor experience, address deferred maintenance, improve safety, and increase operational efficiency at the welcome center complex. The preferred alternative would:

• Construct a new welcome center to unify services to replace the existing buildings
• Construct a new adequately sized comfort station to replace the aging, undersized one
• Construct a plaza between the welcome center and the comfort station to house information
• Reconfigure the existing parking lot to decrease vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and congestion
• Construct an unpaved staff parking area along Tuolumne Grove Road to reduce congestion
• Install a sewer connecting the welcome center to the Hodgdon septic system
• Provide the option for the addition of a water tank and access road at a later date

We welcome your comments, ideas, and suggestions. Click the "Open for Comment" link on the lefthand side of this screen to provide your comments. The public comment period is open through December 20, 2018.