Stoneman Meadow Asphalt Removal

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Stoneman Meadow is a modern remnant of the historical wetland environment that once comprised Yosemite Valley. The construction of roads and pathways around the south portion of the meadow has created discontinuities in surface and ground water flows. An abandoned dilapidated asphalt path bisects the meadow. This path is 200 meters long and approximately 1 meter wide and runs through the meadow at an angle that is perpendicular to the natural flow of water, which in turn alters the natural hydrological regime and the natural distribution of water throughout the meadow, resulting in changes in the native wetland meadow vegetation.

Asphalt will be broken up by hand, with pick axes and shovels, and will be removed from the site by means of wheel barrow. The use of a bobcat may be incorporated if mechanical breaking up of asphalt and removal becomes necessary. The use of the bobcat will be minimized in order to limit disturbance in the meadow.

Project work will take place in July and August, when meadow water saturation is low, in order to minimize compaction of meadow vegetation and soils. Work will be completed by Yosemite Fund volunteers and NPS Restoration crews. Volunteers will remove asphalt from the meadow on August 12-13. This asphalt, approximately 20 cubic yards, will be staged at the Curry Village Ice Rink parking area. On August 14 or 15, a loader and dump truck will be used to remove asphalt from the staging area. All asphalt will be removed from the Park and recycled at a local facility.

This path is a remnant of a larger trail built in the 1860-70's. The removal of this path has been reviewed by the Park's historians. It is not found on the List of Classified Structures or the National Register Nomination for the Valley. Removal of asphalt will have no impact on cultural resources. A site visit to the project area with a Park Archaeologist will occur prior to any work in order to define cultural site boundaries.