Curry Village Ecological Monitoring Reference Site Establishment

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As part of an on-going data collection effort for the Floodplain Restoration and Visitor Experience Environmental Assessment, monitoring wells and vegetation plots have been installed in the proposed project area. These data are being used to determine the condition of pre-settlement ecosystems and processes that occurred in the area of flooded campgrounds and could be used to facilitate the restoration of these sites.
In addition to monitoring sites within targeted restoration areas, reference sites would be examined in each of the main vegetation types found within Yosemite Valley: meadow, meadow-oak savannah, upland conifer forest, and deciduous riparian forest.
Four pits, approximately 6 feet deep, 2 feet wide and 4 feet long and four monitoring wells (adjacent to the pits) requiring holes 6 feet deep x 6 inches in diameter would be dug in the Curry Village Orchard Parking area. An excavator would be used to dig the pits and hand augers would be used for the monitoring wells. Once a pit has been dug, the soil profiles would be examined and the pit would be refilled. For the monitoring wells, after the hole has been augured, a 2" plastic pipe (PVC) with a cap is placed in the hole. Since these will be located within a parking area, the wells would be enclosed within a covered utility box so that cars can drive over them.
The reference plots and wells would be located in the Curry Village Orchard parking lot. Wells would be placed between the historic fruit and oak trees so as to not damage the root systems. Soil pit/monitoring well locations would be cleared through cultural resource monitors as well as utilities staff. Flagging would not be used to mark the wells but if any flagging were used during the project, the park's flagging SOP would be adhered to. Interpretive staff will be contacted for any needs for public information on the project.
Similar soil pits and wells were dug under CE 2004-039 in 2004.