Yosemite Valley Fern Spring Wayside Exhibit

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This project is a second phase of the Fern Spring restoration project. This wayside exhibit interprets the natural cycles at Fern Spring, the cultural ties of the American Indian tribes, and promotes resource protection. Language has been reviewed and refined with subject matter experts and has the approval of the Chief of Resources Management and Science and the Chief of Interpretation. Tribal consultation was initiated on 5/1/07. Comments were received from Mono Lake Kutzadikaa who suggested using the Indian name for Fern Spring, naming the person in the photograph, and separating the last two sentences into its own block. We will incorporate the last 2 suggestions. Upon research in the Yosemite Research Library, no Indian name for Fern Spring was discovered. If a reliable source is provided for an Indian name, we can include it. This will potentially happen on June 25, 2007, when American Indian C MC is meeting to review the sign language and sign placement.

The parking area where the sign is proposed is going to be reconfigured during the rehabilitation of the Valley Loop Road. Michael Pieper, project manager, has been consulted and feels as if ordering and placing the sign now will not be a concern. It is very easy to take the sign out and move it, if needed, during the rehabilitation project which is scheduled to begin July 9. Additionally, it takes 6 weeks to fabricate the sign, so if this project is approved to move forward and the sign is ordered on July 1, installation will not take place until at least August 6, which may nicely coincide with this project. Coordination with Michael Pieper will continue.

The panel installation requires one post hole to be dug approximately 18" long x 12" wide x 20" deep and a concrete footer poured. It will be within the road corridor in a previously disturbed area, along the fence to the right of the spring. Consultation with archeology staff has revealed that this should not impact underground cultural resources.

There are currently plant restoration signs in place along the fence, which the Chief of Resources Management and Science has indicated can not be removed. Additionally, she has indicated that the redwood sign that labels Fern Spring is historic and it also cannot be removed. Dennis Waheed at the sign shop believes that this sign is at least 25-30 years old, and it has been refurbished several times in the past 3 decades. Upon researching historic images and publications in the Yosemite Research library, the project manager nor the park librarian were able to determine exactly when the sign was placed. We do know that the area was improved in the 1930s by the CCC and it is possible that the sign dates back to this time.

The project manager will coordinate with the park Historic Landscape Architect to ensure that the placement of the sign fits well with the cultural landscape.