Year in (P)review: 2017 Grants

Year in (P)review: 2017 Grants

Yosemite Conservancy donors are funding 34 new grants to the park in 2017, including support for wildlife management, habitat restoration, the Ask a Climber program, new tents for Search and Rescue volunteers, and much more.

What's it like to climb one of Yosemite's iconic granite walls? Find out at the Ask a Climber program, funded by Conservancy donors. Photo: Courtesy of NPS.

Here at the Conservancy, we stick to a straightforward (but always worthwhile) New Year’s resolution: To continue inspiring people to connect with and support the park.

Our donors help us work toward that resolution every year — and in 2017, they'll be funding 34 new grants to benefit Yosemite. You’ll be able to see that commitment firsthand in …


Yosemite Valley. Stop by the Ask a Climber program near El Capitan to get answers to your big-wall questions, and then head to Camp 4 to see the new tent cabins that provide improved housing for Search and Rescue volunteers. Just west of there, a traditional roundhouse will be taking shape at the Wahhoga Village site.

Take a scenic break at the historic Valley View (also called Gates of the Valley), which is being restored to reveal more of Bridalveil Fall and other iconic features. As you venture east, look for California red-legged frogs and western pond turtles, two species at the heart of a project to restore rare aquatic species, and say hello to volunteers collecting seeds and planting milkweed — they’re helping improve habitat for native pollinators.


Wawona. Go see the restored Mariposa Grove, expected to reopen in early November 2017. While you’re there, you might catch crews working on the Washburn Trail, which will follow part of a historic stage route from the South Entrance to the sequoias. 

Hikers follow the John Muir Trail through Lyell Canyon, where a restoration project will continue restoring meadow habitat in 2017. Photo: Ted Hunting.


Ackerson Meadow. By documenting the species that live in the 400-acre meadow, which became part of Yosemite in September, scientists are creating an inventory to inform future conservation efforts.


the high country. In the Cathedral Range, search for signs of endangered bighorn sheep (or for biologists on field surveys as they work to protect that iconic species). In the Clark Range, you might run into a California Conservation Corps crew of 18- to 25-year-olds restoring trails. Go bird-watching in high-elevation meadows, where scientists are studying owls and songbirds, or hike through Lyell Canyon, where crews are restoring wetland habitat.


Going to great lengths (and heights!) to capture stunning shots for the <em>Yosemite Nature Notes</em> series. Photo: Courtesy of Steven Bumgardner.

and everywhere else! You’ll find evidence of our donors’ gifts at work in every corner of Yosemite. Look for Preventive Search and Rescue volunteers offering safety tips; for youth program participants, from junior rangers to undergraduate interns; for adventurers exploring new terrain through the No Limits program; and for representatives from Yosemite’s 15 international sister parks.


While you’re exploring, drive slowly — the three bear cubs orphaned last year when a vehicle struck their mother on Tioga Road are returning, equipped with GPS collars so wildlife managers can keep an eye on them. By sticking to the speed limit and making sure your food is stored properly, you can help protect the cubs and other wild animals in Yosemite.

Time to head home? Keep up with the action even when you're far from the Sierra Nevada, by checking out live updates about flying mammals on the park's new “bat channel” and watching the latest episodes from the Yosemite Nature Notes video series.

Yosemite Insider