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Yosemite National Park, October 3, 2011 – Yosemite Conservancy provided $9.3 million in support to Yosemite National Park during the last year to fund projects and programs ranging from trail restoration and wildlife protection to art, youth, and educational programming.

“People are incredibly passionate about providing for Yosemite’s future. Their support for the park
makes a lasting difference in improving people’s experiences and protecting it for future generations,” said Mike Tollefson, Conservancy president.

Speaking at the Conservancy’s Fall Gathering at the historic Wawona Hotel in Yosemite last Saturday, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher recognized the importance of the Conservancy’s role. “This generous support is essential to making possible projects that preserve, protect and enhance the park’s natural condition and the visitor experience,” said Neubacher.

More than 50 projects and programs received support during the last year throughout the park. For
example, $1.3 million went to 11 Youth in Yosemite programs on education, mentoring, wilderness exploration and park restoration. At Tenaya Lake, one of Yosemite National Park’s most popular summer destinations, $850,000 in contributions is restoring wetlands and improving beach access. The 90-year-old fountain in front of the Wawona Hotel was rehabilitated thanks in part to Conservancy supporters.

Tollefson said that outdoor, arts and theater programs “forge deeper connections with park visitors of all ages to create lasting memories and encourage stewardship of the park.” Dozens of accomplished artists reach more than 2,000 park visitors annually through Yosemite Conservancy’s Art in the Park programs. Yosemite Theater performances at the Valley Visitors Center entertain and educate more than 10,000 visitors each year. Sales from Conservancy bookstores, which sell items like trail maps and education books and videos, are poured back into Yosemite. At park Wilderness Centers, Conservancy staff members also provide bear canister rentals and backcountry permits. Outdoor Adventure programs and Conservancy volunteers reach nearly a half million visitors annually.

About Yosemite Conservancy
Yosemite Conservancy is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the protection
and preservation of Yosemite National Park and enhancement of the visitor experience. The Conservancy works to restore trails, protect wildlife through scientific research and habitat restoration, and offers outdoor programs that provide visitors with unique ways to connect with the park. It has funded projects in areas including trail and habitat restoration, wildlife protection, education, volunteering, and the production of award-winning books and DVDs. Learn more at yosemite.org or call 1-800-469-7275.

Peter Bartelme, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-664-1503, [email protected]
Jennifer Miller, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-434-1782, [email protected]
Scott Gediman, National Park Service, 209-372-0248, [email protected]
Kari Cobb, National Park Service, 209-372-0529, [email protected]