As of 5 pm on September 17, 2020, Yosemite National Park is temporarily closed due to impacts from wildfire smoke. See the park’s website for details.

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Yosemite National Park, October 23, 2018 — Yosemite Conservancy has purchased 356 acres of wilderness and vacant land in Yosemite West, a rural community that shares its borders with Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest.

“We’re excited to preserve a large tract of natural habitat,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean. “We will work with the community, the National Park Service, Mariposa County and others to determine the best long-term uses for the land.”

Dean said that 37 acres zoned for residential use near the Yosemite West entrance may be used for residences to help alleviate the local housing shortage for Yosemite Conservancy and National Park Service personnel.

The previous owners bought the property in the 1960s and unanimously selected Yosemite Conservancy over other candidates that were likely to develop vacation homes on the property. The Conservancy’s Board of Directors approved the $1.75 million purchase and the transaction was completed in early July.

Dean said there was no damage to structures in Yosemite West resulting from the 97,000-acre Ferguson Fire during July and August, but that a separate portion of the land purchased for wildlife habitat partially burned in a mosaic fashion.

Yosemite West in Mariposa County is accessible from within Yosemite National Park by Highway 41, near Glacier Point Road in the western area of the park. The land sits along the Henness Ridge high above the banks of the Merced River and features rugged and undulating forest and creek areas. The Yosemite West community includes a mix of more than 175 private residences and vacation homes as well as condominium units rented to park visitors.

About Yosemite Conservancy

Yosemite Conservancy inspires people to support projects and programs that preserve Yosemite National Park and enrich the visitor experience. Thanks to generous donors, the Conservancy has provided $119 million in grants to the park to restore trails and habitat, protect wildlife, provide educational programs, and more. The Conservancy’s guided adventures, volunteer opportunities, wilderness services and bookstores help visitors of all ages to connect with Yosemite. Learn more: yosemite.org or 1-415-434-1782.

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Clarification: A previous version conveyed in the third paragraph that “37 acres are already designated for development.” The update clarifies that the 37-acre parcel has been historically zoned for residential use. It is currently vacant land.

Media Contacts (Yosemite Conservancy)
Peter Bartelme: 415-664-1503, pb@prstrategies.com
Jennifer Miller: 415-434-1782, jmiller@yosemiteconservancy.org