In Yosemite, 90 percent of water comes from snow, making it the life force of the park’s varied ecosystems. About 70 percent of the park is lower than 8,500 feet; snow levels below that elevation are decreasing. In order to make informed decisions regarding natural resources and sensitive species such as giant sequoias, Yosemite toads, Pacific fishers and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, park scientists and managers need better information about the relationship between snowmelt and water availability.

With your support in 2014, scientists built a predictive snow model for the Tuolumne and Merced watersheds, drawing on state-of-the-art monitoring stations to measure changes in snowpack and the amount of water available. Data collected through this project helps park managers understand how changes in precipitation patterns are affecting Yosemite’s landscapes and species.

With your help, Yosemite scientists are leading the way in cutting-edge research to protect the park’s — and the earth’s — natural resources.

Partnering with UC Merced.

Jim Roche


Project Notes

This project will help build a foundation of data that will help us understand how snow dynamics affect water availability for Yosemite’s forests, including the iconic Mariposa Grove.