Hiking along the Merced River, you might notice songbirds and small mammals, or even catch a glimpse of a recently reintroduced western pond turtle or California red-legged frog. Functioning wetlands are critical habitat for many Yosemite species, but in some cases, development has taken a toll on aquatic ecosystem health.

In 2018, park crews began a project to restore wetland habitat in Royal Arches Meadow, in eastern Yosemite Valley, where long-abandoned infrastructural elements have fragmented the ecosystem. Grant-supported work included conducting site visits and archeological surveys, delineating the wetland area, surveying the meadow’s plant life and hydrology, removing invasive vegetation and conifers, and using ground-penetrating radar to locate underground human-made features.

Your gifts helped lay the groundwork for repairing a Yosemite Valley meadow that will provide habitat for wetland animals and allow visitors to experience a thriving natural aquatic environment.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park.

Joy Baccei

Wetland Restoration Program Manager

Project Notes

It is important to do this project now to provide potential critical aquatic habitat for special-status wildlife species being introduced: the California red-legged frog and western pond turtle.