Project overview: Produce new films for the popular Yosemite Nature Notes series — a full-length episode on Tenaya Lake, a shorter piece on trails, and completion of film started in 2021 on Pacific fishers — as well as related educational materials.

How your support helps: The Yosemite Nature Notes documentary series invites viewers not just to take a virtual visit to Yosemite National Park, but to delve into some of the Sierra Nevada’s most fascinating ecological, geological, and human stories, through short (7- to 10-minute) but captivating videos. One episode takes you up to Yosemite’s enigmatic “sky islands,” alpine plateaus that harbor rare plants; another examines frazil ice, the slushy frozen mist that forms in creeks and rivers when conditions are just right. The series explores efforts to protect bighorns and monarch butterflies, investigates ghost towns and night skies, and travels all over the park, from the summit of Half Dome to glacial ice retreating on remote slopes.

The series, which launched in 2009, was inspired by and bears the name of our predecessor organization’s print periodical. (The printed Yosemite Nature Notes ran from 1922 to 1985 and offered insights from park naturalists, rangers, and researchers.) So far, Conservancy donors have funded 33 of the video series’ 39 episodes. The series has been viewed more than 10 million times.

This year: In 2022, your support will help the Yosemite Nature Notes series continue to grow and explore new topics. With your help, Steve Bumgardner, the Yosemite-based filmmaker behind the series, will work with the National Park Service to complete projects that were derailed by COVID — including a Pacific Fishers episode started in 2021 — as well as begin work on a new short “Trails” trailer and produce one new full-length (7-minute) video on Tenaya Lake.

Looking for Yosemite Nature Notes episodes? Visit the Latest News section of our site, or find them on YouTube.

Project partners: Yosemite National Park and Steve Bumgardner (filmmaker)