The National Park Service has announced grants totaling $12 million from the Yosemite Conservancy in support of nearly three dozen maintenance and research projects in or related to Yosemite National Park.
The thirty-four projects include construction of a new trail to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias along a historic nineteenth-century stage-coach route; the restoration of bee, butterfly, and hummingbird habitat; a study of species in Ackerson Meadow, the newest area of the park; and a study of monarch butterflies — one of the most prolific international migratory animals and a candidate for the Endangered Species List — and other pollinators designed to shed light on why their numbers are declining. Yosemite is a refuge for pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, all of which play an essential role in healthy ecosystems but are experiencing worldwide declines due to habitat loss.
Another project will see scientists release Western pond turtles and red-legged frogs in the Yosemite Valley as well as yellow-legged frogs in the park's alpine lakes in an attempt to boost the numbers of those species. "Incredible work is being done in Yosemite to protect habitat and wildlife and to make it an even better experience for visitors through our successful partnership with Yosemite National Park," said Yosemite Conservancy president Frank Dean. "Gifts from Yosemite Conservancy donors make this important work possible."