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 already designated for development 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. He added that any decisions about how to use those areas is expected to take several years.
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.
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 at yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-415-434-1782.