YosemiteLand is a new podcast from Capital Public Radio about how decisions made today in and around Yosemite National Park will impact millions of visitors in the years to come. It’s a region learning how to deal with a changing environment and increased tourism.

Yosemiteland

Episode 1

Selfie Trap

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As tourism increases in Yosemite, how is the park’s identity — its sense of place — changing? In YosemiteLand’s debut episode, Ezra orders Starbucks while taking in majestic waterfalls, meets researchers studying how people experience the park, and looks at how Yosemite’s planners are rethinking popular destinations to make them more sustainable. You'll encounter a bear up close, and Ezra will visit some of Yosemite’s oldest inhabitants: giant sequoias.

Episode 2

Take Me Away

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Traffic in Yosemite during peak tourist months is often compared to rush hour in Los Angeles. Some visitors will often drive around for hours and never find a parking spot. The bottleneck is so bad, it’s now part of Yosemite’s identity. That’s why we’re dedicating our second episode of YosemiteLand to the seemingly intractable problem of gridlock. Join Ezra as he sits in a snarl-up of tourists and learns how all these cars put wildlife at risk. He’ll also explore solutions that could make your future visits less miserable — and help sustain the park.

Episode 3

On The Rock

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A new culture of rock climbers is overtaking Yosemite, including rock stars like Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, who are pushing the sport to the edge by climbing with no ropes. In this episode, Ezra chats with rock climbing legends, explores how gyms are diversifying who climbs, and gets out on the rock near Glacier Point. He also talks with women climbers who are leading the way.

Episode 4

Yosemite On Fire

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It’s peak tourist season, but the most popular spot in Yosemite is eerily quiet. There are no hikers on trails or climbers on cliffs in the Valley. For the first time in nearly 30 years, a wildfire has closed major portions of the park due to heavy smoke. Yosemite Valley will remain shut indefinitely. In this episode, Ezra looks at the future of fire in Yosemite. He hikes with a scientist studying how climate change could drastically transform its landscape, talks with the park’s first female fire chief, and learns about life growing up in a fire zone. Photo via Noah Berger / AP Photo.

Bonus

CapRadio Yosemite Week

CapRadio marked the release of YosemiteLand with a week full of coverage about the park. Click here for interviews with host Ezra David Romero and more stories from the podcast. We'll continue to add bonus materials from YosemiteLand as new episodes are released.