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Volunteers pick apples Monday at Yosemite National Park

August 14, 2009 |  3:17 pm


Yosemite National Park visitors might want to lend a hand on Monday picking apples in the Yosemite Valley orchards.

The annual volunteer event, at Curry Village Apple Orchard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Lamon's Apple Orchard near Valley Stables from 2 to 5 p.m., is intended to reduce temptation for bears to enter the area and, by extension, prevent human encounters with the animals.

Removing the apples encourages bears to return to their natural food sources in the park. Yosemite has had a significant decrease in bear incidents since the apple-picking program began more than a decade ago.

There will also be National Park Service rangers and biologists on hand to discuss Yosemite bears and answer questions.

All ages are welcome to participate, though volunteers younger than 18 need to have an agreement form (also available on-site) signed by a parent or legal guardian and those 14 and younger need to have an adult present.

Volunteers should plan on bringing their own drinking water and snacks as well as a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. More information is available on the event flier or by calling (209) 379-1850.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Volunteers gather apples at Yosemite National Park. Credit: U.S. National Park Service