We need your help to secure the future for California’s giant sequoia forests. Giant sequoia hold a special place in the hearts of Americans, and these incredible forests are an iconic destination for people across the globe. The California wildfires of 2020 killed thousands of giant sequoia, a historically unprecedented loss fueled by decades of fire suppression that allowed for the unnatural buildup of highly flammable undergrowth. Fully half of the Giant Sequoia remaining in the world are stewarded by the US Forest Service in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Please ask the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, for immediate action to protect giant sequoia groves from the types of severe wildfires that threaten the future of these natural treasures. Your voice will make a tremendous difference.
Giant sequoia evolved to thrive with fire that occurs about every eight to 15 years. The protective bark of a mature tree can be up to two feet thick, and fire helps sequoia cones open and release seeds, fostering reproduction. That’s the way it worked until the early 20th century when land managers began suppressing fire in the Sierra Nevada.
The resulting overgrowth, coupled with climate change, has now created a dangerous situation for giant sequoia. The recent SQF Complex/Castle Fire burned through roughly one-third of the entire giant sequoia range, and about 40% of those acres burned at a high enough severity to kill the oldest trees. Burned giant sequoia don’t resprout from their roots like coast redwoods do. When they die in a fire, they’re gone for good.
Among the measures that the Forest Service could take are the increased use of prescribed (low-severity) burns and manual removal of undergrowth to restore natural conditions.
Please send your message to Sec. Vilsack today asking the U.S. Forest Service to begin immediate measures to protect the giant sequoia.
President and CEO
Save the Redwoods League