U.S. Forest Service Emergency Actions to Protect Giant Sequoias Are Necessary and Appropriate

Media Contact:
Robin Carr, Landis Communications Inc.
Email: Redwoods@landispr.com | Phone: (415) 971-3991
Save the Redwoods League

San Francisco, Calif. (July 25, 2022) — Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced a necessary emergency action to initiate fuels reduction treatments in the next 18 to 20 months to protect giant sequoia groves from immediate wildfire threats.

Significant investment in wildfire preparedness is of foremost concern to Save the Redwoods League. Climate change and 120 years of fire suppression and exclusion of Indigenous stewardship have left forests and other natural lands statewide vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires. As a result, California’s iconic fire-adapted coast redwood and giant sequoia forests are facing an unprecedented threat.

Statement from Save the Redwoods League President and CEO Sam Hodder:

“Given the unprecedented loss of giant sequoias to severe wildfire in recent years, the Forest Service is making the right move to activate existing emergency authorities under the National Environmental Policy Act to accelerate the critical work of forest stewardship. . The loss of almost 20% of all giant sequoias over 14 months in 2020-2021 is exactly the type of emergency that this provision was created to address.

“There is no time to lose and work needs to be started now. With the vast majority of the 78 remaining giant sequoia groves at great risk, it is essential that we act now to address the unnatural overgrowth that is fueling these destructive fires.

“The current Washburn Fire in Yosemite National Park demonstrated the necessity of this work. We saw minimal impact to the Mariposa Grove after 50 years of active management and prescribed fires in and around the grove. Sadly, very few of the groves have experienced this level of stewardship. Proactive fuels reduction treatment is indisputably the way forward to restore wildfire resiliency to giant sequoia groves across the Sierra.”

“I’ve walked through these forests after the fires, and seen acres of 2,000-year-old trees, blackened and dead. Trust me, it’s not something you easily forget. This is a true all-hands-on-deck moment.”

 


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For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Robin Carr at (415) 971-3991 or redwoods@landispr.com.

 


Save the Redwoods League

One of the nation’s longest-running conservation organizations, Save the Redwoods League has been protecting and restoring redwood forests since 1918. The League has connected generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. The nonprofit’s 29,000 supporters have enabled the organization to protect more than 216,000 acres of irreplaceable forest in 66 state, national and local parks and reserves. For information, visit SaveTheRedwoods.org. For updates, subscribe to our E-Newsletter.


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Interpretive Exhibit About the Famed “Tunnel Tree” Giant Sequoia to open in Calaveras Big Trees State Park on Saturday, July 23, 2022

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Thousands of park visitors passed through the Pioneer’s Cabin Tree on foot and horseback and by carriage and motorcar. But the famous sequoia toppled five years ago, after a period of heavy rain and high winds. A new exhibit commemorates 1,233-year-old fallen “tunnel tree” in Calaveras Big Trees State Park — it opens on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

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