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21

Dienstag, 19. Februar 2019, 19:01

Weather closes large part of Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park

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Anyone hoping to see the world's largest tree this holiday didn't get that chance.

Last night, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks closed the Generals Highway, between Potwisha campground and the Giant Forest.

The latest closure came after a brief reopening of the road on Sunday.

Reimer's Candies and Gifts is one of the more popular stopping points before Sequoia National Park.

And despite most of the park being closed due to unsafe winter conditions, workers there say they don't see a dip in business.

Because most visitors aren't aware of the closure until they get to the entrance station.

On Monday, most people turned around.

But others decided to stick around.

And some even tried to wait it out.

"We actually drove to the gate twice yesterday at different times just to double check and then we're like ok we'll try again today," said Carolyn Truong.

Carolyn Truong and Dean Pasternak are from Canada.

The big trees are on their bucket list, but it's not likely they'll see them on this trip-Potwisha Campground is as far as they can go.

They say they'll be back.

"We're hoping to do a West Coast trip one day too where we can just take the whole coast and all the scenery maybe in the summer, so everything is clear," Pasternak said.

The Generals Highway could reopen again soon, so officials with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks advise to call ahead for the latest road conditions.

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22

Mittwoch, 6. März 2019, 19:55

Buck Rock
This hidden fire lookout offers spectacular views of Sequoia National Park.

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Do you like off-roading? Do you like to hike questionable flights of stairs to get to the ultimate 8,500-foot panoramic view of Sequoia National Park? If you do, then Buck Rock Fire Lookout is for you!
Buck Rock Fire Lookout is a hidden gem among an already impressive backdrop. It’s perched 8,502 feet above Sequoia National Park, with amazing views of The Great Western Divide. It is occupied seven days a week by Forest Service personnel so they are able to look for smoke and fire throughout the park. There are 172 steps that you must ascend in order to get to the top, and let’s just say, that’s quite the adventure in itself!

Know Before You Go
Buck Rock is free and open to the public, you just have to find your way there. Your journey starts on Forest Route 13S04, and you will be wondering if you made a wrong turn. Don't worry, keep driving, and after about 2 miles (as you are testing the suspension on your car) you will see your destination in the distance. Low profile cars should not attempt this road.

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...der nun endlich wieder ein Reiseziel vor Augen hat

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Mittwoch, 6. März 2019, 20:14

Ich bin vor einer Weile schon auf "Atlas Obscura" aufmerksam geworden (siehe Ottos Link), als ich deren deutsche Übersetzung ihres Buches in die Hand bekam. Auf der Seite gibt es jede Menge interessante und kuriose Orte zu entdecken. Sehr empfehlenswert!
In diesem Sinne
liebe Grüße von Stefan :-)




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24

Freitag, 5. April 2019, 19:19

A California national park is getting its first cell tower. Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea

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Verizon Wireless has won approval from the National Park Service to build a 138-foot-tall cellular tower in Sequoia National Park to improve cell phone service in that area of the park.
The tower will be a “monopine” design intended to disguise it as a pine tree and it will be built near Wuksachi Village, a developed commercial area in the park. The approval follows almost two years of evaluation since Verizon applied for a permit. It also came after a monthlong comment period in late 2018 in which a majority of public comments opposed allowing Verizon to install the tower.
Verizon’s tower would be the first such installation inside Sequoia National Park, according to data from the Federal Communications Commission. Sequoia’s sister park, neighboring Kings Canyon National Park, has a cellular tower also licensed to Verizon near Wilsonia and Grant Grove. Farther north in Yosemite National Park, there are nine towers that provide cellular service for park employees and visitors, including in Yosemite Valley.
The right-of-way permit for Verizon to build the tower is effective for 10 years.

“Many visitors and park staff will view the service as a welcome benefit for purposes of accessibility, coordination, communication and safety,” the Park Service said in a statement Wednesday announcing the approval at Sequoia National Park.
The agency noted, however, that objections from the public included concerns about how adding more cellular service inside the park could detract from why many people visit in the first place: “solitude, self-reliance, natural soundscapes, and the ability to disconnect from technology, particularly in wilderness.”
Some comments expressed concern about exposure to electromagnetic frequencies from the tower, a possible increase in visitors illegally using cell phones while driving, and disruption of peace and quiet by people talking loudly on their phones.
Opinions seemed split on the design of the tower and a choice between the “monopine” or a bare pole or lattice tower. “The monopine model is the only acceptable alternatives among those presented here,” one commenter wrote. Another added that “the tower’s presence would not be very noticeable, as it would blend in amongst the trees.”
Others disagreed. “These towers do not resemble a pine tree and would easily take away from the beautiful nature that is displayed all around Sequoia National Park,” one commenter wrote.
In documents recommending approval of the project, Sequoia/Kings Canyon park superintendent Woody Smeck wrote that “the selected alternative will not have significant effect on the quality of the human environment or the park’s cultural or natural resources.”
“The NPS has determined that the long-term health, safety, and communication benefits associated with enhanced communications” — including better ability to report emergencies and non-emergency situations by phone — “outweighs the disruption some visitors may experience in response to other visitors’ use of cell phones in public spaces,” according to the Park Service’s environmental assessment.
“While other visitors may view cell phone service as an unwelcome intrusion, the NPS is committed to a public education program to promote considerate use of cell phones in shared public facilities and spaces,” the agency added.

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25

Sonntag, 7. April 2019, 18:57

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Expect Some Late Facility Openings Due to Heavy Snowpack and Hazard Trees

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Visitors and staff at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park have become accustomed to the light winters that the drought has produced. Recent snow surveys show that Sequoia and Kings Canyon is 153% of normal. There are areas that still have 6-10 feet of snow in early April. Another result of the recent drought is the large number of hazard trees in the campgrounds and parking areas that usually open in April or early May.

Azalea Campground closed on Tuesday, April 2, due to the large number of hazard trees in the campground. This is a temporary closure. In an abundance of caution for park visitors, crews are working to address these tree hazards before facilities open for the season. Cutting and clearing these trees is one of the highest priorities for crews at Sequoia and Kings Canyon this spring, as conditions allow. With the closure of Azalea Campground, there are currently no open campgrounds in Kings Canyon. If you are looking for opportunities to camp during this time of year, Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, and South Fork Campgrounds in the foothills of Sequoia National Park are open.

Currently, there is 6-10 feet of snow on the ground in parking lots and around buildings in Giant Forest and Lodgepole. The Main Sherman Tree Parking Area and comfort station are still buried in snow, as shown in the photo. This large parking lot is closed. There is space for about fifteen vehicles to park at the Winter Sherman Tree Parking Area. Many visitors are parking at the Giant Forest Museum parking lot and hiking or snowshoeing the 2.7 miles on the Alta Trail to see the Sherman Tree. Check at Giant Forest Museum for more details and routes. It is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

In Kings Canyon National Park, the General Grant Tree Trail is open. Kings Canyon Visitor Center is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

In Giant Forest and Grant Grove, be prepared for winter conditions. Although forecasts call for 80-degree temperatures in Fresno later this week, the snowpack persists at higher elevations. More storms may be on the way. Please be prepared.

If you’re considering a wilderness trip this year, it’s not too early to start thinking about how this deep snowpack will affect your plans, particularly in the early part of the summer. Some things to expect: challenging route finding, swift creek crossings, icy passes, and delayed grazing opening dates. With the heavy snow year and hazard trees, park staff will continue to monitor and assess conditions and will be pro-active in letting the public know when conditions change; and as we start opening facilities or about additional delays.

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26

Montag, 22. April 2019, 20:06

Spring 2019 in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is kicking off National Park Week this Saturday, April 20th with a fee free day. Visitors can enjoy the parks for free, and are invited to participate in the annual Junior Ranger Day festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Foothills Visitor Center in Sequoia National Park. Complete activities and collect stamps at exploration stations to earn a special Junior Ranger patch. As families prepare for a fun trip to the parks this spring and summer season, there are a number of things to keep in mind for a safe and enjoyable visit.

Wild flowers are blooming and temperatures rising in the Foothills area of Sequoia National Park, but as you drive up into the Giant Forest and Grant Grove, you can expect to see snow and feel the temperatures drop. If you had plans to camp, you’ll also notice that campgrounds like Lodgepole or Azalea, both of which would typically be open this time of year, are currently closed due to hazard trees and late season snow.

Campgrounds
Campgrounds in all areas of the parks are affected by hazard trees, a tree that has a structural defect that makes it likely to fail in whole or in part, posing a threat to anyone in the vicinity. Years of drought have generated over 5,600 dead trees near campsites, roads, and buildings. Out of nearly 1,200 campsites in the parks, only about 300 are expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend. In an effort to get campgrounds opened as quickly as possible, tree crews will be leaving the wood behind to gather or burn at a later time. Visitors are welcome to use this wood for campfires, unless fire restrictions are in place.

The only open campgrounds in the parks are Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, and South Fork in the Sequoia foothills. All other campground are closed at this time. A new park webpage has been developed to help with trip planning that reflects the most current information on new estimated open dates

River Safety
Snow surveys show that sites within the parks have approximately 141% of the April 1 average water content. This means that as snow melts, our rivers become dangerously swift with rushing cold water. At lower elevations the river can seem appealing on a hot spring day, but the park urges visitors to enjoy areas of the parks that are away from the rivers.

“Many drownings in the park happen when people walking along the river’s edge slip and fall in,” Chief Ranger Ned Kelleher said, “Please use extreme caution while near the river, avoid slick rocks, unstable banks and areas where you could accidentally fall in.”

Getting in the river or going near it could create a life or death situation. Snow melt is causing creeks and rivers to rise. Even the best swimmers can find themselves in a difficult situation under the current water conditions.

Wilderness Travel
As you plan your early spring trips into the parks’ wilderness, think about how the large snow pack may affect your plans. Some things to expect: challenging route finding, steep snowfields on passes and swift creek crossings. Warmer temperatures are also causing snow to melt and creeks are running high. Avoid walking on areas of unsupported snow (snow bridges), these are often over creeks and rivers, and are very unstable. When these collapse under a person they can be swept away and drown. Observe conditions carefully and then evaluate the risk of crossing. Be prepared to turn back.

Wildlife
It is very important that visitors store food properly and not approach bears of any size. Bears can grab unattended food or easily break into cars. They become bold and sometimes aggressive in attempts to get more. All food or anything with a scent must be stored out of sight in the trunk of a vehicle or a food storage locker, and trash must be disposed of in bear-resistant cans and dumpsters.

In an effort to protect Peregrine nesting, a section of the east face of Moro Rock is closed to rock-climbing from April 1, 2019 to August 15, 2019, between and including, The Couch Trip and Full Metal Jacket routes.

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27

Donnerstag, 9. Mai 2019, 18:56

National Park hears need for deaf tours

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For the first time ever, those who are deaf or have hearing loss will be able to experience the underground wonders of a National Park through a guided tour especially designed for them.
The Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service announced it will begin tours for visitors who are deaf or have hearing loss later this month. The Conservancy and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks worked together to create the tour to better serve a wider range of visitors using grant funding from the National Environmental Education Foundation.
The tour contains eight videos in American Sign Language and provides safety information and interpretive descriptions at key points throughout the tour. This is the first tour of its kind in a national park cave. The grant also provided for the purchase of assisted listening devices.
These devices amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Headsets with induction neckloops are also available for visitors who use hearing aids and cochlear implants with a “T” switch. These devices are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis. These tours are available to visitors starting on the opening day of Crystal Cave, May 24.
After passing through the iconic spiderweb gate, visitors are welcomed with a brief history of the cave and given an overview of the unique features and formations within. Progressing deeper on paved, lighted pathways, the tour pauses to listen to the water moving about and observe fantastic rooms and formations formed over the last 1.2 million years. At the deepest point of the tour, visitors gather as the lighting is turned off, and they experience the cave in absolute darkness.
Crystal Cave is the second-largest of 300 known caves in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the fourth largest in California. At just over three miles of surveyed passageway, this remarkable marble cave has been open to the public for tours since 1940.
Sequoia Parks Conservancy is the official nonprofit partner of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Lake Kaweah, working hand-in-hand with the National Park Service to support projects including trail improvements, educational programs for the public, and the protection of wildlife and their natural habitat.

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28

Freitag, 28. Juni 2019, 19:20

Road Construction Promises To Slow Travel Through Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks

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Visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks in California this summer will find going slow at times as road work along the Generals Highway brings out orange cones and flaggers.
The work, along 16 miles of the Generals Highway that ties the two parks together, will take place the next two years during the summer construction seasons. This year, the expected work consists of drainage improvements and culvert replacements. Work is to begin July 8.
The work is to start at the Generals Highway and Highway 180 junction in Kings Canyon National Park, progressing south along the Generals Highway through Sequoia National Forest, and concluding at Little Baldy Saddle in the northern area of Sequoia National Park. This project will also include repaving the Wolverton Road from the intersection with the Generals Highway to the Wolverton trailhead parking lot, as well as pulverizing and repaving the 16 miles of roadway mentioned above.
All national park and U.S. Forest Service areas along the construction zone will remain open throughout construction. This includes resorts, campgrounds, and organization camps.

Delay Schedule
Delays are expected to be minimal and range up to 30 minutes for the beginning of the 2019 construction season. Delays up to one hour and night closures can be expected as work progresses; the public will be notified as those changes take place.
As work progresses, there may be more than one delay along the 16-mile construction zone, but the combined duration of these delays will not exceed the expected delay times listed in the work schedule. If delay times of up to 30 minutes are specified, it may be three separate 10-minute stops, or just one 30-minute stop.
Work is scheduled Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Up to 30-minute delays. Flaggers will control traffic. Northbound traffic passes first, followed by southbound traffic. No delays expected on weekends and holidays.
For the latest updates on the Generals Highway construction project and delay schedule, visit the parks' construction website.

History of the Generals Highway Construction Project
The Generals Highway was completed in 1935 and is the primary artery through Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. The Generals Highway was a narrow and winding road not designed or constructed for travel by contemporary vehicles. In 1993 the design and reconstruction of the entire 28-mile Generals Highway began and was completed at the end of 2018.

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Mittwoch, 4. September 2019, 21:34

Food Service Improvements Made At Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks

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Some improvements to food services at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks in California are designed to offer visitors more choices, nicer meal settings, and grab-and-go options.
The improvements by Delaware North were part of an extensive, multi-year plan to enhance the properties. Delaware North has operated in Sequoia National Park since the late 1990s, and at Kings Canyon National Park since 2013.
Recent improvements to the dining experience include:
The new, open-air Wuksachi Pizza Deck at Wuksachi Lodge, featuring outdoor firepits, views of Mt. Silliman, and the opportunity to dine under the stars, amid the smell of pine and the sounds of the forest. Wuksachi Pizza Deck serves a variety of hearth-baked pizzas, organic salads, and craft beers.
The addition of a solar-powered, grab-and-go food cart in Sequoia National Park called The Sherman Shack, thought to be one of only a few in national parks. Located in the parking lot near the General Sherman Tree, The Sherman Shack provides visitors convenient eating options during the summer season, serving several Trail Ready Meals, including sandwiches, salads, and snacks ranging from trail mix to muffins. All items are produced in house daily to ensure customers are always receiving the freshest food.
Renovations to Lodgepole Café, including the addition points of service to speed up ordering and consolidation of the grill and deli into a single concept offering the full menu. Among the new menu additions are fresh-made grab-and-go sandwiches and salad options using primarily local sustainable ingredients.
In 2017, Delaware North completed a 10-month, $6.4 million rebuilding of Grant Grove Restaurant in Kings Canyon National Park. The restaurant was redesigned and reconstructed using sustainable materials and construction techniques, and it earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council.
“Visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks deserve a hospitality experience that’s befitting of these extraordinary places,” said Lance Wellwood, regional vice president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts division. “The upgrades that we’ve made over the past few years will ensure our guests continue to have a first-class experience every time they stay or dine with us.”
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. Delaware North’s operations in the parks include Wuksachi Lodge, the Wuksachi Pizza Deck, The Peaks Restaurant and Lodgepole Café in Sequoia; and the John Muir Lodge, Grant Grove Cabins, Cedar Grove Lodge, Grant Grove Restaurant and Cedar Lodge Grill in Kings Canyon.

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Sonntag, 15. Dezember 2019, 22:07

VIDEO: Bear jumps onto car on way to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

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Imagine how scared you would be if a bear jumped onto your car, feet away from you!

Taylor Hawkins sent KFSN a video of just that happening on Thursday afternoon.

Hawkins was on her way to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park when she had stopped in a long line of vehicles.

That's when a bear sauntered over to the car right in front of hers, took a look at the trunk, and then clambered up on top of it.

Seconds later, it got spooked, jumped down and ran off.


But it didn't go far.

The unusually fearless - or unusually hungry - bear stopped on the grass just near the edge of the road and looked back at the car for a few seconds.

Hawkins recorded the whole encounter on her phone. She says no one was hurt in the incident.

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Sonntag, 19. Januar 2020, 20:42

Beetles and fire kill dozens of 'indestructible' giant sequoia trees

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Deadly interaction between insects, drought and fire damage have forced California’s park officials to trigger climate crisis plans intended for the 2050s

Giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms on the planet – some more than three millennia old – have started dying from beetle attacks linked to the climate emergency, the preliminary findings of a new study have revealed.
The deaths of the trees, some of which lived through the rise and fall of hundreds of empires, caliphates and kingdoms – not to mention the inauguration of every US president – have shocked researchers in their speed and novelty.
In Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks in the Sierra Nevada, California, 28 giant sequoias have died from a seemingly deadly interaction between bark beetles, drought and fire damage since 2014, according to a joint National Park Service and US Geological Survey study that will be published later this year.
Beetle attacks appear to have killed the trees in previously unseen ways, claiming mature standing giant sequoia trees known as monarchs. In addition to the beetle attacks, high-severity fires strengthened by drought and decades of natural wildfire suppression have killed 12 giant sequoias since 2015 in the national parks.
The deaths have challenged age-old assumptions about the tree, which only grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and is fabled for its near-indestructibility, attracting visitors from across the world.

“It’s unheard of. It’s never happened before,” said Dr Christy Brigham, chief of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, who oversees the welfare of ecosystems in the parks. “You think giant sequoias don’t die in fire, you think giant sequoias can’t be killed by insects. That’s not true any more.”
According to more than 100 years of records preceding California’s 2012-16 drought, sequoia trees either died by falling over or suffering near total crown scorch in wildfires, never while standing upright. But since the historically hot and dry drought, researchers have recorded trees dying “from the top down” with the notable presence of bark beetles in their crown.
Although the number of trees that have died is a small proportion of the approximately 6,000 sequoias in the park, Dr Nathan Stephenson, the US Geological Survey forest ecologist who conducted the research, said he expected more to succumb to beetle attacks if, as expected, droughts become more severe and frequent in the future due to the climate crisis.
“I don’t expect a threshold to be passed, at least in my lifetime, when there’s suddenly gigantic outbreaks taking out whole groves of giant sequoias. I suspect it will be [beetles continuing to hit] the most stressed sequoias but they will be doing more sequoias, because there will be more stressed sequoias.”
Stephenson said while there were no beetle attacks marked in park records, he suspected it might have happened before “deep in history”, but more needed to be done to understand what the insects were doing to the trees.

“It’s unheard of. It’s never happened before,” said Dr Christy Brigham, chief of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, who oversees the welfare of ecosystems in the parks. “You think giant sequoias don’t die in fire, you think giant sequoias can’t be killed by insects. That’s not true any more.”
According to more than 100 years of records preceding California’s 2012-16 drought, sequoia trees either died by falling over or suffering near total crown scorch in wildfires, never while standing upright. But since the historically hot and dry drought, researchers have recorded trees dying “from the top down” with the notable presence of bark beetles in their crown.
Although the number of trees that have died is a small proportion of the approximately 6,000 sequoias in the park, Dr Nathan Stephenson, the US Geological Survey forest ecologist who conducted the research, said he expected more to succumb to beetle attacks if, as expected, droughts become more severe and frequent in the future due to the climate crisis.
“I don’t expect a threshold to be passed, at least in my lifetime, when there’s suddenly gigantic outbreaks taking out whole groves of giant sequoias. I suspect it will be [beetles continuing to hit] the most stressed sequoias but they will be doing more sequoias, because there will be more stressed sequoias.”
Stephenson said while there were no beetle attacks marked in park records, he suspected it might have happened before “deep in history”, but more needed to be done to understand what the insects were doing to the trees.
Fire is vital to ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada mountains, clearing the forest floor and allowing new seedlings to establish themselves. The sequoia tree needs slow burning fire to reproduce, but decades of fire suppression has meant that burns have not taken place in some parts of the forest for over a century.
As a result, the buildup of fuel in the forest means that when fires do take place, they are more intense than usual, killing sequoia trees in the process.
“For the sequoias that died in fires, it’s a combination of past management practices plus the hotter drought that ganged up to kill so many,” Stephenson explained. “Sequoias have died in past fires when it hasn’t been an extreme hot drought, but it was fewer. Again, it might be a warning shot across the bow that if it continues to warm as projected, you might get more severe, longer-lasting, hotter droughts and sequoias will be exposed to those kinds of wildfires.”
Tens of millions of trees have died across the US, ravaged by pests, wildfires and the effects of the climate crisis, research in August found. In February 2019, the US Forest Service announced 18m trees had died since 2017 in California, bringing the total to more than 147m for the years since the drought began in 2010.

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32

Montag, 3. August 2020, 19:30

Bears are stealing food in Sequoia and Kings National Park, rangers warn

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park rangers are warning visitors about bears in the parks.

Parks officials say there have been reports of bears taking food from backpackers along the Rae Lakes Loop.

The rangers remind all visitors, for the safety of themselves and the wildlife, that all food and other scented items should be stored in bear-resistant containers at all times.
The national parks say more wild animals were spotted roaming within their grounds during closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, including bears.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park have since reopened its campgrounds to visitors with a reservation.

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33

Dienstag, 11. Mai 2021, 19:34

Riesenmammutbaum glimmt immer noch

Die Waldbrände von 2020 haben im Sequoia-Nationalpark von Kalifornien Spuren hinterlassen – und sind offenbar immer noch nicht ganz vorbei.

Zitat

In Kalifornien haben Mitarbeiter des Sequoia-Nationalparks einen Riesenmammutbaum entdeckt, der auch ein Jahr nach den verheerenden Bränden noch immer glimmt und raucht.

Wissenschaftler und Feuerexperten hätten die Schäden des Feuers im Sequoia-Nationalpark begutachtet, als sie den noch schwelenden Riesenmammutbaum entdeckten, teilte der Park am Mittwoch mit. Sie gingen davon aus, dass die Ursache dafür die Waldbrände vom vergangenen Jahr sind.
Der Baum sei isoliert und keine Gefahr für seine Umgebung oder Parkbesucher, hieß es. Die Tatsache, dass sich in manchen Gebieten immer noch Qualm entwickle, zeige, »wie trocken der Park ist«, wurde Leif Mathiesen, der Feuerexperte des Nationalparks, zitiert. Angesichts des geringen Schneefalls und Regens in diesem Jahr könne es noch weitere Bäume in ähnlichem Zustand geben.

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34

Sonntag, 19. September 2021, 20:03

"General Sherman" wird eingewickelt

Rettungsaktion für den weltgrößten Baum

Zitat

Noch immer toben Waldbrände in Kalifornien, darunter im Sequoia Nationalpark. Dieser ist bekannt für seine riesigen Mammutbäume. Hier steht auch der größte Baum der Welt – und er ist in Gefahr.

Feuerwehrleute kämpfen im kalifornischen Sequoia-Nationalpark nicht nur gegen die Flammen, sondern versuchen auch viele der alten, majestätischen Bäume zu retten. Dabei lassen sie nichts unversucht. Nach einem Bericht des Guardian wickeln sie die unteren Bereiche der Mammutbäume mit feuersicheren Planen ein. Das metallisch schimmernde Material, das auch bei Schutzanzügen verwendet wird, soll verhindern, dass die Flammen den Stamm entzünden. Das Material wurde seit vielen Jahren schon erfolgreich bei Häusern am Tahoe-See verwendet, um sie gegen Feuer zu sichern.
Unter den Schützlingen befindet sich "General Sherman", der nach Volumen größte Baum der Welt. Er misst 1.487 Kubikmeter und 48 Meter hoch. Benannt wurde er nach einem General aus dem amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg. Das Alter des Baums wird auch 2.300 bis 2.700 Jare geschätzt.
Der Nationalpark wird derzeit vom KNP Complex Feuer bedroht. Dieses besteht aus zwei Waldbränden, die von Blitzschlägen ausgelöst wurden. Sie erstrecken sich über 10.000 Quadratkilometer, etwa halb so groß wie das Bundesland Hessen. Das Feuer gilt als moderat, weil es weitgehend am Boden brennt und keine größeren Feuerstürme verursacht hat.

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Sonntag, 17. Oktober 2021, 21:48

Kings Canyon to partially reopen Monday. Sequoia National Park likely to remain closed until 2022

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Most of Kings Canyon National Park will reopen Monday after firefighters successfully contained the northern front of the still-active KNP Complex Fire, which has scorched 87,000 acres across California's sequoia country.

Most of Kings Canyon National Park will reopen Monday after firefighters successfully contained the northern front of the still-active KNP Complex Fire, which has scorched 87,000 acres across California's sequoia country.
The announcement comes days after the Tulare County Sheriff's Office lifted evacuation orders for Grant Grove Village and Wilsonia, both located inside the famed park. The fire is 45% contained as of Friday afternoon.
Those wanting to visit Sequoia National Park will have to wait until at least 2022, park officials said. Firefighters and decades of prescribed fire saved General Sherman, the world's largest tree, but the KNP Complex severely damaged roadways and park infrastructure.
All developed areas of Sequoia National Park - including Giant Forest - will remain closed as a result, park officials said.
No running water will be available in Kings Canyon until its water systems are restored after damage caused by the KNP Complex. Visitors must bring enough water with them to meet their needs during their visit, Public Information Officer Rebecca Paterson said.
Restrooms with plumbing will also be closed until water lines are repaired. Portable restrooms will be available where there are no vault-style toilets.
Kings Canyon is initially opening for day use only. Camping will only be allowed in the park's wilderness areas. Rangers hope to open the popular Azalea Campground in Grant Grove in time for winter.
There is no timeframe for when Sequoia National Park may welcome visitors back, Paterson said. With fire still actively burning in many areas of the park, teams have not been able to assess the extent of the damages the KNP Complex has caused.
Park leadership hopes to have a reopening timeframe by mid-November. Sequoia will likely remain closed until at least January 2022, officials said. Landslides and dead trees falling on the roadway are key concerns that will have to be addressed before the park can open to the public, Paterson said.
“We are acutely aware that local communities rely on national park visitors to support their economies and countless livelihoods. When the parks are closed, this leaves many without or with a drastically reduced source of income,” said Clay Jordan, the parks' superintendent, in a news release.
He added that park employees live in gateway communities and are personally invested in their success.
"We are extremely motivated to mitigate this crisis and reopen the parks as soon as it is possible to do so responsibly," he said.

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Mittwoch, 27. Oktober 2021, 20:39

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Correct Misinformation Regarding Hazard Trees Along the Generals Highway

Zitat

Information about the preliminary estimate of 10,000 hazard trees located along a portion of the Generals Highway has been reported widely since it was announced at a community meeting on October 21, and then reiterated in a subsequent news release. These trees have been widely, but incorrectly, reported to be giant sequoias, which has prompted the parks to issue this clarification.

There are many hazard trees, which were weakened, damaged, or killed by the KNP Complex, along park roads. Between Grant Grove and Lodgepole, preliminary estimates from last week indicate that that there are as many as 10,000 such hazard trees along this section of the Generals Highway. Hazard trees along other parts of the Generals Highway, and along other roads in the parks, also likely number in the thousands. These estimates will be refined in the coming weeks.

These hazard trees are located in mixed conifer woodlands, and include pine, fir, cedar, and other tree species. While there are likely sequoias among the hazard tree count in some areas, sequoias account for a small percentage of the total count. To be clear, the approximately 10,000 hazard trees that have been reported as targeted for removal because they threaten facilities and public safety are not, by and large, giant sequoias.

The parks are in the early stages of assessing fire effects within the footprint of the KNP Complex, with the help of a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team. The parks expect to have more detailed data to report by mid-November. These preliminary estimates show the large scale of the work that must be done before the parks can responsibly restore a normal level of public access.

While the parks intend to reduce these hazards, this doesn’t mean that all fire-compromised trees must be removed before roads can be reopened. The need to cut and remove trees will be determined area by area, and will vary based on how intensely each area burned, and other factors like slope in relationship to the roadway. Tree removal is being done with consideration of environmental impacts, including potential impacts to endangered species, and in accordance with law and policy. Future updates and news releases will document more specific information about the mitigation actions being taken to address these hazard trees, as well as other post-fire hazards in the parks.

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Freitag, 6. Mai 2022, 20:23

Cedar Grove Scheduled to Open May 9 in Kings Canyon National Park

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The Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park is scheduled to open on Monday, May 9. This area had originally been scheduled to open on April 22, but was delayed due to a significant rockslide on a portion of Highway 180 in Sequoia National Forest.

This is the time of year when snowmelt makes rivers in the parks swift, cold and dangerous. Warmer weather can make rivers an appealing place to recreate, but we urge visitors to be cautious. Avoid getting too close to the river's edge as rocks can be slippery. Most river fatalities are from visitors unintentionally falling into the river.

PG&E will be in the Cedar Grove area this summer to complete a project started in 2021. Visitor impacts should be minimal, but there may be traffic delays of up to 15 minutes in May and June.

Services in Cedar Grove do not open until later in May, including the visitor center and market. For information about services and things to do in Cedar Grove visit our website nps.gov/seki. For the most current road conditions call the parks’ information line at (559) 565 -3341, press 1, and then press 1 again.

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38

Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2022, 22:56

Trail of 100 Giants reopens Friday as forest officials prep for California wildfire season

Zitat

One of Earth's most famous and beloved giant sequoia groves is reopening to the public eight months after it was first threatened by the massive Windy Fire.
The Trail of 100 Giants located within the Giant Sequoia National Monument will officially welcome back visitors on Friday, Sequoia National Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson confirmed to the Times-Delta this week.
"I'm just so grateful that we still have this area here for people to enjoy," she said. "People come from all over the world to experience the wonder of these trees."
Benson said the trail stands as a "little island of green" amid the destruction of the Windy Fire, which along with the 2020 Castle Fire killed up to a fifth of the world's mature giant sequoia trees.
"You walk through the grove and there's wildlife thriving; birds are chirping away," she said. "You just are so thankful that those trees, some of which are 2,000 years old, are still standing tall."
There was no guarantee that the much-loved monarchs would survive in one of the world's most visited groves, which former President Bill Clinton declared a national monument in 2000.
Last October, the trail became the site of a dramatic scene when firefighters scaled a 150-foot-tall sequoia tree in order to spray the crowns of nearby burning sequoias, saving them from the Windy Fire's incinerating heat.
Inside the monument, foresters fell dead trees and burn them every year, clearing the area of heavy fuels. This annual action, Benson says, is what spared the trail from the Windy Fire's destruction.
A similar story played out in nearby Sequoia National Park. Fire officials credited three decades of prescribed burning for saving General Sherman, the Earth's largest tree by volume, from the KNP Complex Fire.
The KNP and the Windy fires were both ignited by a massive September lightning storm that caused dozens of fires up and down the state. Together, the two fires burned more than 300 square miles across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, the trees' only natural habitat.
While the Windy Fire was contained in November, its damage sent massive sequoias toppling over onto roads and campsites, shuttering the forest for months. Many areas of the forest that burned at high severity remain closed.
Sequoia National Forest has received about $30 million in grants to help rebuild infrastructure and complete fuel-reduction projects in the wake of the fires, according to the Forest Service.

'A lot of fuel up there'
On Saturday, a bipartisan group of congressmen visited the forest to learn about the fires and the Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition, a group formed to help preserve and protect the iconic species.
"Our visit to Sequoia National Forest showed us the effects of devastating wildfires on sequoia groves and informed us as lawmakers about how we can protect this beloved species," Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) said in a news release, adding that he is working to craft legislation that would bring more resources to prevent wildfires.
With an ongoing drought afflicting the Sierra and fire season just around the corner, Benson says the forest is also ramping up its supply of seasonal firefighters.
"There's still a lot of fuel there," she said. "There are still a lot of areas that could burn, and people just need to be aware of that."
People visiting the trail should also be aware of their surroundings and look out for falling branches and dead trees on the road, District Ranger Brandell Patterson said.
A portion of the trail where the fire burned a bridge will remain closed, she added.
"Otherwise, it looks really beautiful up there," she said.

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