National Forest Foundation

Giant Sequoia Work Group

Giant Sequoia Work Group

Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) are an iconic feature of Sierra Nevadan forests and one of the largest living things on earth. Sequoias have featured prominently in the development of the environmental movement.

"Do behold the King in his glory, King Sequoia. Behold! Behold! Seems all I can say.”

John Muir

Giant sequoias are found from Sequoia National Forest to Tahoe National forest on public and private lands. Old growth sequoia groves were threatened for years by over harvest but more recently are threatened by lack of fire and understory thinning, particularly for seedling recruitment but also creating ladder fire fuels and wildfire risk to existing groves.

Staff from various agencies and non-profits have met recently to discuss ways their organizations can collaborate to improve the management of sequoias particularly in the face of climate change. Generally speaking, better exchange and access to research data, exchange of best management practices and coordination among the participating groups were identified as key needs.

Eventually, collaboration with local communities to increase support of management practices and connect locals with the forests and groves will be a sought after objective. The overarching group goal and associated objectives for the plan follow along with some suggestions for key next steps to implement this vision.

Purpose

The group will serve a dual purpose:

  1. Serve as a forum for sharing information and discussing ideas.
  2. Provide an inter-agency framework for regional conservation of giant sequoia

Key questions the group will ask are

  1. Where on the landscape are giant sequoia most/least vulnerable to climate change and other agents of change?
  2. What strategies can be used to resist change and promote resilience to change in the shorter-term?
  3. What strategies can be used to facilitate ecological transition to changing environment in the long-term? Living seed bank
  4. Where and how should the strategies be applied on the landscape?
  5. How should we monitor giant sequoia?
  6. Are there areas where we should be thinking about establishing new groves (assisted migration)?
  7. What on-the-ground climate adaptation and restoration strategies can be implemented to allow giant sequoias to persist in the Sierra Nevada ecoregion?

The giant sequoia group, via agency, nonprofit and community participation and development of the workplan contained herein will seek to influence upcoming forest plan revisions, the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative, resource agency climate adaptation plan, forest plan revisions, National Park Service resource stewardship strategy.

Goal

The general goal of the work group is to improve management, science and communication opportunities assuming this will lead to improved management of existing and future groves of giant sequoia.

Goal: Improve transboundary management, science and communication opportunities throughout the range of the giant sequoia.

The current group of partners for the giant sequoia work group includes: Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, California State Parks, US Geological Survey, Sierra Pacific Industries, Save the Redwoods League and Southern Sierra Partnership and/or the Southern Sierra Conservation Cooperative. Others will be asked to join over time especially additional private landowners.

Projects