Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), also known as 'Bigtree' and 'Sierra Redwood', is entirely restricted to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the State of California, while coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is restricted to coastal northern California, extending northward slightly into the State of Oregon. Both charismatic species, members of the family Taxodiaceae, have served as important cultural icons in America, and both have played important roles in the history of nature conservation. The two species share important ecological similarities as well as significant differences; these ecological factors have become increasingly important in effecting their conservation, and in developing successful strategies for the long-term sustainable management of the forest communities in which they occur. The bulk of giant sequoia groves occur in reserves protected from logging, while only a small proportion of coast redwoods are similarly protected. For most of its history in the 20th century, conservation has been concerned with protecting uncut 'old-growth' forest stands of giant trees. While this remains of great concern to the public, scientists and reserve managers have, in recent decades, extended their interest to what is known as 'ecosystem management,' which includes all aspects of the natural ecosystems in which coast redwoods and giant sequoias occur. For the first time, attempts are presently beginning - in those areas outside the national parks, state parks, and other reserves, to reconcile some levels of timber harvest with the long-term sustainable preservation of the character and biodiversity of giant sequoia and redwood forests.
Additional Publication Details
Management of Sequoiadendron giganteum and Sequoia sempervirens forests in the reserves of California - considerations of ecology and conservation