A natural resource condition assessment for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Appendix 11a: giant sequoias

Natural Resource Report NPS/SEKI/NR--2013/665.11a
By: , and 



For natural resource managers in the southern Sierra Nevada, giant sequoia requires very little introduction. It receives great attention as an icon of western forests and as a common namesake with the areas where it occurs. While it is a single component of a very complex system, its attention in this assessment and in general is well deserved. Giant sequoia is one of the few "destination species" that attracts a wide swath of the public by nature of it simply being present. It draws people, who otherwise may not travel, to a natural environment. The result is an expansion of the public’s sense of natural resource stewardship. Because park managers could not achieve their mission without public support, this fostering role of giant sequoia is critical for park natural resources and is important for natural resources in general.

Despite its social relevance and physical size, we re-emphasize here that the giant sequoia resource is a relatively small component of the ecosystems of the southern Sierra Nevada. As is the case with all of the resources assessed in the NRCA, we focus on giant sequoia with the understanding that other resources will be considered simultaneously when evaluating management decisions that impact giant sequoia. While we attempt to explicitly address the interaction of giant sequoia with other resources and stressors, we also realize that ultimately managers will integrate much more information than is presented here when making decisions that influence giant sequoia.

The autecology and management issues surrounding giant sequoia have been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere (Harvey et al. 1980, Aune 1994, Stephenson 1996). Stephenson (1996), in particular, should be reviewed when considering any management decisions that potentially impact giant sequoia. For those who may not be familiar with giant sequoia ecology, a summary of basic information is provided in a table below. In some parts of this assessment, we reproduce text from Stephenson’s review because it is still relatively current for addressing some of the stressors. Numerous recent studies reported since 1996 have confirmed and expanded the understanding of giant sequoia, especially in areas related to ecophysiology and the effectiveness of restoration treatments. These recent studies are integrated into this assessment. Additionally, much unpublished work has been done that is useful for establishing baselines and evaluating trends. This work is presented in detail in order to expand upon previous work and to inform the final assessments. Instead of providing an introductory description of giant sequoia distribution and the various landowners who manage groves, we refer readers to the more recent descriptions provided by Stephenson (1996) and Willard (2000). Some of the relevant points from these descriptions with respect to giant sequoia within SEKI and Giant Sequoia National Monument (GSNM) include:

- Of the native giant sequoia grove area in SEKI and GSNM approximately 38% is within SEKI and 62% is within GSNM.

- 35 of the groves that make up the entire population are all or partially managed by SEKI and 33 are managed by GSNM.

- As we have done above, reviewers addressing giant sequoia widely recognize its transcendence beyond an ecologically important species to one with considerable added cultural value.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title A natural resource condition assessment for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Appendix 11a: giant sequoias
Series title Natural Resource Report
Series number NPS/SEKI/NR--2013/665.11a
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher National Park Service
Publisher location Fort Collins, CO
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description vii, 81 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title A natural resource condition assessment for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Kings Canyon National Park;Sequoia National Park
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