People Like Trees: Protecting Giant Sequoia

Sequoia National Park, California.

There are a many things I like about this story: it talks about communities, and not homes.

Hundreds of firefighters were deployed Sunday to protect Tuolumne City and other communities in the path of the Rim Fire. Eight fire trucks and four bulldozers were deployed near Bunney’s ranch on the west side of Mount Baldy, where two years of drought have created tinder-dry conditions.

It also talks about infrastructure

Despite ash falling like snowflakes on the reservoir and a thick haze of smoke limiting visibility to 100 feet, the quality of the water piped to the city 150 miles away is still good, say officials with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The city’s hydroelectric power generated by the system has been interrupted by the fire, forcing the utility to spend $600,000 buying power on the open market.

And measures needed to keep fires out of communities

Fire lines near Ponderosa Hills and Twain Hart are being cut miles ahead of the blaze in locations where fire officials hope they will help protect the communities should the fire jump containment lines.

“There is a huge focus in those areas in terms of air support and crews on the ground building fire lines to protect those communities. We’re facing difficult conditions and extremely challenging weather,” Frederickson said.

And of course people at the end of the day are not wrapped around a philosophical question of “natural” fires and whether fires can every be “natural” with past fire suppression and climate change, they are simply protecting valued trees, even though those trees are adapted to fire.

Values seem like a straightforward way to manage; replicating the past, not so much (like impossible, really). IMHO.

Park employees are continuing their efforts to protect two groves of giant sequoias that are unique the region by cutting brush and setting sprinklers, Medena said.

and in this story:

The iconic trees can resist fire, but dry conditions and heavy brush are forcing park officials to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves. About three dozen of the giant trees are affected.

“All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System,” park spokesman Scott Gediman said Saturday.

1 thought on “People Like Trees: Protecting Giant Sequoia”

  1. Sharon I have been watching media reports about protecting the Sequoias and I think it important to understand Sequoia’s are fire resistant, but not fire proof. If there are ladder fuels in the goves or a strong wind driven fire front hits the gove the trees can be lost. I would have to assume, however, the groves in question have been managed to remove ladder fuels and reduce the chance of a strong fire front hitting the trees .


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