Irreplaceable Trees

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, along with Yosemite Valley, was the first federally protected scenic area in the country (1864).

Yosemite Conservancy began an ambitious multi-year project to protect these magnificent giants for the future. Restoring Mariposa Grove aims at reversing over 146 years of development by balancing visitor needs with ecological protection. It identifies the best strategies for protecting the Grove while creating a peaceful and tranquil visitor experience.

Today, park scientists are closely monitoring animal populations that live within the Grove’s special ecosystem, including Pacific fishers and the only known breeding female in the park who has her pups in and near the Grove. Scientists are collecting data on Grove hydrology, as roads, trails and underground facilities have dramatically changed the water flow that these trees depend on. The park is also analyzing vehicle and pedestrian circulation patterns to help craft an improved model that will protect the fragile root systems of these trees.

Learning from the Past

Yosemite’s Wawona Tree became a famous tourist attraction in 1881 when a tunnel was cut into it, allowing cars to drive through. It fell in the winter of 1968-69. The tunnel, among other factors, contributed to toppling this 2,100 year old giant.

Restoration Benefits Grove and Visitors

Both sequoias and visitors will benefit as a result of the project work.

  • Restoration efforts focused on areas where giant sequoia habitat has been disturbed
  • Improved grove ecology based on protecting the fragile root systems of these giant sequoias
  • Reinforcing the majesty, dignity and importance of these monarchs from the past will help visitors have a higher quality experience in the Grove

1,000 to 3,000 Years to Grow a Similar Tree

With your continued support we can help prevent these trees from falling. It is hard to comprehend, but if one of these trees topples, it would take between 1,000 and 3,000 years to grow a similar tree in its place.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park

Bill Kuhn

Vegetation Ecologist

Project Notes

The majestic giant sequoia have stood watch over the changing landscape of Yosemite for millenia.