PHOTO CAPTION: When completed, the ranger station adjacent to the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp will have a look and functionality more like the other wilderness ranger stations sprinkled throughout the backcountry of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The National Park Service has begun to replace the dilapidated backcountry ranger station, formally called a “wilderness visitor contact station,” located at the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp in Sequoia National Park.
The 1964 A-frame ranger station has been deconstructed. Crews are currently in the process of modifying the foundation and building the floor for the new station in the coming weeks.
During this past week, the park helicopter transported lumber, plywood, and rebar, all materials that cannot be safely hauled via pack stock. At the same time, materials from the deconstructed cabin were back-hauled, a practice that park managers use to reduce the total number of helicopter flights over wilderness. The park stock don’t get to sit this one out though. The mules have delivered 150 bags of cement to the project site.
Minimal trail delays will occur during the airborne deliveries to keep hikers a safe distance from the helicopter but the hold-ups shouldn’t last more than a few minutes.
Project lead Martin Maine expects the crew to complete the foundation and floor this month. Once this phase is complete, the crew will be gone from the job site until the cabin is delivered in late summer.
The new ranger station will be constructed of traditional log walls with a 12/12 pitched conventional roof in order to blend in with other historical structures in the area. It is designed to be animal proof and low maintenance with secure and adequate storage.
The new structure is designed to be more sustainable and compatible with the period of significance for the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 2016.
This project is part of the implementation of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Stewardship Plan, approved in 2015. The High Sierra Camp is most commonly accessed via the popular High Sierra Trail and is 11.5 miles from the trailhead at Crescent Meadow in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park.
For specific questions regarding this project, contact Nancy Hendricks, environmental protection specialist, at (559) 565-3102.