Sequoia and Kings Canyon’s new superintendent speaks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Superintendent Clay Jordan and wife Ann are using some time off to get out and hike some of Sequoia’s renowned hiking trails. Jordan took over the top post at Ash Mountain officially on November 8, 2020. NPS photo

There will never be another opportunity to make a first impression

When Clay Jordan was named superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks three months ago, and the Castle Fire was threatening Garfield Grove and much of the southern portion of Sequoia’s 404,063 acres, he wasn’t certain what he might find at Ash Mountain Headquarters when he arrived for duty in early November. One thing was certain: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were known throughout the system’s 62 national parks for their pioneering research in fire ecology. Sequoia and Kings Canyon

So fittingly, on November 8, on the day when Superintendent Jordan’s Sequoia-Kings Canyon tenure officially began, a winter storm swept over the Kaweah Canyon and doused the menacing Castle Fire, putting an end to three months of unbearable smokey air quality. 

Jordan, no stranger to the resources of the Sequoia-Kings region, had visited here on several occasions for family vacations to enjoy and be in awe of one of the Western gems of the national parks system. So given the COVID-19-caused restrictions for in-person interviews, 3R News worked with Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Public Information Officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, to record some of Superintendent Jordan’s first impressions.      

Here are a few Early Observations from Superintendent Clay Jordan:

“I have enjoyed a warm welcome from all the residents I have met thus far from the Three Rivers community. Besides being friendly, they clearly share a great passion for the Sierra Nevada and care a great deal about the stewardship of these special parks.”

  • I have been quite impressed with the staff of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. They are a talented bunch, and each one I have encountered, seem to possess a deep commitment to protecting the cultural and natural resources of the Sierra, and take pride in helping visitors to the parks enjoy great experiences.
  • Though already somewhat familiar with many of the parks’ trails and iconic destinations, having been returning tourists ourselves for so many years, since our arrival, my family and I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and hitting the trails on our weekends. We have already covered a good bit of ground that is accessible as day hikes this time of year. We have observed bears, deer, a bobcat, grey fox, and a great assortment of birds. And of course, the big trees and the views have lived up to our memories from which we formed personal bonds with this place.
  • Concerning park operations, while there is so much that runs smoothly here every day, I am just beginning to get a feel for some of the challenges that we, as a park staff and community stakeholders alike, face in the upcoming years.
  • In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to meeting, and hearing from, more members of the community on how we might work together on issues we all care about, especially as we emerge from the threat of COVID-19!
Happy Holidays to everyone on behalf of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Superintendent Clay Jordan welcomes visitors Samir Streatfield and Amanda Horsy to the parks outside the Foohills Visitor Center. NPS photo

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