Dead and dying trees: Climate change signal in Sequoia NP

When Christy Brigham, Chief of Resources Management and acting superintendent at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, attended the Mineral King District Association annual meeting on Aug. 3, she answered several questions. One specifically addressed the current backlog of maintenance that was making it difficult to repair park roads damaged by the winter of  2018-19.

Brigham cited the overwhelming number of dead trees — 5.8 million alone within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. For context, Tulare County is dealing with more than 10 million dead trees so a large percentage of these are in Sequoia National Park and the other public lands jurisdictions. 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will spend nearly $500,000 this year on cutting hazard trees. Brigham explained that the occupied developed areas are the priority.The dead tree conundrum has been exacerbated by the drought and is what Brigham calls “a human climate change signal.” 

Roadwork on the Mineral King Road was delayed until August as crews were diverted to cut dead trees.

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dead and dying trees

2 thoughts on “Dead and dying trees: Climate change signal in Sequoia NP

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm
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    I’ve been off-trail in Mineral King this summer quite a bit in the dead zone from around 3,000 to 7,000 feet, and the amount of newlydeads from circa 2014 that have fallen in the last heavy winter is startling, but only just the start of them going horizontal, as so many more still upright standing members of the community will become much more intimate with the ground..

    The drought and various beasties that razed havoc seem to have not bothered Giant Sequoias so much, a sliver lining of sorts.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 5:23 am
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    Please note that on September 5 at 6:30 pm in Three Rivers Library, the Sequoia National Park Acting Superintendent, Christy Brigham and Park tree scientists will give a program on benefits and condition of trees in Sequoia National Park area-a talk, displays and opportunity for Questions and discussion.
    This is in conjunction with the One Book One Town program in progress, reading the book ( available for free read from our library) IN SEARCH OF THE CANARY TREE by Dr. Lauren Oakes. Book discussion sessions later in the month, followed by Dr. Oakes in person on October 24 in 3 Rivers.

    Reply

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