Reforestation of Board Camp Sequoia Grove After High Severity Fire
The 2020 Castle Fire burned through 22 giant sequoia groves and burned 9.7% of the entire range of giant sequoias at high severity. Three giant sequoia groves: Board Camp, Upper Dillonwood, and Homer's Nose lost a significant amount of monarch sequoia trees, inhibiting their ability to naturally regenerate without intervention.
The NPS has collected sequoia cones from Board Camp and nearby groves and is proposing to plant them in Board Camp grove as a pilot project in fall of 2022. In addition, the NPS is proposing that a small number of seedlings from seed collections held by a United States Forest Service Placerville nursery be planted in a select area to test for potential benefits of including drought-adapted sequoia seedlings.
The proposed action includes growing sequoia seedlings from collected seed, flying in the seedlings via helicopter to the remote Board Camp grove, and planting 12,000 sequoia seedlings in the fall, just prior to winter precipitation. Given the location, roughly seven miles off-trail in remote wilderness, watering and post-planting care is not planned at this time. Seedlings would be monitored for percent of survivorship the following fall. Additional seedlings may be planted if the pilot is deemed successful, or different methods may be employed the following year. The NPS anticipates that planting would occur in October 2022 and may occur again in 2023.
Additional information on the NPS proposed action is available in the "documents" section of this project website.
Public comments on the proposed action were accepted via this project website from February 22, 2022 through March 25, 2022, and the NPS hosted a virtual webinar on the proposed action on Tuesday, March 1 at 4:00 PST.
The NPS is currently reading through all public comments and is evaluating the proposed action in light of those comments and additional analysis of impacts to natural, cultural, and wilderness resources. Any decision regarding the proposed action (whether to implement as proposed, modify the proposed action, or take no action) will be completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Wilderness Act, and other applicable laws and policies.
Board Camp giant sequoia grove is in steep, remote wilderness within Sequoia National Park. It was rarely visited by the public due to its difficult and inaccessible terrain, but it included 48 acres of giant sequoia mixed conifer forest.
Environmental Planning and Compliance Manager
The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to plant seedlings of giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) within areas which burned at high intensity and severity during the 2020 Castle Fire in Sequoia National Park.