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Home National & State Parks Yosemite Restoration of Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Moves Closer

Restoration of Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Moves Closer

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The Final Environmental Impact statement for the restoration of Yosemite National Park's Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has been released, moving the start of the project one step closer.

This landmark plan provides the foundation for the restoration and site improvements in the park's largest grove of giant sequoias, tentatively scheduled to get underway in 2014.

grizzlygiant_pmeierding2"The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia, along with Yosemite Valley, are the basis of the Yosemite Grant of 1864," said Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher told OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine. "This was truly the birth of the national park concept. The giant sequoias are not only a symbol of Yosemite National Park, they also represent national parks across the country as well."

Signed into law on June 30, 1864, the grant marked the first time the federal government set aside land for protection, and is considered to be the genesis of the national park idea.

The paramount objectives of the restoration plan include restoring degraded habitat and natural processes in the grove. This includes restoring prime giant sequoia habitat and associated wetlands, which are currently impacted by the parking lot and roads in the lower grove area. Other objectives include improving traffic circulation, visitor parking, and visitor orientation to the grove.

Restoration and improvements to the Mariposa Grove specifically include:

  • Restoring giant sequoia and associated wetland habitat
  • Constructing a transit hub at the South Entrance which will allow for the relocation of the current parking area from the grove
  • Adding shuttle service between the South Entrance and the Lower Grove area during peak use periods
  • Building accessible trails through the grove to allow for improved access without impacting the sequoia trees and other sensitive areas.
  • Restoring natural hydrology and reducing noise by eliminating commercial tram service through the grove.
  • Establishing a new pedestrian trail between South Entrance and the lower grove area, and several new accessible trails within the grove.
The park received 334 comments during the 60-day public review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement released in February of 2013.

Key revisions to the preferred alternative between the draft and final EIS include refinements at the South Entrance to ensure adequate parking, provision of additional parking near the picnic area for periods when the shuttle is not in operation, and exploration of new options for the location(s) of leach fields.

The Mariposa Grove contains approximately 500 mature giant sequoia trees that are among the oldest, rarest, and largest living organisms in the world. It is approximately a 30-mile drive from Yosemite Valley.

"We are looking forward to beginning this landmark project in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias," Neubacher added. "These huge trees are spectacular, and this plan will both benefit the grove and provide for a better experience for visitors to Yosemite National Park."

Following a 30-day no action period, the National Park Service (NPS) will document a final decision in a Record of Decision (ROD), which will be published in the Federal Register.

The Mariposa Grove FEIS is available on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at (
www.parkplanning.nps.gov/mariposagrove).To request printed documents or CDs, e-mail ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or call (209) 379-1202. Copies may also be requested via mail at: Superintendent, Attn: Mariposa Grove/FEIS P.O. Box 577 Yosemite National Park, CA 95389.

Yosemite Conservancy, the park's philanthropic partner, is contributing significant funding for this landmark project.

 
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