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Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias: A Restoration Plan for Ensuring their Future

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avatar Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias: A Restoration Plan for Ensuring their Future
February 26, 2013 12:54PM
From my first day here as Superintendent, I wanted to support and implement a project for the restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The site has a special significance to me, other park employees, and Americans across the country that come to visit. I believe the Grove's immense scale and spiritual quality provides an inspirational setting that transforms people toward a greater and deeper appreciation of nature. During my visits, I consider it a privilege to walk among these giants.

Today, a major step will occur that puts us on a strategic path to achieve this legacy restoration goal. Yosemite National Park will release the Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Mariposa Grove DEIS). This important document provides the framework for the crucial restoration of the majestic Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the long-term preservation of these symbolic trees.

This restoration is a major component of our plan to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the legislation that set Yosemite Valley and the Grove aside for preservation purposes. As most of you know, the Mariposa Grove, along with Yosemite Valley, comprised the original Yosemite Grant, a Bill signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on June 30, 1864. Many believe this bill was an effort by President Lincoln to heal the nation during the tumultuous civil war. The result was the start of a major movement to set aside lands for the public good.

The primary goals of the Mariposa Grove DEIS are to restore giant sequoia habitat and improve the quality of the visitor experience. Overall, the plan will improve the natural processes that are critical to the long-term health of the trees, protect special status species, enhance operational sustainability, improve visitor education and way-finding, improve visitor and employee safety, and protect cultural resource values.

We want to acknowledge this plan is the result of the tremendous effort, dedication, and skill of many park employees from all divisions. We want to applaud their drive to get the plan to the public review process.

The public comment period for the Mariposa Grove DEIS will open today, February, 26, through Tuesday, May 7. For a copy of the plan and a complete description of the alternatives, please visit the park’s website at (http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/mgrove.htm). Comments can be submitted on the Planning Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mariposagrove.

As most of you know, we have also released the Merced River Plan and Tuolumne River Plan for public review. The development of these plans, overseen by the Planning Division, creates a new pinnacle of achievement for the park. This year will be considered a historic moment for Yosemite National Park.

We sincerely appreciate your attention and interest in these three landmark plans which will guide Yosemite National Park into the future. We cannot underestimate the importance of these plans.

Don Neubacher and Woody Smeck, on behalf the Executive Leadership Team
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