Better drainage, reduced infrastructure, and better protection of giant sequoias are the end goals of a plan by Yosemite National Park officials to restore the Mariposa Grove in the southern end of the park.
The Mariposa Grove is the largest of the three giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) groves in Yosemite and was part of the original Yosemite Grant signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864 (the rest of the grant included Yosemite Valley). The giant sequoias can measure up to 35 feet in diameter and up to 300 feet tall. There are approximately 500 mature sequoia trees in the grove.
The proposed plan aims to restore the Giant Sequoia habitat in the Mariposa Grove. This would be accomplished through a range of actions including:
- Restoring the natural hydrology within the grove
- Removing unnecessary infrastructure
- Realigning roads and trails in sensitive sequoia habitat
- Relocating the existing visitor parking
- Reducing visitor trampling of soils and vegetation around the giant sequoias
The project also seeks to improve the visitor experience within the Mariposa Grove by assessing visitor facilities and transportation.
Through October 15 the park is accepting public comment on an environmental impact plan examining how best the Mariposa Grove can be restored. A public open house is set for Wednesday, September 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Yosemite Valley at the Visitor Center Auditorium. Park staff will be available to discuss the project, answer questions, and accept comments.
Online comments can be submitted through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yose/mariposagrove.