Sequoia National Park

Odds and Ends from Around the National Park System

A climbing death in Yosemite, a new recreation site at the Delaware Water Gap NRA, and a question on whether to force climbers to wear helmets are among the odds and ends that have recently crossed our computer screens.

Helitak Program at Sequoia and Kings Canyon Marks 50 Years of Flying

Current and former members of the park's helitack crew are pictured with the A-S
The National Park Service employs men and women in some unusual and occasionally dramatic jobs, and one of those—a helitak crew—celebrated a milestone anniversary this month at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Bighorn Sheep Study Being Proposed For Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks

How important are the high-country meadows of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks for bighorn sheep that summer in the two parks? That's a question researchers want to answer through a study that would involve placing radio collars on a few dozen sheep.

ReserveAmerica Can't Find a National Park Campground It Likes

ReserveAmerica, the company that manages camping reservations for the National Park System and other federal agencies, can't seem to find a national park campground it likes. In listing its "Top 100 Family Campgrounds," the company doesn't cite a single national park campground.

Let's Stay Safe In the National Parks This Summer, Okay?

Summer's arrival and the height of the vacation season is filling the National Park System with folks and families looking to relax, kick back, and enjoy being together in fabulous settings. Let's just not forget to be safe out there, though.

Mule Packers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Prove They're Among the Best in the Business

Park packer in contest.
The ability to "pack a mule" so the animals can safely carry anything from beans to bolts is perhaps as much art as science, and it's a skill that's still in demand in backcountry areas. A team from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks recently won a number of awards during a competition to determine the World Champion Pack Team

Shuttle Buses Ready to Roll in Sequoia National Park

It soon will be a bit easier to get around the heart of Sequoia National Park. Beginning next Thursday, May 27, the Giant Forest shuttle system will crank back into operation for the summer season.

An Idea in Trouble: Thoughts about the Future of Traditional National Parks in the United States

Historians point out that ideas, and the organizations associated with them, sometimes age and lose their relevance. Today, as the National Park Service (NPS) approaches the centennial of its establishment, the agency faces huge potential problems with its founding mission and subsequent land management policies.

Parks Are Well-Represented in the Latest National Register of Big Trees

The General Sherman tree.
How would you determine if a tree qualifies as a "national champion"? The National Register of Big Trees has the answers, and the 70th anniversary edition of that list just been released in a new online format. Sites in the National Park System are well-represented, including the home of "the earth's largest living thing."

Typically Californian: Winery Partners With Sequoia Parks Foundation

Isn't this so totally Californian: A winery is partnering with the Sequoia Parks Foundation to help fund research, restoration, and education pertaining to the mighty sequoias found in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

Public Input Sought On Work to Update Sequoia National Park's Mineral King Management Plan

With work on the horizon to rewrite the management plan for Kings Canyon National Park, park officials are seeking public input on what changes they should consider in the plan.

How Will Wildfires Impact The National Park Landscape This Summer?

Winter has been pretty fluky across the United States, with heavy snows taking aim at the Mid-Atlantic and Sierra states, cold weather diving deeply into the Southeast, torrential rains hitting the Northeast, and quick warming baking the Midwest. With such a mix, what might we expect from the coming wildfire season across the National Park System?

National Park Quiz 80: Water

All of these statements about National Park System water bodies are true except one. Can you find the ringer? The answer and explanations are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “If there is any magic on this planet, it is water.”

Tree-Ring Research in Sequoia National Park is Hard Work with Important Payoffs

Tree ring data obtained from 52 ancient trees in Sequoia National Park has provided scientists with 3,000 years of record. It didn’t come easy, though. Working with the gargantuan trees required special equipment, ingenuity, and heavy labor.

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Officials Want To Replace Three Backcountry Cabins Located in Wilderness Areas

Officials in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks want to replace three dilapidated backcountry ranger cabins, which, judging from photos, seems like a reasonable decision. But should they be allowed to use power tools in the wilderness settings to get the work done?
The Changing Range of Light: Portraits of the Sierra Nevada A gorgeous new book of photography that captures the seasons of the High Sierra has arrived, but it comes with a pausing message that this beautiful landscape is changing before our eyes.

Spring Lodging Deals Available At Sequoia National Park

Tokopah Falls, Sequoia National Park, G. Donald Bain.
With spring not too far off, the folks at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park have a few lodging deals on the table.

Is The American Pika Really On The Road To Extinction Due to Climate Change?

Less than a month after a conservation group expressed its displeasure with the Obama administration for not providing Endangered Species Act protection to the American pika due to the plight it might face due to climate change, a new study suggests the tiny mammals are more widespread than thought and seem to thrive in a temperature range greater than long thought possible.
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Millar&Westfall-pikas.pdf1.33 MB
Beever-Low-Elevation Pikas.pdf113.78 KB
Beever-Climate-Mediated Extirpations.pdf246.28 KB
Pikas-National Monuments.pdf1002.52 KB

Road Projects Ready To Be Tackled In Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks This Summer

Spring often coincides with road work in the national parks, and that's certainly no exception in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, which have a full slate of projects getting under way.

Kentucky's Sen. Bunning Singlehandedly Idles Road Construction Projects Nationally, Including Many in National Parks

Jim Bunning, Kentucky's contrary U.S. senator, singlehandedly has shut down road construction projects across the nation, including many in national parks, because he doesn't want to help middle-class families weather the economic storm, U.S. Department of Transportation officials said Monday.

Obama Administration Draws Criticism for Declining ESA Protection To Pikas

A diminutive creature that struggles with warmer temperatures brought on by climate change will not receive Endangered Species Act protection for its predicament, the Obama administration has decided in a move that brought quick condemnation from some corners.
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USFWS-Pika_Finding.pdf170.73 KB

Never Let the Facts Get in The Way of a National Park Promotion

Yesterday I hinted that there was a lot wrong with this “Sequoia National Park” drawing on the back of a box of Safeway brand Rice Pockets Cereal. So let's look at a few things that are wrong, then solve the question of what, if anything, is right.

Keeping Tabs On How National Parks Are Promoted

There's a lot of marketing of national parks going on out there in the business world, but is it always accurate? Read on and see if you believe it is.

How Do You Scare a 300-Pound Black Bear? Science Has Some Answers

Bear crossing road.
How can wildlife managers scare bears to discourage them from getting too comfortable around people—and their food? That's an important question for the sake of both bruins and humans, and new information gathered in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks offers some answers.

Superintendent Named for Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Karen Taylor-Goodrich, who has spent the past six years as the National Park Service's associate director for visitor and resource protection, is heading West to become superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, Park Service Director Jon Jarvis announced Monday.

Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park Offers Winter Lodging Packages

In the wake of the potent winter storm that swept through the Sierra earlier this week, this offer from the folks at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park seems particularly well-timed.

Could the Diminutive Pika Succeed Where the Polar Bear Failed In Battling Climate Change?

During my six-month internship with the Student Conservation Association, I had the opportunity to collect data for a field study on the habitat effects of climate change. Our crew of four searched for pikas while backpacking along the rocky slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada. We came to understand several traits of the pika that could make this elusive alpine mammal an important ally in the movement to stop climate change.

Winter: The Perfect Time To Plan Your Long-Distance Trek Along National Scenic Trails

Winter is a season for planning. How better to pass some of those long, cold, snowy nights than before the fire or a the kitchen table with guidebooks and maps, calculators and checklists? And if you’re thinking of tackling one of the country’s long-distance hiking trails, planning is definitely not over-rated. Here’s a look at some of the trails that pass through parts of the National Park System, and what planning assistance is out there.

Group Asks Public To Support Removal Of Trout From Some Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Park Lakes

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks officials want to remove non-native trout from some lakes that naturally were fishless in a bid to save a yellow-legged frog. Now a group says trout should be removed from all lakes in the two parks that originally were fishless.

Winter Lodging Specials at Sequoia National Park

Still unchecked on my national park "to-do" list is a winter visit to Sequoia National Park with snowshoes and XC skis in tow. The folks at Wuksachi Lodge are trying to entice me with winter specials.
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