Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
About the Park
Lying in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks testify to nature's size, beauty, and diversity. These two parks contain immense mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees! From the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states at 14,491 feet (4,417m), to over 200 marble subterranean caverns, this diverse landscape contains an array of plants and animals representing many adaptations. This landscape that glaciers helped to form is filled with plants and animals ranging from spotted skunks, black bears, woodrats, and California quail to groves of massive giant sequoia. Climate change is expected to alter the habitats that provide homes for these species across landscapes throughout the parks.
In 2006, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ GHG emissions totaled 2,721 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE). The largest source of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' emissions was Transportation, which totaled 1799 MTCE. The largest portion of this was from visitor vehicle miles travelled.
The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2006 broken down into sectors:
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has committed to reducing GHG emissions from operations to 15% below 2006 levels by the year 2012 by implementing emission mitigation actions identified in this plan.
Example Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park Planned Actions
Planned actions fall under 2 main strategies. These strategies and specific examples of actions include:
1) Reduce emissions from park facilities and operations by identifying and implementing emission mitigation actions
- Rightsize the fleet. Replace entire GSA gasoline truck fleet with the best available technology in the next 5 years.
- Develop travel packages that include shuttle access to the park (Fresno).
- Reduce idling among park buses by 60%.
- Run LEED rehab on Administrative building to use as example for other buildings and for park staff. Ask LEED-certified staff from the Denver office to assist with this effort.
- Increase recycling of mixed recyclables by 7 tons annually by adding more recycling containers, and location of containers.
2) Increase climate change outreach and education efforts
- Develop the park as a center of knowledge about GCC by inviting outside speakers (e.g. John Morris) to come into the park and lecture, and having staff attend GCC training sessions.
- Develop annual climate change/sustainability training for all staff.
- Include a Climate Friendly Parks informational page on website (e.g., SEKI/NPS, The Bark, and Sequoia Seeds).
- Increase education about how GCC affects park’s natural resources (water, weather, meadows, etc.) through website that is linked to I&M inventory monitoring, and a website that shows 1 page briefs on information from monitoring of water, weather, meadows, etc..
- Develop signage and messaging that highlight emission reduction activities so that visitors are aware of the climate-friendly actions the parks have taken. Focus on signage on hybrid/electric vehicles, and shuttles showing GHG emissions saved by utilizing these alternative methods of transportation.
To read more about what we are doing at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks about Climate Change with Climate Friendly Parks, check out our Action Plan!