The Impact of Science
In the decade beginning 1954, the National Park Service effected a dramatic change in land management policy, especially regarding giant sequoia groves. These changes were directly influenced by the results of three scientific studies. In 1954, the Yosemite Report, commissioned by the Yosemite superintendent, concluded that human impacts were harming the roots of sequoias in the Mariposa and Tuolumne groves. The report recommended removal of development.
In 1963 came the Leopold Report, which had an enormous influence on science in the parks, from both research and management standpoints. The Leopold Report was the product of an advisory panel headed by Dr. Starker Leopold, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. In essence, the report called for maintenance or restoration of natural systems to the greatest extent possible. This had direct implications for the Giant Forest, which was specifically mentioned in the report. The Secretary of the Interior issued an order that the report's recommendations be followed. This gave tremendous backing to the movement to restore the Giant Forest. Additionally, the report resulted in the establishment or expansion of numerous park research programs.