• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • The Generals Highway "Road Between the Parks" is OPEN

    The section of road between Lodgepole (Sequoia) and Grant Grove (Kings Canyon) is open. Call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1) for 24-hour road updates.

  • Be Prepared! Tire Chains or Cables May Be Required in the Parks at Any Time

    All vehicles must carry chains or cables when entering a chain-restricted area. It's the law (CA Vehicle Code, Section 605, Sections 27450-27503). Road conditions may change often. For road conditions, call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1). More »

  • You May Have Trouble Calling Us

    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

Invasive Non-Native Plants

 

Non-native plant species are those that are introduced to an area by humans either intentionally or unintentionally. These plants are also known as alien, exotic, introduced, and non-indigenous. They are an enormous concern for the National Park Service; recent information indicates that non-native plants are infesting 4600 new acres of federal land each day.

Nearly one in eight plant species in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is non-native. Many of these species appear to have a fairly small impact on the parks, but many others are drastically changing ecosystem structure and processes.

 
Bright yellow spikes of the yellow star thistle

Yellow star thistle is highly invasive and has been widely dispersed throughout California as a result of human presence.

Photo by Jo-Ann Ordano, © California Academy of Sciences; inset photo by Jerry Asher, Bureau of Land Management

Non-native species reduce biodiversity, jeopardize endangered plants and animals and degrade habitats. Some species, such as giant reed, can completely dominate vast areas of land, excluding virtually all vegetation and dramatically altering water and fire cycles. Non-natives are also known to hybridize with native species, altering native genetic diversity and integrity.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have a well-researched non-native plant management plan in place. Early efforts have already eradicated at least one highly invasive non-native plant species (yellow star thistle), and have identified several other infestations that are yet in their very early stages. The year 2002 marked a major increase in eradication efforts, with numerous non-native plants removed from the parks by the end of the year. These efforts continue and we look forward to healthy, less-impacted ecosystems in the years ahead.

Did You Know?

Bootprint on pink algae in snow.

Patches of colorful pink snow in the High Sierra are actually colonies of snow algae — Chlamydomonas nivalis. Unlike most species of fresh-water algae, it thrives in freezing water. Compressing the red snow with your boot increases the intensity of the color. Warning: Do not eat it!