• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

Vegetation Restoration

Round Meadow in Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, before the demolition and restoration.
Round Meadow parking lot in Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, prior to demolition and planting native vegetation.
© NPS photo by Athena Demetry.
 
Restoration of disturbed park lands includes those areas actively disturbed by past park management activities or other human actions, as well as the restoration of natural conditions to areas where the natural process has been disrupted through human actions (e.g., the widespread disruption of the natural fire regime through suppression).

The primary site where visitor facilities have been abandoned, removed, and the site restored is Giant Forest Village (Link to detailed Giant Forest Restoration pages) in Sequoia National Park. A century of human impact had produced a forest structure where canopy openings, or gaps, were present where groups of trees had been removed to make way for buildings or parking lots, and little to no natural regeneration had occurred. Removal of visitor facilities and the restoration of landforms, soils, and vegetation began in 1997. Over a two-year period, about 300 buildings and associated infrastructure were removed and 28 acres made available for restoration; a total of about 60 acres will be restored by project's end. Restoration includes restoring natural landforms, mitigating soils impacts, and revegetating to mimic natural regeneration following fire in surrounding areas of Giant Forest. This is a pulsed type of restoration, where once soils are stabilized and restored, plantings are established, and irrigation is removed, the site will be managed similarly to surrounding natural areas of Giant Forest.

During road and building construction projects, park vegetation and soils are disturbed. Revegetation with native plants following construction is done to stabilize soils, facilitate establishment of a native vegetation cover, prevent invasion by non-native species, and provide screening and landscaping.

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Round Meadow ten years after restoration.
Round Meadow parking lot ten years after asphalt removal, recontouring, and planting native vegetation.
© NPS photo by Athena Demetry.

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