Mariposa Grove Restoration Project

Bachelor and Three Graces; a group of three large sequoias in the Mariposa Grove
 

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Overview

The Mariposa Grove is a popular destination for visitors in Yosemite National Park. The Mariposa Grove is comprised of approximately 500 mature giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and is the largest of three sequoia groves found within Yosemite National park. The national park idea is rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation." This landmark legislation holds an important place in our country's history and was enacted at a time when the nation was embroiled in the Civil War. For the first time in our nation's history, scenic natural areas were set aside and protected for the benefit of future generations.

The National Park Service embarked on a plan to restore the Mariposa Grove in 2011 in order to ensure it thrives and can be enjoyed by future generations. The park went on to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the restoration of giant sequoia habitat in the Mariposa Grove. A Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision was completed in late 2013.

The two primary goals of this project were to improve giant sequoia habitat and visitor experience. This included addressing the declining conditions of the Grove and nearby South Entrance that were adversely affecting the ecological health of the sequoias (e.g., roads, trails and other buildings encroaching on roots of the ancient trees, hydrology issues).

Some of the restoration project highlights include:

  • Restoring giant sequoia and associated wetland habitat

  • Realigning roads and trails that were located in sensitive sequoia habitat

  • Constructing a welcome plaza near South Entrance, which allowed for the relocation of the parking area from Mariposa Grove

  • Adding a shuttle service between the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza and Mariposa Grove Arrival Area

  • Building accessible trails to allow for improved access without impacting sequoias and other sensitive areas

  • Restoring natural hydrology

  • Improving orientation and wayfinding

  • Removing commercial activities from the Grove such as the gift shop and tram tours

The Mariposa Grove reopened in June, 2018, after being closed three years for restoration. Crews improved habitat for sequoias by removing parking lots and roads, and restoring the natural flow of water to the trees. Parking was relocated two miles away from the grove, and is connected by shuttle buses. The restoration also added accessible trails and improved bathrooms. This was the largest restoration project in the history of the park.

 

Documents

Record of Decision

Final Environmental Impact Statement

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Public Scoping and Related Documents

 

Mariposa Grove Restoration Video

 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 55 seconds

The Mariposa Grove reopened in June, 2018, after being closed three years for restoration. Crews improved habitat for sequoias by removing parking lots and roads,  and restoring the natural flow of water to the trees. Parking was relocated two miles away from the grove, and is connected by shuttle buses. The restoration also added accessible trails and improved bathrooms.  This was the largest restoration project in the history of the park.

Last updated: November 13, 2019

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PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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