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Yosemite National Park announces the release of the Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Final Environmental Impact Statement (Mariposa Grove FEIS). This landmark plan provides the foundation for the restoration and site improvements in the park’s largest grove of giant sequoias. The Mariposa Grove, along with Yosemite Valley, was included in the Yosemite Grant that was signed into law on June 30, 1864. This marked the first time the federal government set aside land for protection and is considered to be the genesis of the national park idea. The Mariposa Grove contains approximately 500 mature giant sequoia trees that are among the oldest, rarest, and largest living organisms in the world.
The paramount objectives of the restoration plan include restoring degraded habitat and natural processes in the grove. This includes restoring prime giant sequoia habitat and associated wetlands, which are currently impacted by the parking lot and roads in the lower grove area. Other objectives include improving traffic circulation, visitor parking, and visitor orientation to the grove.
Restoration and improvements to the Mariposa Grove specifically include:
- Restoring giant sequoia and associated wetland habitat
- Constructing a transit hub at the South Entrance which will allow for the relocation of the current parking area from the grove
- Adding shuttle service between the South Entrance and the Lower Grove area during peak use periods
- Building accessible trails through the grove to allow for improved access without impacting the sequoia trees and other sensitive areas.
- Restoring natural hydrology and reducing noise by eliminating commercial tram service through the grove.
- Establishing a new pedestrian trail between South Entrance and the lower grove area, and several new accessible trails within the grove.