For many, a trip to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is akin to being in a spiritual cathedral. It is impossible not to be awed by these giants that have witnessed the rise and fall of human civilizations and serve as visible reminders of our relatively fleeting presence. While they spent thousands of years undisturbed, the past 150 years of human development has taken its toll on the Grove’s fragile ecosystem.
The restoration of Mariposa Grove is an ambitious, multiyear effort, funded in partnership between Yosemite Conservancy and the National Park Service to preserve these majestic trees by balancing visitor needs with ecological protection. In 2015, restoration crews will begin removing asphalt from roads and parking areas in the upper and lower Groves to restore hydrology, vegetation and habitat for sensitive wildlife species. To restore peace and tranquility, several paved road segments are being converted to pedestrian trails.
The Restoration is Underway
This year, crews will complete a new, accessible trail between the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree, so visitors of all abilities will have access to these icons. Preparations are under way to install raised boardwalks over sensitive habitat to enable visitors to immerse themselves in the forest while safeguarding the shallow root systems of giant sequoias. The parking area in the lower Grove is being relocated to make way for a dramatic ecological restoration that will re-establish giant sequoia habitat and provide a welcoming experience for visitors amid the grandeur of the trees.
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