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bill corcoran walks up an old logging road that shadows a creek as he leads us up the mountain the first pass many folks that band or the ground then we arrive in a forest of trees that reach straight for the sky was surrounded by thick roots of incense cedars sugar pines and white fur corcoran is with the sierra club he says old photos show that's ciera forest used to be more open typically in a lot of this year you'd have fires often history to five years and it would come through and kind of cool slow burn takeout lower growth the forest service has suppressed fires and sequoia national forest for many decades approaching a century scientists say fire suppression and logging have left the sierra with too many tightly packed small trees and not enough large or old growth trees among the results are that the forest is now more flammable and more vulnerable to disease and insects and sequoia trees which are adapted to
fire fire to regenerating as well as they should fill for four years off the road it onto a rail thin with needles please and films featuring the foreigner and it suddenly confronted by the large throngs of jews the koreans are not a model of wow wow the trees are relatively small first a cory as that between a hundred and fifty and a hundred and eighty feet tall and about twelve feet wide at their bases but there's still awe inspiring they think cinnamon colored trunks are crowned with swirling bowels of the delicate foliage nestling small and shaped collins bill corcoran sits at the feet of these little giants giant sequoias of her only one place in the world and that's in the sierra nevada of california from the central part of the range down here to deer creek grover in the southernmost growth in the world corcoran says sequoias are by volume the biggest
trees in the world they can be three hundred feet tall and thirty feet wide sequoias are cousins to the state's coastal redwoods which are taller the thinner corcoran picks up a cone and shakes it something that looks like a half of an oatmeal flakes bills into his hand there's a sewer and tiny it is to drop many millions of these to get once a quarter corcoran says fire helps a koreas seeds dispersed because the heat it generates and seals there calms and it clears debris from the ground which helps the seeds get established but if fires get too intense over too big of an area they can destroy sequoias and large numbers of other trees damaging the habitat for several species of animals the forest service is preparing a management plan for a giant sequoia national monument that it hopes will restore the forest forest ecologist nate stephenson with the us geological survey says there are two tools they can use the first are
so called prescribed fires set deliberately under specific conditions the second is logging also called painting usually of smaller trees the question he says is how do you balance those two because they're definitely areas out there where you'd be impractical and then faith to use prescribed fire only their area that would need to be thinned first mechanically and are also areas were totally impractical if use mechanical means and they're that in between felt reagan used either and making efficient on which to you than what the ratio of the two is that where the conflict arises the forest service says its plan would use both prescribed burning and thinning in order to restore and protect the largest amount of forest as soon as possible in the sierra club's bill corcoran walks along the creek in search of more support is he says the forest service's draft plan allows too much on
the role of a proclamation that was a commercial recording from employers in order to protect the resources that make it such an incredible place corcoran says logging can have many bad side effects for example it can spread disease and compress so oil forestry ecologist jerry franklin of the university of washington says while such damage is always a concern it's not inevitable if the job is done well logging he says helps in many cases so disagree completely with the sierra club that you know you can go into many of those mix conifer forests and simply began a program of prescribed burning i don't think you can do that a fuels are just too great the risks are too great the sierra club says it does support the thinning of small trees in areas where people live but it points out that the nearby
sequoia national park has used very little padding and mostly prescribe fire to restore its forest bill corcoran says the logging proposed for the monument is especially troubling because the forest service could cut trees as big as thirty inches in diameter we've already logged the majority of the old growth on our sierra nevada forest and that size of trees really needed for wildlife he says thirty inch diameter trees are the next generation of big old trees the forest service says it isn't targeting thirty inch trees but it may need your moves them to keep fires from spreading but some scientists say a large amount of debris left on the ground after a hasty logging job could be a bigger threat than the trees themselves and bill corcoran believes the forest service has an incentive to cut too many big trees the forest service in its environmental documentation i've talked about the need for logging to create
This record is featured in “Protecting Places: Historic Preservation and Public Broadcasting.”
Giant Sequoia National Monument
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Logging and a century of fire suppression have taken their toll on parts of the Sierra Nevada, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument in the Southern Sierra. President Clinton created the monument out of national forest land three years ago. The U-S Forest Service is now developing a management plan for the area, spelling out how the agency could use a combination of deliberate fires and selective logging to restore the forest. But as KPCC's Ilsa Setziol reports, some environmentalists object to the government's proposal.
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Sierra Nevada; National Forests
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Copyright Holder: KPCC
Producer: Setziol, Ilsa
Producing Organization: KPCC-FM (Radio station : Pasadena, Calif.)
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Chicago: “Giant Sequoia National Monument,” 2003-02-19, KPCC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2019,
MLA: “Giant Sequoia National Monument.” 2003-02-19. KPCC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2019. <>.
APA: Giant Sequoia National Monument. Boston, MA: KPCC, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from