When the Monument was established in 2000, Byers said it was committed that a visitors center would be established to encourage tourism to the Monument. To date, Byers said no visitors center has been established nor is one planned even though multiple local efforts have been made to fulfill the commitment.

The mayor also notes the significant loss of trees from the bark beetle infestation brought on by the drought. It is estimated the beetles have killed more than 8 million trees in Tulare County.

The Porterville Recorder

City council may support shrinking Sequoia Monument

The Porterville City Council will consider sending a letter to the United States Department of Interior asking the Giant Sequoia National Monument be reduced in size from 328,000 acres to 90,000 acres.

The Giant Sequoia National Monument within Sequoia National Forest was established by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and it is one of more than 25 monuments ordered to be reviewed by President Donald Trump.

Jenni Byers, the city’s community development director, said the U.S. Department of the Interior is conducting a review of certain National Monuments designated or expanded since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906 in order to implement Executive Order 13792 of April 26.

She said the Secretary of the Interior will use the review to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy stated in the Executive Order and to formulate recommendations for presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other appropriate actions to carry out that policy. The notice, she said, identified 27 National Monuments under review, including Giant Sequoia National Monument, and invites comments to inform the review, which must be submitted before July 10.

Byers said there are 33 Giant Sequoia Groves that constitute approximately 27,830 acres of forest in the monument. Toward the protection of these natural wonders, she said the 1988 Sequoia National Forest Land Management was amended in 1990 to create additional buffers around the groves. 

Byers said in 1992, President George H.W. Bush issued a Proclamation implementing zones of influence (buffers) that increased the total acreage to approximately 90,360 acres, and prohibited mining and commercial timber production within those zones. 

Byers said the Monument designation restricts the ability of the U.S. Forest Service to use active forest management to protect the groves and buffer areas from the risks posed by catastrophic fire, disease, drought and insect infestations. As a result, Byers said the threat facing the Giant Sequoia National Monument and the neighboring communities is significant.

In the mayor’s proposed letter, he notes in the past two years, approximately 68,828 acres of the Monument has burned, or approximately 21 percent of the land area, including the 2015 Rough Fire that burned 62,683 acres, and the Cedar Fire that burned 6,145 acres.

When the Monument was established in 2000, Byers said it was committed that a visitors center would be established to encourage tourism to the Monument. To date, Byers said no visitors center has been established nor is one planned even though multiple local efforts have been made to fulfill the commitment.

The mayor also notes the significant loss of trees from the bark beetle infestation brought on by the drought. It is estimated the beetles have killed more than 8 million trees in Tulare County.

The proposed city resolution states:

“The City Council of the City of Porterville does hereby recommend reducing the size of the Giant Sequoia National Monument to the approximate 90,360 acres established by Executive Order in 1992, and encourages the use of active forest management by the United States Forest Service in protection of the Giant Sequoia Groves, as well as the development of a Visitors Center for the Monument.”

The special city council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the council chambers at Porterville’s City Hall.


Free Range Report

Comments

  1. There has been no management from the federal government in decades unless you consider burning our forests and beetle infestations ma nvm garment. They are only concerned with grabbing all lands and water in preparation for the NWO/OWO. Our constitution became irrelevant in 1848 and the tyranny hasn’t stopped and will not stop until every politician is held accountable and or the cancer afflicting this nation has been eradicated.

    1. Please…..Mr. Zinke…allow cutting down of beetle infested and otherwise DEAD trees!! Shrink the National Monument sizes as well!
      I grew up in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s in Tulare, CA near Sequoia National Park. We often visited Sequoia, to ice skate and ski in Winter, camp and hike in Summer!! General Sherman our Nations’ Christmas Tree was a treat to see. General Grant and other giants also. (I believe it took 13 men, arms outstretched, to circle the diameter of these trees!!! There are none bigger in the World!! Or older. They are over 2,000 years old!
      The nature walks are spectacular, including hollowed bases of some trees, where bears actually hibernate in Winter. Lightening has struck most over the centuries, leaving them scarred! Yet, they survive and live on!!
      Please, Sir….allow harvesting of underbrush and dead trees, so we may PRESERVE the living Giants!!

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