Magazine article American Forests

When Giants Fall

Magazine article American Forests

When Giants Fall

Article excerpt

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN A 240-FOOT-tall, 1,500-ton, 1,500-year-old tree falls and blocks a trail visited by thousands of tourists per week?

The USDA Forest Service found itself facing this very question on September 30, 2011 when a giant sequoia came tumbling down, blocking the popular Trail of 100 Giants in Giant Sequoia National Monument. And, instead of making such an important decision on its own, the Forest Service decided to let community members weigh in on the debate.

One option proposed by the Forest Service and community members is cutting a path through the tree, putting it alongside Yo-Semites famous, deceased Wawona Tree and Sequoia National Forest's Tunnel Log. It would also allow visitors a rare educational experience--the ability to see tree rings documenting history that goes back to ancient Roman times. Environmental activists, however, vehemently oppose this idea and want the tree to remain untouched. …

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