Wildfires Are Killing California's Ancient Giants. Can Seedlings Save Them?

"On a late autumn day, a team of forestry workers spreads out among the burned trunks of giant sequoia trees. The 1,000-year-old trees in the grove are dead but still standing, killed in an extreme wildfire that raced through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

In the shadow of one of the trees, the crew gets to work, pulling tiny, 4-inch seedlings out of bags clipped to their belts and tucking them into the dirt.

"Wish it some luck and that's it," says Micah Craig of the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, standing back to look at the young sequoia. He then grabs another seedling, part of a historic planting effort that the National Park Service hopes will be enough to preserve one of the world's most iconic species."

Lauren Sommer and Ryan Kellman report for NPR February 26, 2024.


"Conservationists Sue to Stop the Planting of Giant Sequoias" (Yale Environment 360: Nov. 29, 2023)

"Conservation Groups Seek to Block Logging Projects in Giant Sequoia National Monument" (Sierra)

Source: NPR, 02/28/2024