National Park Service repairs asphalt on Trail of 100 Giants, Rep. Kevin McCarthy commits $13 million to safety projects
SPRINGVILLE – The National Forest Service is committing to the hard work of repairing the roadway visitors use to awe in wonder the Trail of 100 Giants. And there is federal money on the way for more work in the forest.
According to the forest service asphalt repair for the popular 1.3-mile-long universally accessible, self-guided interpretive trail is expected to continue through September. Trail of 100 Giants is located within the Long Meadow giant sequoia grove, one of the most southern groves where giant sequoias are found.
The grove contains approximately 125 giant sequoias greater than 10 feet in diameter and more than 700 giant sequoias less than 10 feet in diameter. The largest tree in the grove has a diameter of 20 feet and is 220 feet in height. The grove defined by the outermost giant sequoia trees covers 341 acres. It is estimated the age of the larger trees in the grove range between 500 and 1,500 years old.
Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) offered an amendment to prioritize funding for forest service funding for the 2022 fiscal year. According to a press release from the minority leaders office, McCarthy introduced appropriations legislation HR 4502 intended to prioritize over $13 million for projects to mitigate safety hazards to reopen and rehabilitate the Sequoia National Forest following last years SQF Complex Fire. The press release stated that his amendment passed.
“Following the fire, the U.S. Forest Service closed a large portion of the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County because of public health and safety concerns, such as falling burned trees and mudslides. Addressing these safety concerns is critical so the forest can be fully reopened as quickly as possible,” McCarthy said.
The minority leader stated in the press release that Giant Sequoias are a unique feature to the Valley and should be preserved.
“Giant sequoias are the largest trees in the world – some tower over 26 stories high and grow wider than a city street. They can only be found growing naturally on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California, including in my district in the Sequoia National Forest,” McCarthy said.
The SQF Complex Fire is one of the largest fires to hit the Sequoia National Forest in recent memory. The fire burned over 170,000 acres after being started by lightning. McCarthy said that losing Giant Sequoias is not just a loss to the forest but communities as well.
“These losses are devastating – both environmentally and for my communities, like Porterville, Three Rivers, Springville, Kernville, and Lake Isabella, that depend on revenue from tourists coming to see the giant sequoia groves,” McCarthy said.