by Sue Cag
The National Park Service (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks) and other “authorities” have released false information about the recent wildfires that impacted sequoias, much of it inciting fear by claiming that the forest won’t recover or that seedlings are either non-existent or will all die. This propaganda is either blatant deception or it’s being forced by people who don’t get away from their desks to learn what’s actually happening in our groves. The NPS’ single specious and non-peer-reviewed paper erroneously analyzes intentional fire set by people, rather than actual wildfire – and unnatural prescribed burning is not at all like real fire.
Meanwhile, we’ve personally traipsed through and studied every single grove that burned in the 2020-2021 wildfires (the 2020 Castle Fire and the 2021 Windy and KNP Complex fires, respectively). We’ve also gone to every grove that burned in the 2015 Rough Fire and the 2017 Pier Fire. No one else has done as much extensive field documentation as we have. We’ve consistently found millions of sequoia seedlings in every location that burned harshly. Every forest that has been left alone is recovering, without exception, and without any human “help.” During a recent revisit to Agnew Grove, we found sequoia seedlings and saplings flourishing and covering an entire mountain slope, despite the hot intervening years since the grove burned severely in the Rough Fire. Many of the saplings are two inches in diameter. They didn’t die. They didn’t disappear. In actual reality, they are thriving. Why is the National Park Service lying about sequoia forest recovery after severe fire?
After Agnew Grove, we revisited nearby Deer Meadow Grove, which was also harshly impacted by the Rough Fire. Again, we found sequoia seedlings and saplings flourishing. We’ve seen this in every grove impacted by intense wildfire. These fires weren’t “bad” for sequoias, but part of their natural process. It’s insane hubris to think that we need to get involved, that somehow we know better than these ancient beings. It’s obvious that sequoias thrive by fire, especially severe fire, as they have been for millions of years, as far back as the Tertiary period.
On the upside, it’s absolutely amazing to watch sequoia rebirth, even just the little bit of it that we’re allowed to glimpse during our extremely short lifetimes. In a few millennia, the monarchs will have reinvented themselves. Unfortunately, tyrannical organizations like the NPS or the Forest Service are trying to thwart this entirely. They are bulldozing through groves, logging, burning, and building tree farms. The natural sequoia seedlings are being destroyed in numerous groves. The new genetic code provided by the ancient monarchs to their burgeoning progeny seems on track to be lost, if we don’t wake up and realize the harm we’re doing. We are in dire need of humility. We need to allow forest recovery, rather than forcing so-called “restoration.”
Watch the sequoia seedlings and saplings flourishing in untouched (so far) Agnew Grove. No “help” needed.
About the Author:
Sue Cag is a musician, artist, writer, photographer, and nature preservationist.
All photos and video by Sue Cag. All Rights Reserved. Photos and video may not be used without permission.