The mission of the Sequoia ForestKeeper (SFK) is to protect and restore the ecosystems of the southern Sierra Nevada – including both the Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument – through monitoring, enforcement, education, and litigation. The Monument was one of several monuments that have been slated for review by the current administration but just this week it was leaked that it is not on the list of monuments being recommended for revision at this time (though tragically several others are being pushed to be reduced in size).
Though the Giant Sequoia National Monument is not on the list for now SFK is standing by to ensure that if becomes a target it will be protected. Many public hearings and court proceedings have already set precedent that Giant Sequoia is a valid monument and that its size is necessary to protect the giant sequoia.
Sequoia ForestKeeper’s Program Director, Alison Sheehey recently had an opinion piece published in the Bakersfield Californian. As Alison writes the Monument should be expanded, not shrunk. An ecosystem is only whole when it includes the root zone and aquifer of that ecosystem. Giant Sequoia National Monument protects giant sequoias not just at the boundary of the canopies of sequoias, but throughout their expansive root system which includes the aquifer that supports these most massive living things on earth.
Keeping Giant Sequoia National Monument intact makes cents (and lots of dollars). California’s non-consumptive recreation economy generates 80 percent of all recreation revenue; approximately $73 billion in consumer spending, $5 billion in state and local tax revenue, $24.3 billion in wages and salaries, and 552,000 jobs, excluding the consumptive sports of motorized vehicle recreation and hunting/fishing which account for another 20 percent of revenue according to the Outdoor Industry Association.