Why the Grizzly Giant is on the News and Why it Matters



The Grizzly Giant is one of several giant sequoia trees that live in Yosemite National Park. Located in Mariposa Grove, these giants have been mapped and measured many times. One surveyor, Wendell Flint, figured out that they occupied 34,005 cubic feet of space. That makes them the 26th largest giant sequoias.

The Grizzly Giant is a massive, 209-foot-tall sequoia tree. Though it is still in good health, it’s under threat of fire. The park’s firefighters have installed sprinklers in the area. One system is designed to increase humidity in the surrounding area. Another one protects the Grizzly Giant, which is reportedly 3,000 years old.

The Grizzly Giant is the second largest giant sequoia in the park and is the most well-known. It is considered one of — if not the single most — famous tree in the United States. The park’s firefighters have installed a sprinkler system around the tree, which feeds water from a pool near its base. A fire currently in Yosemite could cause permanent damage to the sequoias, which are an endangered species.

Fire is necessary for the giant sequoias to sprout their seeds. It helps regenerate soil and provides habitat for animals. However, the high intensity fires are destructive. The Creek Fire, which consumed nearly 400,000 acres in 2020, is one example of such a fire. And there are many reasons why the Sierra Nevada range is so vulnerable to wildfires.

The Mariposa Grove fire is threatening 500 giant sequoia trees in a small mountain town. Heavy smoke has made it impossible to enjoy the scenic vistas without breathing unhealthy air. The Grizzly Giant was spotted on July 7, and since then, the park’s wildfire has grown to over two thousand acres.

The Grizzly Giant is one of the most recognizable giants in the park. The tree is 210 feet tall and boasts a basal circumference of 92 feet. One branch is six feet wide. During its lifetime, the Grizzly Giant probably survived countless fires. Its trunk has also been damaged by wind and lightning, which may explain the scarring on its trunk.

Another attraction in Yosemite is the Mariposa Grove itself. It is home to the largest and most famous grove of giant sequoia trees. These trees are over three thousand years old. They were already growing in Mariposa Grove before the time of the Roman Empire. To see the grove in person, check out the National Park Service’s video (below).

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