Forest Server Press Release

United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
Sequoia National Forest
900 West Grand Avenue
Porterville, CA 93257
(559) 784-1500
(559) 781-6650 TDD

March 3, 2000

Dear Friend:

The Sequoia National Forest is pleased to announce a public meeting for The Future of Giant Sequoia on March 18, 2000. The purpose of the meeting is twofold -- first, to provide a listening forum on the spectrum of views for stewardship of the giant sequoia groves, and second to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to share their ideas for the protection, preservation, and restoration of the giant sequoia groves on the Sequoia National Forest.

The March 18, forum will replace the collaborative workshop titled Giant Sequoia: Blueprint for Change, announced in the February 4, 2000 letter I sent to you. The new meeting forum will respond to a letter dated February 14 from President Clinton asking the Secretary of Agriculture to make a recommendation regarding the appropriate stewardship of the giant sequoia groves under Forest Service management within the Sequoia National Forest. The President asked the Secretary to send his recommendation within 60 days.

At the March 18, forum, you will have the opportunity to hear from several panels, representing a wide range of interests, who will be asked to address the following three questions:

1. What land area is ecologically necessary for the proper care and management of the giant sequoia and their ecosystems?

2. Are there other historic, prehistoric, or ecological values that should be considered for inclusion in a national monument designation?

3. What sort of actions (management) are needed for the proper care of giant sequoia and their ecosystems?

At the conclusion of the panel presentations the audience will have an opportunity to provide both oral and written input.

A team from the Sequoia National Forest is identifying the location of giant sequoia ecosystems, as well as the historic, prehistoric, and other scientific values for the Secretary to consider for recommendation for further protection. Over the past eight years, the late Congressman Brown introduced bills that would have created a Giant Sequoia Preserve. The land base identified by these bills provide the team with a starting point for the analysis, along with mapped areas of giant sequoia on the forest.

The proposed national-monument, if created by the President, would fall under the management of the Forest Service. The activities allowed within the monument would be described in the President's Proclamation.

We ask for your participation in the great opportunity to provide input to the President. Our web site will provide more in-depth information on the meeting and linkages to important background information on giant sequoias. I encourage you to visit this web site and take advantage of the information provided. The web address is http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/sequoia.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Mary Chislock-Bethke at (559) 784-1500 ext. 1112 or Denise Alonzo ext. 1256. E-mail can be sent to mchisloek/r5_sequoia@fs.fed.us or dalonzo/r5_sequoia@.fs.fed.us. I look forward to your participation. Information regarding the location and directions to the forum are enclosed.

Sincerely,

ARTHUR L. GAFFREY

Forest Supervisor