- Ambassador: Dec 8, 2012
- Conifer Removal in Yosemite Valley
- Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley
Students from the WildLink clubs at Turlock and Pitman High School joined forces to restore one of Yosemite Valley's historic meadows.
After reuniting with their much-beloved WildLink educators, students were given a bit of the background history of Yosemite Valley meadows to give context to why they would be removing trees from a national park. Historically, the native people burned the meadows with regularity to cultivate the growth of black oaks, which provided acorns for sustenance. Over time, disturbance to the meadows, including fire suppression and the construction of roads, has drastically changed the natural ecology of the meadows, resulting in the encroachment of conifers (cone-bearing trees, such as pines).
In recent years, the National Park Service has sought to correct its history of fire suppression by lighting controlled prescribed fires to restore the landscape to its natural state. However, the high fuel load (trees, logs, and pine needles) makes it too dangerous to control. By cutting trees and stacking them in to small burn piles, firefighters can control a burn much more effectively.
In all, 29 students cut and piled 5 large burn piles in a matter of hours! NPS Fire thanks Turlock and Pitman High Schools for their hard work!