Forests Forever Action Alerts

Act to change administration of Sequoia National Monument

Bill would switch control from Forest Service to National Park Service

UPDATE (Fall 2008):

The Act to Save America’s Forests recently was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 7090 by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton).

The bill would, among other things, make the National Park Service the administrator of Giant Sequoia National Monument, removing it from the management of the U.S. Forest Service.

While recent court decisions have halted logging inside the monument, it is just a matter of time before the Forest Service comes out with new plans as destructive as the ones thrown out by the courts.

Forests Forever campaigned for more than a year to garner supporty for the measure and its re-introduction in strengthened form. Thousands of Forests Forever supporters wrote letters on the bill’s behalf.

“The Forest Service record shows that they plan to take timber out of the monument, regardless of logging’s negative effects on wildlife and on the big trees themselves,” said Paul Hughes, executive director of Forests Forever.

“It’s time the giant sequoias are taken out of the agency’s hands.”

Giant sequoia in the monument. Photo courtesy Martin Litton

Sequoias are the largest trees on Earth, some reaching almost 300 feet in height, attaining diameters of well over 40 feet, and weighing up to 600 tons. They are also among the oldest living things on the planet, some lasting more than 3,000 years
The 327,769-acre Giant Sequoia National Monument in the southern Sierra was established by President Bill Clinton’s proclamation in 2000 to protect the ancient sequoias and their unique ecosystem. Clinton’s proclamation specifically states that “no portion of the Monument shall be considered to be suited for timber production.”

Though the decree explicitly banned logging in the monument, projects already authorized were allowed to continue for two and a half years. The Forest Service repeatedly extended this deadline, until recent court decisions halted the remaining projects.

The Forest Service claims that logging is needed to thin the forest and “preserve the ecosystem” in the monument. Yet the Park Service, which manages adjacent Sequoia National Park, has avoided logging as a management technique, using prescribed fire to maintain its sequoia groves very successfully.

The Forest Service has neither the expertise nor the inclination to manage or restore natural ecosystems. The Park Service, on the other hand, has nearly a century of experience in preserving national monuments, many of which have become national parks.

The revised bill also instructs the Interior Secretary to conduct reconnaissance surveys of ecoregions not already represented by any unit of the National Park System or National Wilderness Preservation System. An assessment would be made of the suitability and feasibility of such ecoregions for inclusion as units of the National Park System

Write to your congressional representatives and tell them you think that Giant Sequoia National Monument should be placed under the National Park Service. Ask them to support the Act to Save America’s Forests by pressing for a hearing in the House Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry.

Write to your California senators at their local offices– mail sent to Washington is often delayed for weeks due to heightened security:

Sen. Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery St., #240
San Francisco, CA 94111 Sen. Dianne Feinstein
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

You can find contact information for your representative at:


Dear _________________,

I urge you to support the Act to Save America’s Forests, H.R. 7090 (Eshoo), which will protect the sequoia groves in Giant Sequoia National Monument from ecologically disastrous logging and mismanagement by the U.S. Forest Service. The act will transfer control of the Monument from the Forest Service to the National Park Service.

In addition to keeping timber harvesting out of the monument, the act will protect tens of millions of acres of designated core forest areas throughout all the national forests from logging, including ancient forests, roadless areas, riparian zones, and other designated forest areas with high ecological value and old-growth characteristics. The act will require native biodiversity in the national forests to be protected and restored. It will prohibit clearcutting and other forms of destructive logging outside the core forest areas as well.

Please support the Act to Save America’s Forests and work to bring it to a hearing in the House Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry, so that the sequoias and national forests throughout this country will be protected for future generations.


[Your name]
[Your address]

And please send a copy to Forests Forever!

Thank you for taking the time to ensure the protection of these irreplaceable trees and thehabitat they provide.

In September 2005 Paul Hughes, the executive director of Forests Forever, visited Washington, DC to rally support for the Act to Save America's Forests. Read about his trip here.

Visit “Chainsaws in the Cathedral,” our photo gallery showing the devastation caused by logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument.


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places