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Giant Sequoia National Monument Saved from Logging

The Giant Sequoia National Monument’s towering trees are among the planet’s most majestic living things. It boasts more than half of all the Sequoia redwoods in the world, with most of the remainder found in the adjacent National Park. But that hasn’t stopped efforts to cut them for timber.

In 2005, the Forest Service finalized plans to allow for commercial logging in the prized Giant Sequoia groves. Under the plan, nearly 7.5 million board feet of timber would have been removed annually from the Monument, enough to fill 1,500 logging trucks each year. This policy would have included logging of healthy trees of any species as big as 30 inches in diameter or more – trees that size can be as much as 300 years old.

Although the administration of President George Bush Sr. had proclaimed the Sequoia groves off limits to commercial logging, the Forest Service sought to justify the timber sale under the guise of forest thinning activities designed to mitigate the risk of wildfires.

Conservationists challenged the Bush administration under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in search of a better way to manage the rare forest.

The trees were saved when a federal judge ruled in August of 2006 that logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument was illegal.

Judge Breyer called the proposal “incomprehensible,” concluding “the Forest Service’s interest in harvesting timber…trampled the applicable environmental laws.”


[1] Sierra Club v. Bosworth, 465 F. Supp. 2d 931. Available at:

[2] “Judge Throws Out Logging Plan for Sequoia Monument.” Los Angeles Times. August 23, 2006. Available at:


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