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National Park Project
Transcript of National Park Project
Temperature History of the Park A Day at the
Park What a Visitor Should Expect Map of the Park Sequoia and King Canyon
California http://www.weather.com By Catherine Clark and
Abbie Bacilla Hiking Trails, etc. Animals and Plants Over 260 native vertebrate species!
Additional species appear but have not been confirmed: rare sightings of the wolverine and red fox. Limiting Factors, Ranges of tolerance, Succession General Biotic and Abiotic Factors Endangered Species Interesting Organisms and Geology 2 Day Trip A Week Trip Bibliography Park Ranger Interview CONCLUSION DIRECTIONS
TO SEQUOIA Take Interstate 10 West through New Mexico and Arizona until you get to California.
Total drive time: 26 - 28 hours.
Ideally, this road trip would last two to three days.
There are several airports around the park, if you do not want to drive. (Information found from Google Maps) https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=609+Crawford+St,+Houston,+TX&daddr=Sequoia+National+Park,+CA&hl=en&ll=32.953368,-106.918945&spn=22.368419,39.506836&sll=36.418134,-118.60378&sspn=1.345957,2.469177&geocode=Fd0KxgEdpPRQ-ikxIgIHJL9AhjGVzLNuBH6PYw%3BFd-8LAIdiNTu-CFk9B6f-d8KRCl5ZRktffu_gDFk9B6f-d8KRA&oq=609+&t=h&mra=ls&z=5 Black Bear California King Snake California Newt Marmot Oriole Limiting Factors: Temperature, along with the moisture of the air, decreases with increasing elevation. Precipitation increases with latitude.
It is important that the rangers monitor climate changes, because change in climate means change in ecosystems, which could negatively affect the wildlife (e.g. greater temperatures could sprout a greater amount wildfires that could wipe out several species' habitats).
Ranges of Tolerance: "giant sequoias have a narrow range of tolerance to climatic factors. Most of these authors, especially Muir, envisioned glaciers and cold air drainage as possible factors in disrupting the postulated continuous distributional pattern. Winter cold has often been mentioned, but is poorly understood as a potential factor in limiting growth (Hartesveldt et al. 1975)" (nps.gov)
Succession: "Global warming is likely to shift some habitats to higher elevation or possibly result in new associations of species as not all species at a particular elevation will respond the same way to climatic changes" (National Park Service website).
http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/sien/monitor/index.cfm If you're staying for only a night, spend the night by overnight backpacking!
Backpack for a day pitch a tent, leave in the morning.
It's good to experience most of the nature in just a short amount of time.
Be sure to read up on the rules and regulations of the park on nps.gov before you visit! Rock climbing (on actual mountains!)
Stock Use: sight-seeing while riding on a mule or a horse through certain areas of the park.
Scheduled Events: Most recently, "Critter Talk" is open on most days; it is an educational discussion and viewing of the wildlife in the park. During January, group snowshoe walks have also been scheduled.
Snowshoeing and skiing locations are open throughout the park during winter days.
Snowplay: certain parts of the park are reserved for kids who'd like to play in the snow. Sequoia and King Canyon offers opportunities not only to see the wildlife, but to learn about it.
It is the most diverse ecosystem in California, with five different biomes and an array of activities for every nature-lover in your family.
Through researching this park, we learned a lot about the park rangers' careers, the effects of humans on the environment, and the importance of wildlife conservation. http://www.nps.gov/seki/supportyourpark/bookstore.htm In the summer, drought becomes a major issue! Overall, temperatures are pretty high. However, they are very prepared for snowy weather. Catherine Clark interviewed a park ranger from Sequoia National Park named Krystina.
What is your position in the park?
I am an interpreter. And basically, I help people make personal and emotional connections with nature and the wilderness.
How long have you been working at Sequoia and Kings Canyon?
About 6 ½ years. At first, I just worked at Sequoia during the summer and at another park during the winter. But now, I work at Sequoia year round.
Did you have to attend college to get this position? And if so, what did you major in?
A college degree isn’t required, but it is highly recommended. I majored in German language and literature. Many people look at me strangely when I say that, but actually majoring in a language is very helpful. My first summer working at Sequoia, most of the other interpreters spoke another language. Being bilingual is very helpful when dealing with international visitors, especially if they have questions about the trees or the park. Also, it allows me to be able to help them myself, or to refer them to another ranger, who speaks their language. Now, we do not have as many bilingual rangers. In addition, many of the rangers have varied majors. We have people who majored in art history to biology to regular history to English. You could major in anything. This variety reflects the varied guests, we have here at Sequoia.
Is there are certain age a person has to be to work at the park? Or could someone who is 18 get a summer job there?
When someone is 18, they would probably help more with the service type of jobs in the park. For instance, they would help at the hotels. But there are some rangers who are college age. Just last summer, there was this one ranger that I worked with and she had just finished freshman year of college. There is also this other woman, who has two sons who are in college. And being a ranger was her dream job, so she retired and is now working at the park. And then there is this other ranger, who could be my grandfather. So, the ages vary and we have all types of people working with us.
What is your average day like?
Well, I spend half of my time at the visitors center answering questions and sharing information. Then a quarter of my time roving the trails and running formal programs for the public. And the other part of my time traveling through the park, or doing office work—my office is right next to Giant Forest. In the summer, I help to train new interpreters and to give educational lessons to different groups. What are some recommended activities that you would suggest to visitors?
I would suggest going onto the park website and looking at all the new events that are going on within the park, such as: driving tours, logistics, etc. Also, the park newspaper is on there too. You could also get a rough estimate of how long it will take you to reach the park and when you arrive you can call and get more info.
How much of the park is made up of the Core area?
I’ve never heard that term before. About 95-96% is complete wilderness. But people are allowed to explore that area, many though don’t feel comfortable doing that. They mostly stick to the other 5% with roads and other facilities.
What is your craziest, most memorable park ranger story?
Oh! This is a hard one! I have so many anecdotes. There’s helping those who have been injured, carrying them out on a stretcher, driving an ambulance through the park, chasing a bear that was getting bad habits from humans. Then there are all the things I do in my off time like hiking and snowshoeing through the parks with access to only the things I can carry on my back. But then there are the things on my Bucket-list like watching a bear being tracked and trapped and pulling a tooth out to examine its age, or putting a colored tag in its ears so it can be tracked, and then being able to watch it being released, where we make noise and shoot off pyrotechnics. We do this in order to show them to be afraid of with humans, after they start to pick up bad habits from humans or are hanging around with humans.
So, you would say that this is a very important part of your job? Reinforcing a bear’s instinctual fear of humans?
Well, that is an important job. But the biggest thing we can do to prevent bear interaction with people is through education. This is our most important and necessary tool to help protect the park and the animals and plants inside it.
Wow! Your job sounds absolutely amazing! Thank you for your time! And have a great day.
Thank you! Good luck with your project. Ranger Interview cont. Biotic Factors:
Giant Sequoias—such as The General Sherman Tree
Black bears, California newts, snakes, Marmots
Some invasive species, like Velvet Grass and Foxglove.
schist Pleistocene era fossils
noise. In the foothills, lower slopes.Hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. Small, short fires are a necessary and habitual part of this biome.
This biome is rich in biodiversity
A “highly desired” place for human habitation.
Blue oak, California buckeye Chaparral Alpine (Tundra) at the summit of Mt. Whitney: Alpine tundra commonly occurs at mountain tops and is similar to arctic tundra.
Unlike arctic tundra, Alpine tundra has a “short, intense growing season” and the ground usually has a surfeit of colorful flowers and plants with leathery leaves and deep “pigmentation.”
Has a low biodiversity.
Alpine mountain sheep and mountain goats are two animals that are likely found within this biome. Usually found in areas that are mountainous but are at lower latitudes.
A slow-growing forest with a variety of trees, such as: pines, spruce, cedar, and fir.
The growing season is short, due to the dominance of frost and cold temperatures. Boreal forest: Moist is limited within this biome.
In the winter, it exists as ice or snow and is therefore unavailable.
While in the summer, drought may make water limited.
In order to reduce moisture loss, trees have thin, waxy leaves and are often cone bearing. Sequoias (normally having low ranges of tolerance) prosper in this type of environment. Temperate Coniferous Temperate Grassland The park contains a portion of the U.S.’s longest mountain range: Sierra Nevada. Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the “contiguous United States,” is also inside the park. Mt. Whitney is “14,491 ft above sea level.” And there are eleven other peaks inside the park that are over 14,000 ft. With salient ridges spread throughout the park, there are three main divides: Goddard and Monarch divides, and The Great Western Divide, with peaks over 1200 ft high.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are filled with hundreds of caves. Kings Canyon has the most. These caves can be found between the many mountains. In Kings Canyon lies a wide glacial valley with beautiful waterfalls that cascade down the mountain side. A little ways outside of Kings Canyon lies the deepest canyon in North America. Swift rivers and deep valleys and huge waterfalls and clear alpine lakes can be found around every bend of the park. Although geologists say that these mountain ranges are rather young, the fading impressions of the ancient history of the park can be seen every day, as glaciers slowly drift their way up stream.
Most of these Mountains and peaks and cliffs are made up of granitic rock that is being built upon every minute. Also, one can find more than 200 marble caves within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National park. Geology ANIMALS Found in the Chaparral biome within the foothills of the park: gray fox, bobcat, striped and spotted skunks, black bear, woodrat, pocket gopher, white-footed mouse., California quail, scrub jay, lesser goldfinch, wrentit, acorn woodpecker, gopher snake, California kingsnake, striped racer, western whiptail lizard, and the California newt.
Low to mid-montane elevations: chickaree, gray squirrel, golden-mantled ground quirrel, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, and migratory and a variety of resident birds (western tanager, violet-green swallow, white-throated swift, Wilson’s warbler, olive-sided flycatcher, hermit thrush, western bluebird, and pileated woodpecker. Although reptiles are not common within the park, there are some that live throughout it—mountain kingsnake, rubber boa, western fence lizard, and alligator lizard.
In the high country—lakes, meadows, some open forest, granite—there is a dearth of food and mammals are less common. “It is only here that you will find the elusive Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.” There is also the marmot, pika, and white-tailed jack rabbit, the Clark’s nutcracker, mountain bluebird, and gray-crowned rosy finch, and a mountain yellow-legged frog, whose numbers are dwindling and “recovery efforts are now underway.”
Northern flying squirrel, yellow-bellied marmots, California ground squirrels, Douglas squirrels, ringtails, mountain lions, short-tailed weasels, as well as 26 species of rodents and 17 species of bats.
The park is home to over 200 species of birds, including “many neotropical migrants.” Bullock’s Orioles, for example. Many of the more rare animals in the park are sometimes seen by guests.
There are rare sightings of gyrfalcons, wolverines, red foxes and great gray owls.
The Mountain Yellow-legged Frog is an endangered species that lives within the park. Once upon a time, these frogs were abundant inside the park, inhabiting many fishless rivers and streams.
Currently the NPS has been trying to revive the Mountain Yellow-Legged frog by isolating the causes of its decrease and dealing with those causes.
The first problem was the introduced trout to the high-elevation lakes in Sierra Nevada. These trout, seemingly simple tourist attractions, eat tadpoles and small frogs. 2001 began the hunt for trout. The park rangers used “large nets and electrofishers…to physically remove trout from selected waters.” The process is still being completed and so far, nine lakes have been completely freed from trout.
Now the population of the Mountain Yellow-Legged frogs has stabilized to the point where they can handle threats, such as disease. PLANTS Low to mid-montane elevations: ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, white fir, sugar pine, and scattered groves of giant sequoia. Upslope Jeffrey slopes, red fir, lodgepole pine forest, “quaking” aspen.
Evalyn’s Jewel Flower is just an example of the variety of plant life found within the park.
Invasive Species: Velvet grass, Bull Thistle, Cheatgrass, Foxglove, French Broom, Giant Reed, Greater Periwinkle, Himalayan Blackberry, Italian Thistle, Reed Canary Grass, Spanish Broom and Yellow Star Thistle. Evalyn's Jewel Flower Spanish Broom Sequoia Trees “One in every five mammal species in the park is a bat.”
Grizzly bears are extinct in California, and the last sighting of a grizzly bear was in Sequoia National Park.
"Biologists and NPS staff announced the discovery of at least 27 new species in the caves of Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The discoveries, all previously unknown to science, included spiders, millipedes, centipedes, pseudo-scorpions, and true bugs" (Picavet)
FUN FACT: Not all black bears are black! There are some that are brown (nps.gov) HUMAN HISTORY Originally, the area that makes up the parks was used by the following Native American tribes: Monache, the Foothills Yokuts and the Tubatulabal. These three tribes all interacted with one another, and had their own language and culture. Later in the late 1700s to the early 1800s, the Spanish were the first Western people to really explore and investigate the area that now makes up the parks, bringing with them loggers, trappers, miners and sheepherders. All together these people began to use the resources and to interrupt the natives. As Orders were established within California, the Sierra was not left alone. The Sierra Nevada valley was accidentally names by missionary Pedro Font. Font had the opportunity to see the valley in all of its wintry beauty and described it as “una gran sierra nevada.” As time passed, the coastal shenanigans of the Spaniards encroached on the peaceful inland, disturbing the lives of many natives and the valley itself. Soon the natives world collapsed around them, and with that world fell the natural buffer zone within the valley.
Later near the end of the 1800s, Walter Frye—Ambassador of Nature—would be one of the first to sign a peition for a national park to protect the Giant Sequoias found in California. In early 1905, he would become one of the first rangers within the park. Geologically the mountain range within the park is only 10 million years old. Four periods of glacial activity helped to cut through the rock and to form valleys and ridges and rivers. The type of rocks found here were originally a product of volcanic activity that spurred subduction, forcing the landmass below the earth up from the Pacific. Subduction takes place when super hot water forces the ocean floor to move upward with melted rock. This entire process of subduction took place more than 100 million years ago. And while the mountains seem stable and the land sturdy, the geology of the park is still growing and shaping and eroding. GEOLOGIC HISTORY Cunningham, William P., and Mary Ann Cunningham. Principles of Enviornmental
Science: Inquiry & Applications. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
"Monitoring." National Park Service. nps.gov. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
"Monthly Averages for Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park." The Weather Channel. TrustE. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/CANPSKC:13>.
"Sequoia & King Canyon." National Park Service. U.S. Department of Interior. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm>.
"Sequoia National Park." The American Southwest. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
Siboriboun, Van. "California Kingsnake." WhoZoo. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
Picavet, Alexandra. "Twenty-Seven New Species Found In Park Caves." NPS Digest: NPS Gateway for Partners, Friends and Alumni. (2006). Web. 22 Jan 2013.
"Sequoia and Kings Canyon Map." Map. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Web. 21 Jan. 2013. <http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm>. http://www.californiachaparral.com/awheresthechaparral.html http://www.kurtgalbreath.com/research.plants.html http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/boreal.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/habitats/Temperate_grasslands,_savannas,_and_shrublands Found in places where there is enough precipitation to support abundant grass, yet not enough to support a forest.
This type of biome preservers through fire, drought, and extreme heat and cold.
The soil is rich with the nutrients that are given off by decaying leaves, animals, and other matter.
Soil erosion is a common threat, if the ground cover dies off, and invasive, unfriendly weeds prosper. http://www.ecosystema.ru/08nature/world/52ten/040e.htm Schedueled Hiking Trails (all of them are day hikes):
Giant Forest & Lodgepole
Mineral King Lodging:
John Muir Lodge
Grant Grove Cabin (pictured above)
Cedar Grove Cabin
Plenty of hotels and resorts located outside of the park Year-Round Restaurants:
Wuksachi Village: Dining Room with gift shopGrant Grove Village: Restaurant, market, post office.Montecito-Sequoia Lodge (in the National Forest between Wuksachi and Grant Grove): Restaurant.