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Tuolumne Meadows Faces Challenges As Lodgepole Pine Advances

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Yosemite, CA– The iconic scenery of Tuolumne Meadows is undergoing a subtle transformation spurred by shifting environmental conditions and human impacts. The advance of Lodgepole Pine, enabled by these changes, is gradually reshaping the meadow into a wooded terrain. This slow shift has shrouded the once-spectacular panoramas of Tuolumne Meadows, posing a threat to the numerous advantages that these meadows confer, such as fostering biodiversity, aiding in flood control, and ensuring water quality and storage.

A tradition of stewardship stretching back to the 1930s ensures that Tuolumne Meadows remains a vital ecological haven. Yosemite National Park has managed the meadow by periodically removing lodgepole pine trees. This tradition endures today, with collaborative efforts bolstered by the support of the Yosemite Conservancy, the California Conservation Corps, tribal teams, and dedicated volunteers. The meticulous process involves cutting seedlings and saplings, which are then managed through methods like piling, chipping, or scattering to facilitate natural decomposition.

Yosemite requests that park visitors help protect the ecosystem of the meadows by staying on designated trails and not trampling meadow vegetation.