SFK’s Top 10 Achievements in our First
- SFK, along with four other environmental organizations, won a lawsuit against the Forest Service’s first management plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument, forcing the agency to begin again and create a management plan that would truly protect the Monument.
- Sequoia ForestKeeper has stopped ten logging projects, protecting countless trees totaling over 900 million board feet on over 20,000 acres since we began our work in 2001.
- SFK helped to ensure that all Americans have the right to appeal any decisions made by the Federal Government by filing the Burnt Ridge lawsuit, which resulted in a Federal judge determining that logging-related Categorical Exclusions are not exempt from appeal on any National Forest; a huge victory for all of America’s forests.
- SFK halted grazing permits on over 50,000 acres of sensitive habitat in Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
- SFK filed suit against the US Forest Service to stop a local rancher from diverting the entire flow of Fay Creek, a stream in Sequoia National Forest, a tributary of the South Fork Kern River, which resulted in a precedent-setting court ruling that will protect watersheds throughout the country. This was upheld in two rulings, one in 2010 and the other in 2011.
- SFK has had five successful seasons of our Summer Intern Monitoring Program, in which college students and recent graduates spend the summer doing forest health, wildlife, and sequoia seedling monitoring. The information is used to help us better understand the long-term effects of logging on the sequoia ecosystem and to inform managers. Many of the students who have participated in this program have gone on to graduate school or gotten fantastic positions in their field, partly as a result of their having taken part in our intern program.
- SFK President Martin Litton and Executive Director Ara Marderosian traveled to Washington, D.C., several times and educated legislators about the sequoia issue, sparking positive congressional actions, like the 2011 Monument transfer request to President Obama by Rep. Sam Farr, which was signed by 80 Representatives.
- SFK’s comments caused the Forest Service to not issue a Special Use Permit to a large game safari hunting company, which would have used unleashed packs of dogs to find and tree bears, foxes, and other trophy game for paying hunters. The unleashed packs of dogs would have posed a serious threat to the threatened Pacific fisher.
- SFK discovered an illegal Sequoia National Forest Fire Management Plan, which had not gone through the public review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act and which the Forest Service had added to the Final Management Plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument, SFK disclosed this to the office of the California Attorney General (AG) causing the AG to file a complaint in Federal District Court against the Forest Service’s Fire Plan, which was ruled illegal by the court that invalidated the plan.
- SFK has helped people from around the world to love and appreciate the sequoias through our many education and outreach activities, such as writing newsletters, manning information tables at fairs and festivals, giving presentations to various organizations and students of all ages, and adopting-out over 200 sequoias through our “Adopt a Sequoia” program.