Los Angeles Times

Re “Face it, sequoia lovers: Sprinklers can’t save them forever,” Opinion, July 19


Pomona College professor Char Miller seems to believe that protecting our giant sequoias with sprinklers and other means will ultimately be futile in light of climate change. That may be, but should we just give up?

Forty years ago, California condors faced imminent extinction. Environmen­talists and scientists intervened and brought the California condor back from the brink. Today, the condor population is about 550, up from 27 in the wild in 1987.

What would have happened if we had given up?

The simple truth is, due to the severity of climate change and some 80 years of suppressin­g every fire that broke out, wildfires now are much more likely to “crown” and destroy an entire forest.

In Yosemite’s Mariposa grove of giant sequoias, for example, the National Park Service has for many years cleared the forest of overgrowth and protected the trees through drastic measures in times of fire. That practice in some part probably saved many sequoias during recent fires.

In the last five years, we have lost an estimated 20% of all sequoias to fire. That is an unsustaina­ble number. We have a responsibi­lity to do everything we can to protect our precious natural resources for future generation­s.

Lawrence Levy


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