Answer: Largest Living Thing on Earth

Last week, we asked some questions about the Giant Sequoias the Parks in Focus: California group saw in Mariposa Grove our first day in Yosemite:

  1. Why didn’t the Giant Sequoias get cut down for timber when first discovered in the late 1800s?

Peggy had the best guess for question one, that the Sequoias weren’t cut down for timber because people thought they were haunted! There probably are some good ghost stories associated with Mariposa Grove, but that’s not why the trees weren’t cut down.

When the trees were first discovered, prospectors were excited about huge timber yields.  But the wood is very fibrous and brittle, so trees would shatter when they hit the ground.  Some wood was gathered to be used as fence posts and matchsticks, but eventually photographs of the broken and abandoned trees caused a public outcry, and the groves of Sequoias were protected.

Check out the answer for question two in the video below:

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