Bakersfield Field Office
Giant Sequoias - Case Mountain Grove Unit
Case Mountain Grove as viewed from Sequoia National Park
Case Mountain Grove Unit
This Grove is second largest in area size at 126.7 acres consisting of giant sequoia and a mixed conifer-black oak forest component. It is located on the northwest side of Case Mountain entirely within the confines of a sub-watershed ranging between 5400 and 6400 feet elevation. There are large flowing springs in this grove, which eventually drain into Salt Creek. Of interest is that this entire Grove was acquired form private land owners in 1979 by the BLM through a land exchange. The seller retained the rights to harvest 3 million board feet of timber for this grove unit and portions of the nearby Nutmeg Grove. The resulting timber harvest was a selective cut comprized of mixed conifers only and was completed in both grove units during 1981.
There is public access for hikers, equestrian and mountain bicyclists up the northwest side of Case Mountain along the Salt Creek Road to the grove area. It is a 10 mile uphill one-way trip from the Skyline Road easement motorized vehicular parking area to the grove. It is advisable to bring ample water and food with you before attempting to travel this access route.
There are 101 recorded giant sequoias that range in size from 3 to 16 feet in diameter, 1202 sequoias that range in size from 4.5 to 35.9 inches in diameter and approximately 6000 hand-counted mostly 12 to14 year-old fire-regenerated sequoia trees. The largest standing sequoia on Case Mountain measures just over 50 feet in circumference and resides in this Grove. This grove unit contains the largest number of monarch sized sequoias than any of the other grove units. All trees are located on BLM lands.
The Case Fire of 1987 burned portions of this grove resulting in a generally low intensity ground fire burning approximately 60 percent of the grove area in 1987. The entire Grove was burned in 1928. Most of the larger trees have a fire history as evidenced by large basal fire scars. Many young sequoias also have fire scars resulting from the 1987 fire. There is evidence that some young sequoias with 1987 fire scars have been toppling due to ongoing basal rot in the fire scars. Prescribed burning of this Grove is planned for the future. All sequoias of 3 feet diameter or greater have been recently fire proofed by removal of larger sized slash and thinning of small non-sequoia understory trees. This includes all grove units both on public and 90 % of the private lands.
This Grove was logged during the late 1940's to the mid 1950's for mixed conifer. Only 6 giant sequoias ranging in size from 8 to 12 feet in diameter were cut during this period. Logging of mixed conifers again occurred during 1981 per the aforementioned acquisition agreement. Approximately 90 percent of the sequoias 4.5 to 35.9 inches in diameter are generated from 1940-1950's surface disturbance caused by various logging activities. Approximately 3 percent of the young sequoias (4.5 to 12 inches in diameter) were generated by the later 1981 logging activity. Mixed conifers can be found abundantly in the grove area. Black oak trees are generally found in the more open areas.
Scattered giant sequoia nurseries resulting from the 1987 fire are found in this Grove, more so than the other six Groves. Some of the most vigorous trees are 20 feet tall as of 2000. Many are stunted due to competition and excessive shade. White fir, incense cedar, sugar pine and ponderosa pine saplings can be found within the grove area.
There are no known plantings of any tree species in this Grove.
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