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The Sequoias


Nowhere else in the world are conifers found in such ex tensive forests and in such superlative vigor and stu pendous size as in the states that border the Pacific Ocean. California is particularly the paradise of the conifers. All of the species that make the forests of the Northwest the wonder of travelers and the pride of the states are found in equally prodigal size and extent in California. To these forests are added groves of sequoias—the Big Tree and the redwood, the former found nowhere outside of California, the latter reaching into Oregon.

Once the sequoias had a wide distribution in the Old and the New World. With magnolias and many other lux uriant trees found in warm climates, five species of sequoia extended over the North Temperate zone in both hemi spheres, reaching even to the Arctic Circle. The glacial

period transformed the climate of the world and de stroyed these luxuriant northern forests under a grinding continuous glacier. The rocks of the tertiary and cretaceous periods preserved in fossils the story of these pre-glacial forests. Two of the species of sequoia escaped destruction in tracts the ice sheet did not overwhelm. For ten thousand years, perhaps, the sequoia has held its own in the California groves. Indeed, both species are able to extend their present range if nature is unhindered. The three enemies that threaten sequoia groves are the axe of the lumberman, the forest fire kindled by the waste about sawmills, and the grazing flocks that destroy seedling trees.

forests and california