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California is trying to make world’s tallest tree invisible

It sounds hard to hide the tallest tree in the world. But that’s exactly what officials at California’s Redwood National Park have been trying to do since 2006.

Now the 380-foot-tall sequoia is officially taboo. in one expression Last week, the park wrote that any visitor caught near it could face six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

For 16 years, the park refused to release the tree’s location to protect it. They feared that too many visitors could damage the site and damage the delicate ecology of the surrounding hillsides.

The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is estimated to be 600 to 800 years old. Named after the Greek titan god of heavenly light, Hyperion stands deep in the park and there are no trails leading to it, but its internet fame has made it a frequent destination for adventure seekers, travel bloggers and tree lovers. People are fascinated by Hyperion’s size and secrecy. It’s been the subject of hundreds of Reddit threads over the years.

“Give me $7 million and a plane and I’ll find it,” said one user.

“It would be so epic to climb up and look out,” said another.

One disturbing comment reads, “Think of all the napkins we could make out of this thing! We have to find it!”

Given Hyperion’s off-trail location, hikers must go through dense vegetation and scrub to reach it, the statement said. This causes irreversible environmental damage. People leave garbage, human waste, create secondary footpaths, and trample on the area around the tree. Some even bring drones or attempt to climb Hyperion. The result is a degradation of the tree base and an unnatural lack of vegetation around it. Increased foot traffic also causes soil compaction, damaging the tree’s shallow roots.

“A single visitor can drastically change an environment for the worse,” the statement said. “Although you may feel like you’re not making an impact, many people who make a small change have a lasting and devastating effect.”

Visits to Hyperion are also dangerous for visitors. The area has limited cell phone and GPS coverage, making rescuing lost or injured hikers very difficult.

Additionally, according to the park, Hyperion isn’t the most impressive tree in the area and doesn’t live up to its hype. The trunk is small compared to other ancient sequoias and it is impossible to observe its height from the ground.

“There are hundreds of trees on designated trails that are more impressive to view from the base of the tree,” the statement said.

The park is doing everything it can to keep human visitors away from Hyperion, especially now that wildfires are a much more difficult threat to mature trees.

The park’s statement leaves readers with a choice: “You must decide whether you will be part of the preservation of this unique landscape – or will you be part of its destruction?”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-01/california-worlds-tallest-tree-invisible-visitors-jail-fines California is trying to make world’s tallest tree invisible

Alley Einstein

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