Concept

General Grant Grove

Summary
General Grant Grove, a section of the greater Kings Canyon National Park, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1890 and is located in Fresno County, California. The primary attraction of General Grant Grove is the giant sequoia trees that populate the grove. General Grant Grove's most well-known tree is called General Grant, which is tall and the third-largest known tree in the world. The General Grant tree is over 1,500 years old and is known as the United States' national Christmas tree. General Grant Grove consists of and is geographically isolated from the rest of Kings Canyon National Park. The original inhabitants of what is today General Grant Grove and Kings Canyon National Park were natives of the Shoshonean language group. The Monache, Tübatulabal, and Yokuts were the primary native groups of the region. In 1846, Hale Tharp, a disenchanted miner who hoped to establish a cattle ranch in the region, became the first white settler to enter the Giant Forest that would later constitute Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Tharp carved a shelter out of a fallen sequoia tree and began to raise cattle. Initially, Native Americans of the region welcomed Tharp, as he helped them hunt and coexisted peacefully among them. Tharp's settlement in the Giant Forest, however, spurred further human interest in the region, and the native population began to contract contagious diseases from incoming white settlers. Tharp claimed that the natives pleaded with him to help them prevent white settlers from entering the valley. When Tharp told them this was impossible, the natives elected to leave the valley. By 1865, within twenty years of Tharp's arrival in the Giant Forest, the natives of the region had moved elsewhere and the Giant Forest was open to timber companies and cattle ranchers. With the growing presence of timber and cattle interests, conservationists began to advocate for the preservation of the region. In 1873, John Muir, a renowned naturalist, hiked from Yosemite to the Giant Forest.
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