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Fulfilling the National Park Service Goals

The Mineral King store and post office c1911

How the Mineral King Community Helps to Fulfill the National Park Service Goals as Outlined in the September 30, 1997 Strategic Plan:

GOAL: Natural and cultural resources and associated values are protected, restored, and maintained in good condition and managed within their broader ecosystem and cultural context.

The Mineral King community is a unique example of man's long-term residency in a high mountain ecosystem. The community's structures have been protected, restored, and maintained in good condition since their 1895 to 1950s construction dates. These structures have been managed carefully within the broader ecosystem and cultural contexts, always in keeping with the surrounding environment. They create far less impact than campgrounds, concessionaire facilities or some employee communities in other parts of Sequoia National Park.

GOAL: The National Park Service contributes to knowledge about natural and cultural resources and associated values; management decisions about resources and visitors are based on adequate scholarly and scientific information.

The Mineral King community provides a strong basis for knowledge about natural and cultural resources in the area. Most of the current residents are descendants of local inhabitants, many of fifth or sixth generation. Their resources and knowledge as to the historical and natural procession of the area are invaluable for scholarly and scientific information.

With its unique blend of multiple ecosystems and long-term human occupation as a part of them, Mineral King is the perfect location for an educational and scientific facility. The community provides the basis and support for such a facility that is lacking in most other parts of the high Sierra.

GOAL: Visitors safely enjoy and are satisfied with the availability, accessibility, diversity and quality of park facilities, services and appropriate recreational opportunities.

Mineral King lies at the terminus of a basically one-lane, winding thirty-mile long road that takes about one and one-half hours to negotiate. With limited facilities several miles below the trail heads, the people of the Mineral King Community always have been important humanitarian resources of the area. Their presence helps to assure the safety of trekkers and visitors, provides medical aid, comfort, information and at times necessary lodging in an otherwise isolated road's-end environment.

GOAL: Park visitors and the general public understand and appreciate the preservation of parks and their resources for this and future generations.

Mineral King residents have a long history as stewards of the area. Protection of meadows and streams, education of transient visitors, preservation of prehistoric and historic artifacts are practiced on a daily basis.

The Mineral King Preservation Society is helping the National Park Service to achieve a portion of this goal through its work for historic designation of the community and eventually of other archaeological sites in the area. The cooperation of Sequoia National Park and the National Park Service in this effort is being realized after twelve years

GOAL: The National Park Service increases its managerial capabilities through initiatives and support from other agencies, organizations, and individuals. Increase by 10% over the 1997 level, the number of volunteer hours.

Because of its isolation and limited access, Sequoia National Park must depend on the Mineral King community for volunteer work. Trail work, projects for maintenance of public facilities, clean-ups, restoration projects, contributions to interpretive programs, utility maintenance and many other volunteer offerings are an on-going part of the community structure. With increasing lack of funding and without the help and stability of the volunteering community, the maintenance and care of the area would become increasingly difficult.

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