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Imagine


Harry Trauger with children outside
his Mineral King Cabin, c1906

...The Mineral King Valley forty years from now.

...It is just like so many other trail head destinations in the Sierra Nevada. A narrow, winding, bumpy road leads to several parking lots where rangers patrol the cars. Below the parking lots a few campgrounds are situated. For those people who have braved the road, the rangers also conduct some guided walking tours and campfire programs on week-ends. Versed only in book lore, they try to explain the past that has been lost and to extol the recently modified natural features of the valley.

....There are no cabins. A few flat spots and old foundations may be found along the valley floor if you know just where to look. An occasional square nail still might be discovered. A horseshoe or two might come to the surface in the area of the old corrals.

...There is no community left. No smoke curling from chimneys on a frosty morning. No living town of caring people who can help hikers when they need it. No one from any historical family to help interpret the past. No one who really deeply cares about the ecology and preservation of the natural resources of a beautiful valley through which people only pass.

...What has made Mineral King unique is gone. The blending of nature and culture; the living example of the evolution of man and community in the mountains; of his continuing influence and obligations; these have no meaning now. Only the study of nature is furthered and man's lasting place in it is all but forgotten.

...Mineral King has become simply another trail head and campground. Everyone there is now a transient user, including the short term employees of the Park. Only the communities of governmental administration are now allowed. There is no integrity, no continuity, no basis for learning or understanding left for future generations. Mineral King no longer is Mineral King, for the community that has made it the very essence of what it is, is gone.

But this does not have to happen!

...Sequoia National Park's new General Management plan now in process can save Mineral King. Through the GMP, Mineral King has the potential to be the vanguard of a new government policy for historical and cultural as well as natural conservation.
...But your help is needed to make this happen. By requesting preservation of the Mineral King community, you can help to stop not only the destruction of Mineral King, but also of many other Sierra Nevada historic sites. Never has your help been so crucial as it is now.

...To save Mineral King, register your concerns and opinions:

Participate in the planning process
Contact the Park Service

Next: Why the Mineral King Community is Unique.

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