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2000 Apr
2000 Mar
2000 Feb



A new superintendent

Craig C. Axtell has held many positions during his 30-year career with the Park Service. As Chief of the NPS Biological Resource Management Division in Colorado, he became heavily involved with national wildlife management, invasive plant management and ecosystem restoration. Starting in the late 1970s, he also has played an integral role in NPS Fire Management policies.

Superintendent Axtell states as one of his strengths, a desire to collaborate with partners in local and regional communities. Among his goals, he states the need to always provide accurate information, and to let the public know “...We don’t have any secrets...We can’t become arrogant and assume we have all the answers.” Superintendent Axtell and his family are hikers, backpackers, skiers, and mountain bikers.

Fire Concerns

The prescribed fire program has finally breached the Mineral King Valley. Late last fall fire crews conducted a prescribed burn of east Paradise Ridge almost to Timber Gap and down to the Ranger Station/Tar Gap parking lot areas. The burn has destroyed many of the few trees on the mountain, and also much of the high-mountain chaparral that will take decades to regenerate, For information contact: NPS Fire Information and Education Specialist Jody_Lyle@nps.gov (559)565-3703; Tulare County Air Quality Board (559)230-6000.


In 2001, the Wilderness Society initiated a lawsuit to force the Park Service to proceed with designation of wilderness in several national parks. The court directed “Wilderness Suitability Assessments” be completed in 8 parks, including Sequoia. The 2002-2003 assessment for the Mineral King area evaluated a “back country” segment away from the Historic Road Corridor to be suitable for preservation as wilderness, and to be managed as such. The developed Road Corridor with its private lands, cabins and associated developments, was evaluated as unsuitable. Any further steps beyond the assessment would include public notice, hearings, and eventual Congressional action—all requirements the Park Service has neither the money nor the inclination to pursue. For more information, contact SNP Inform.

Cabin maintenance

For the past two years, the Guide to Repair and Maintenance of the Mineral King cabins has been considered advisory only. The Park acted as consultant on questions fielded to it relating to repair projects, and signed off on Tulare County permit forms. That policy has changed this year. The Park now requires park forms be filed for permission to initiate exterior structural projects and rangers have been asked to report any structural changes they see, to be certain Park permission has been granted.

It is very important to make certain all exterior projects are permitted and in conformance with the Guidelines.

www.MineralKing.org (last updated 1/23/14 )