In California, visitors who approach the tallest tree in the world risk prison

Hyperion dominates the world. This 115 meter high sequoia is the tallest tree in the world. Located in the heart of Redwood National Park in California, it is now in danger because of the visitors who flock to admire it. But the Guardian explains that park officials have decided to take real action to protect it. Now, hikers who venture around the tree risk up to $5,000 in fines and 6 months in jail.

The redwood was discovered in 2006 by two amateur naturalists. Starting in 2010, hikers began flocking to see it, after bloggers shared its exact location on the internet. But the tree, 600 to 800 years old, is located off the official paths.

Unnecessary risks for a “not so impressive” result

To reach it, visitors do not hesitate to clear brush and trample the dense vegetation of the park. The tree itself has been damaged at its base, the area around its trunk no longer has ferns due to repeated trampling. Hikers also abandon their waste which piles up in the park and pollutes the ecosystem.

In addition, this situation also presents a risk for nature lovers : by venturing so deep into the forest, there is no longer any network. If someone gets hurt, it could take days to rescue them.

Leonel Arguello, the person in charge of natural resources in the park, wishes to warn visitors that they are taking risks unnecessarily: “The tree is big, of course, but when you are at its foot, it is not very impressive. You can’t see its top, just branches blocking the view,” he admits. Instead, the specialist advises lovers of greenery to go to Tall Trees Grove Park, where the trails are laid out to facilitate visits.

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