Big Trees, the latest short film in the Yosemite Nature Notes series by park videographer Steven Bumgardner, is available for viewing. Through interviews with several interpretive rangers, Bumgardner focuses on the importance of a small but significant grove of sequoias in a lesser-visited corner of the national park. He discussed his latest project with The REI Blog:
Q: What motivated you to choose trees as the subject of your latest film?
A: In 1864, Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove were set aside by the federal government, and these trees are one of the main reasons there's a national park here today. I also live and work in Sequoia National Park, so I've got an affinity for these big trees.
Q: You're Yosemite's videographer, but you live in Sequoia?
A: My wife works in Sequoia, and there's very little housing available in Yosemite.
Q: Interesting. Yosemite lacks a signature tree such as the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia, but is there one tree in the park that most impresses you?
A: The Wawona Tunnel Tree is still the most famous tree in Yosemite, even though it fell down 40 years ago. The Grizzly Giant is a favorite of many park visitors and sequoia lovers.
Q: Any making-of-the-film stories you'd like to share?
A: I spent more time in the Mariposa Grove this summer than ever before, and even as a bit of a sequoia snob (I live in Sequoia National Park, after all) I realize that the upper Mariposa Grove is pretty special place and one of the top 5 of the dozens of groves I've visited.
Q: What's next?
A: We just got off a week long trip up to the Lyell and McClure glaciers in Yosemite, which included climbing mountain summits and rappelling into the bergschrund (a crevasse at a glacier's upper end) for the next episode--Glaciers.
Check out this advance, behind-the-scenes look at Glaciers.
Note: The date of the photo below is unknown. It shows a U.S. Cavalry regiment posing with a fallen sequoia inside Yosemite.