Redwoods in Stout Grove

Largest Coast Redwoods | New Discovery | 2008 - 2018

The last 1/2 of this page covers redwood explorers 1963-2006 & other notes

Continued from: Coast Redwoods Main Page

Copyright 2014 - 2017 | by Mario Vaden | I.S.A. Certified Arborist - PNW 5584A

Redwood National and State Parks now has the tallest & widest redwoods surpassing all giant sequoias for girth and height. Coast redwoods below are samples of new 2008 - 2017 discoveries (over 200 new diameter records, titans, champions and 18 ft. - 29 ft. + redwoods ... enough 24 footers that I quit counting). Even a 235 ft. weeping Hemlock. The largest shown is Spartan, exceeding the 1998 Grove of Titans; making the 20 tallest like gum drops. More than one coast redwood exceeds General Sherman Sequoiadendron's 1321 points by about 40 points, making coast redwood the actual overall national champ. Also, apparently the "Sherminator" is not the largest single stem (read more). Ever since the 2008 discovery of Dog Soldier and others in Redwood National Park it was evident more exist. Due to notable finds not revealed, the main redwood page menu #1 is assigned to Emissary. Albino redwoods were discovered in Prairie Creek, Jedediah Smith and Humboldt Redwoods SP (see Albino Redwoods). Another new champion was found in RNSP, January, 2016, named "Hail Storm", but hasn't been shown. When early 2017 started, DARTH VADER was introduced. 2018 may hold new surprises like Sitka Spruce (keep reading), but 2018 arrived with two more 350' discoveries (spotted by Taylor via LiDAR for HRSP).

video select for Grove of Titans redwoods

Near the coast, rangers barely utter a word about new discoveries in relation to the species' potential. And down in the Sequoiadendron mountain visitor centers, you may not learn of these for comparison. But updates will be provided here. Regarding information, my other page for the old Grove of Titans is continually updated. It was in the news (2017) several times regarding wear and tear, including CBS News. I added a video about several facets omitted from the news. Here's a quick path to my video recorded December 2017. The other page has even more.

About "official" and new finds; discovery & measuring rarely if ever originates from rangers, NPS, etc.. A small guild of explorers and experts usually find and measure redwoods or other species in the forest. Eventually the info may be given to rangers. When the discovery alliance confirms something, it's practically more official than "official" because rangers have virtually no other cistern to draw from. Think back to Mendocino, Statosphere Giant or Hyperion. Each was found and measured first, then afterward relayed to parks or rangers. In a way, it's analogous to albino trees getting food from the larger productive green coast redwoods.


 

Read more below the image ... person shown for for scale

Grogans Fault redwood, wider than famous redwoods Grove of Titans

 

What does this all mean? For me ... I have seen the heart of the park where most people will never go. It also means I'm beginning to feel it. Even my trekking pole is crooked. These days I explore more slowly, but do return to a few rugged spots like New Hope Grove. I hoped to explore Devil's Creek more completely, but maybe someone new to bushwhacking can cover that watershed.

The era of giant coast redwood discovery is almost gone. Research will continue but the days of hunting for largest redwoods is almost a thing of the past. The remaining old growth is mostly explored. To hitch a ride on the tail end of this era was remarkable ... like running for the last car of an old locomotive, and someone reached out a hand to help me leap on board the last train that would ever steam-down the tracks. Discovery of new giant redwoods is vanishing like a whiff of smoke.

Some discoveries were not fully revealed, but any redwood may appear any time including the mystery pages (main redwood page menu) generically. Regarding Spartan (Grogan's Fault) for which we are sharing information, Michael Taylor commented "not surprise me if the total volume of this beast is over 40K cubic feet." Compare that to old discoveries. For Melkor in May 2015, Taylor wrote the main trunk is 33,500 cu. ft.. Del Norte Titan main trunk is 33,670 cu. ft. with 9.5% volume from 43 reiterated trunks. Iluvatar has 12.3% in over 100 reiterated stems and the main trunk is 32,890 cu. ft.

In 2014, John Montague of Arcata found a coast redwood in Redwood National Park with circumference 107.8 ft or 34.31 ft. ground diameter and 27 ft. dbh. Weeks later I found a redwood 27.4 ft. diameter dbh. May, 2015, John reported a record 29.2 ft. diameter dbh, single trunk over 25,000 cu. ft. Then John and Michael found a 24.5 ft coast redwood July, 2015. August 2015, I photographed one more 24 ft. that Chris Atkins identified in RNP near the coastal trail. Another was remeasured at 28 ft.. So many I quit counting, but John's list of 18 ft. and wider coast redwoods is nearing 400. The discoveries launched coast redwood ahead of giant sequoia for diameter. Numbers for giant sequoia often state ground level to sound bigger. But either way, coast redwood became the widest species 2014 to 2017. Recently I added the Church redwood on the blog. It's almost as wide as Del Norte Titan with a cave that may be largest in a single stem living coast redwood, and it's trunk volume is huge.

One mystery finally unravelled. When John encountered the 29.2 ft. dbh coast redwood, I didn't ask where it was specifically, but remained curious where it could be that I had not seen it already. Through a series of bushwhacks with Atkins, I learned the 29.2 footer was one of several redwoods Thomas and I found years ago back-to-back with our Helios excursion. Due to time constraint, Thomas and I only measured a few redwoods, planning to return. This relates to what I write later about repeat findings. John encountered the same trunk and got the first definitive tape wrap. John requested keeping it among the group of redwoods not shown in photos. Due to finding that redwood with Thomas years earlier, it will end up with two names. Thomas and I call the 29.2' diameter champ Captain Jack Sparrow. My exploring friend Thomas helped get momentum going and returned from Germany several times. I think whatever holy grails remained, have been found between 2014 and 2017.

It's unlikely others will find Spartan, Capt. Jack, Enterprise, 8675309, Maximus or Spock with an ease some folks found Grove of Titans prior to 2010. The new discoveries are not a waltz in the park like Sir Isaac Newton that stares at you passing by. The new discoveries are buried deep where few people feel comfortable going.

Chris Atkins and Ron Hildebrant the math whiz from Humboldt, number-crunched 38,299 cu. ft. for Grogan's Fault, (Spartan) the biggest single stem coast redwood disclosed. The 38,299 cu. ft. was just the main trunk, excluding all reiterated trunks. But between 2013 to 2017 we were aware of more in the 40,000 - 60,000 cu. ft. league. It reasoned that redwoods this large remained in Redwood National and State Parks. A few tower in Brünnhilde Gulch. Find more updates at Hyperion

This end of holy grails talk is a good place to interject a unique excerpt. 2016 into 2017, a few redwoods fell, and John apparently feeling clairvoyant, posted a future prediction at FB. For the benefit of others, I added some insight at the end of this page that stems from experience instead of a crystal ball. This link will jump down the page:

Information About Trees vs. The Crystal Ball

 

While the era of coast redwood discover fades into history, the frontier ahead is a new era of redwood photography. Photographers have barely scratched the surface. 98% of pro and amateur images are the same places. 1000 shots of sunbeams in Ladybird Johnson grove, Rhododendrons along Damnation Creek trail or Avenue of the Giants. The heart of the redwood forest has never really been captured. It requires time, repetition and going places others won't go. This is the new era of coast redwood photography ... the journey continues.



 

More below the image ... Chris Atkins shown for scale

Largest Coast Redwoods of Redwood National and State Parks

 

Explorers of the Redwood Coast

Among the explorer network, Ron Hildebrant goes back years with Michael Taylor. After Dyerville Giant of Humboldt Redwoods fell March 24, 1991, after a strorm, Michael and Ron teamed-up to calculate height using marks on the adjacent "Cat Scratch" redwood. Dyerville Giant was discovered around 1966 by University of California scientist Paul Zinke and graduate student Allen Stangenberger. Taylor and Hildebrant realized the fallen Dyerville Giant was actually an unknown potential world record.

In February 1993, by phone, Zinke told Michael Taylor to watch for his other finds tagged 12, 13, 14, or the Three Peas in a Pod. Taylor and Hildebrant first became friends around Christmas 1990, and their first expedition together was February 1991 in Humboldt Redwoods State Park searching for tallest redwoods. Between that winter and the next summer is when Taylor began his quest for largest coast redwoods. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park was Taylor's starting point.

Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett met autumn 1994 after Taylor spotted a super tall coast redwood. When Sillett arrived with a climbing team to measure, he noticed a small #12 tag, meaning it must be one of Zinke's Peas in the Pod. This is the same redwood they named Telperion. The group also spent a night up in it high canopy during a small rain storm, sleeping in customized hammocks called Tree Boats, acquired from New Tribe of Oregon. Telperion fell during the next strong storm 1 or 2 months later. The team may have escaped death by a matter of weeks. By 1996, Sillett climbed and confirmed Taylor's Mendocino redwood as a new world record for that era; 367.5 ft. And they found others together around the same time like Pipe Dream in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

1987, Sillett's first exposure to the famous redwoods overlapped enrollment at Reed College where he studied botany. He eventually went camping at Prairie Creek, involving his legendary free-climb of a big redwood with friend Marwood. They used a smaller adjacent redwood's limbs to reach 70 feet, then leaped into the big one, and to the top. They obviously made their way down, but with some conflict with yellow jackets. The same week, Taylor, who had already experienced the redwoods at a younger age, was 15 miles away with a tour group in Redwood National Park.

In 1996, Sillett was hired to teach at Humboldt State University, and moved to Arcata from Corvallis, Oregon, three years after meeting Taylor. Sillett was very busy but managed to squeeze in a few hikes and bushwhacks with Taylor. Sillett also applied to Redwood National Parks at that time to climb coast redwoods for research. That is when Redwood National Parks established a permit process for scientists. There was no established climbing permit process for redwoods before. This is when the study and climbing began in Iluvatar and Atlas Grove redwoods. Sillett already knew Robert Van Pelt, a long-time explorer of other Pacific NW forests. He contacted VanPelt, taught him redwood climbing techniques, then Robert (Bob) joined the Atlas Grove study project. In 1997, Sillett called Taylor and started teaming with him to explore Redwood National Park on foot for more tallest redwoods. 1998 is the year Sillett and Taylor discovered Lost Monarch up in Jedediah Smith, the largest coast redwood known for that era.

Soon after in 2000, Chris Atkins heard about Taylor. They met and teamed together for many explorations including discovery of the world records Helios and Hyperion in 2006. Earlier, Atkins broke the world record himself in 2000, with Statosphere Giant in Humboldt Redwoods State Park; it moved ahead of the Mendocino coast redwood for at least four years. Together they found at least another hundred redwoods 350 ft. and taller.

We should note Paul Zahl, who, in 1963, led a small National Geographic expedition to what later became Redwood National Park. Finding no world record at first, he flew back east, but returned shortly and discovered the Libbey redwood: a world record that held the title for quite a few years. Zahl seems one of the shortest-lived redwood explorers, but I think the effort deserves attention. His discovery was also useful leverage to help secure Redwood National Park. Much of their quest did not have the present-day trail system to get around. He practically had to bushwhack the midst and banks of Redwood Creek. They finally found an old logging road to get into new spots.

Most of these discoverers are named in Forest Giants of the Pacifc Coast by Dr. Robert Van Pelt, or Richard Preston's non-fiction redwood adventure book. This is part of the network in a nutshell. Check out my review page on that Preston book because another explorer of a different sort is mentioned: G. F. Beranek.

 



 

Around 2008, I was contacted by Steve Sillett and Michael Taylor, about a month or two apart. Taylor invited me to explore and explained his methods. Sillett invited me to check out potential study plots and explore with him and Dr. Robert Van Pelt (aka The Lorax). Eventually Sillett offered me part time work assisting Chris Atkins to measure other tallest redwoods associated with a LiDAR project. In those years and following, I found new notable or record trees with them, some on my own, and met other people involved with the research network: Marie Antoinne, Jim Spickler, Giacomo Renzullo, Anthony Ambrose, Dr. Hiroaki Ishii and Kenneth Fisher. This is where I joined the redwood forest network.

For the LiDAR redwoods, Chris Atkins preferred camping, and we spent many evenings enjoying campfires and talking about the day's adventures as fog rolled-in over the redwood park. The few times I helped Steve Sillett, cabin lodging was in style, with home-cooked meals.

I still have strong interest for exploring, but started photography and portraiture through my redwoods experience and plan to focus on that more. But I still keep an eye out for notable redwoods.

Meanwhile, I watch a few others picking up the quest of exploring. Zane Moore is an albino redwood enthusiast and committed his path to related college education. Zane will follow the path of botany and forestry, but presently his experience is growing. John Montegue has an emphasis looking for fat redwoods and recording dimensions. But aside from Zane, hardly any other redwood enthusiast understands nuts & bolts of the species in this forest.

What really set apart explorers like Van Pelt, Sillett and Taylor, was not just a good eye for spotting new discoveries. It was their connection with the forest, understanding it more with every season. Each one of them was a forester, arborist and naturalist of a sort. Even Chris Atkins is more of a naturalist than some realize. These men and their collaborators went beyond the basics of knowledge. They read the forest like a book, learning it's story unfold as countless chapters continue to be written.

Regarding John, 100% of the 350' realm redwoods he located were already discovered by other people or stand well below the 370' - 390' threshold. This is why no page appeared on my site for him. Now, John may not be adept with horticulture, but he is good with math and data tables. On the other hand, I am planning a page about Zane Moore, who made many original discoveries of several species. Furthermore, Zane craves to understand horticulture.

 

2016 Coast Redwood discovery update

 

 

Breaking with Tradition

Some remarkable redwood photos and stats were withheld after learning about a few people who triggered damage around some redwoods, so the full extent of new discovery has not been unveiled. See more at Screaming Titans.

To help others understand the bigger picture, a few years ago, it was reported that someone took a saw and cut small trees around one of our new discoveries elsewhere near Oregon. It was a pointless waste, removing a future replacement. Furthermore, we realized the team that verifies Oregon nominations, relayed some locations to news outlets. That isn't a good fit for our discovery. Hopefully this conveys why we changed our style of networking.

People inquired if we found coast redwoods exceeding volume of General Sherman. That question is best left unspecified because the Sierra Nevada is prepared for crowds. But given everything found and realized 2013 to 2017, I'm 100% confident General Sherman is no longer the largest single trunk. One reason for not naming a larger specimen is a lingering question of exactly how many exceed the Sherminator. One? Two? So it's more practical to leave the ebb and flow as-is, keeping foot traffic where signs already exist down south in the Giant Forest. If only one clue is offered ... the mystery giant does not rise above 332.13 ft.

October, 2017, I spent some time in the Giant Forest. It is spectacular, yet everthing in there seemed to look smaller and less vigorous than the greatest coast redwoods. General Sherman in particular, doesn't look very vigorous. It may be in a state of decline.

New discoveries are so enormous that coast redwood (genus Sequoia) is practically this millenium's new Giant Sequoia. Imagine a coast redwood with literally zero trunk taper for at least 50 feet. Imagine Sequoia sempervirens matching General Sherman's girth near 50 feet above the earth, but exceeding that diameter at chest level. Then stack on a generous amount of extra height.

We decided not to nominate Spartan (Grogan's Fault) or other ones to American Forests, breaking with tradition. For decades the trend was that big tree hunters nominate new finds. But we see no need to go down that path anymore. But Spartan would be an actual champ with about 1359 points. Also, if tens of thousands found out the size of all largest coast redwoods in a huge press release, rangers would be inundated with extra activity and questions. A low-key mention is ample for a few others who appreciate some mystery and like to connect their own dots.

Also, Taylor, Atkins and Hildebrant became so accurate measuring, there's no need for climbers. I saw Taylor measure within one millimeter of a tape drop before.

It's worth noting that anonymous leaks caused countless wild goose chases. Plenty of emails have come from people following dead-ends, but we can't be responsible to iron out wrinkles if others a gullible to contaminated hints.

 

Redwoods people encounter & emails

 

People often send emails about redwoods they encounter, wondering "does it have a name?" ... "what does this tag mean?" ... "has it been found before?" In a nutshell, almost nobody except Montague or Moore found something noteworthy that Taylor, Sillett, Atkins or Hidebrandt hadn't seen years ago. For example, one coast redwood mentioned by Redwood-Ed and measured by John in 2016 was already trunk-wrapped by Lowell Cottle and myself in 2008, viewed again with Atkins in 2011, and likely by Taylor & Sillett before 2003. That redwood's new name Redwood-Ed seemed appropriate though, because Redwood Ed (Gilbert) is known to flaunt horsepower in his Porsche. This is similar to the 29.2 ft. diameter champ Captain Jack Sparrow found around 2009 with Thomas, then spotted later in 2015 by John.

Unless somebody finds something in a rare size class never heard of, discoverers or researchers may have little interest. 99% of the time people write about redwoods that were already seen or archived. John keeps track of every 18 ft. dbh coast redwood. But an 18 footer list has no more value than the man feels it's worth because some 14 to 16 footers "smoke" the volume of various 18 footers on the list. Pause and think ... there are hundreds of 18 footers on this list, but Adventure coast redwood, one of the 30 largest, must be omitted because it's less than 18 ft. wide.

After a long talk with Ron Hildebrant, it's evident more coast redwoods were found many years ago than we realize. Ron's exploration exceeds whatever author Preston conveyed in his book. When I heard how long Ron has been exploring and where, I realized some of the new finds may be repeat finds. Richard Preston focused so much on Sillett and Taylor, that Hildebrant and a couple others were pushed-aside in regard to the meat and potatoes of exploration. Yes .. there will be a couple of big remnants somewhere. But I think the chance of a new 30,000 cu. ft. to 40,000 cu. ft. coast redwood is about one percent. And the chance for a 50K (+) is like 1/50th of 1%

Other species may offer a chance to taste new discoveries. Locally, I am on the city tree committee. After our December 2017 meeting, several of us drove to a local brewery restaurant. One of the men shared about Sitka Spruce they just measured. The height exceeds 300 ft. The diameter surpasses 25 ft. by more than just inches. Knowing who they are, I can take that report at face value. It appears that Sitka Spruce may fall just behind coast redwood and just above giant sequoia in terms of American Forests points. I don't know whether this spruce will be nominated. But I believe there are more out there - Picea sitkachensis of redwood proportions. If newcomers to discovery will fine-tune their identification skills, it may open the door to new noteworthy finds.

If you read my book review, you know Preston's writing was a blackout of G. F. Beranek, who just released his 5th hard cover coast redwood book. Beranek spent the greater part of his life in redwood country, and like Ron, visited countless groves. But aside from his technical skills, most redwood connoisseurs around the world have no clue how much area Beranek explored. When we couple Beranek and Hildebrant with Taylor, Atkins, Van Pelt and Sillett, the acreage covered is exceedingly broad. If Redwood National and State Parks would carry Beranek's books, people would be even more familiar. Fortunately, Humboldt Redwoods State Park is much wiser and carried several of his book in their visitor center

Along this narrative of old discoveries, it's worth interjecting that the huge coast redwood Juggernaut is not a new discovery, but a pre-2012 repeat find. A lot of people seem confused because someone interjected that name to another redwood Spartan (Grogan's Fault).

Finally, Atkins figured out how to use LiDAR to explore for largest redwoods. LiDAR is easier to use for locating tallest redwoods and other species. But there is a way to use the data to hunt for the largest volume coast redwoods. Atkins started showing me how he could use the LiDAR data for big redwood hunting in 2016, about two years after finding the likes of Spartan or Enterprise. The parks are vast, so even the handful of unexplored slivers will take a few years to mop up. Going beyond 2017, I expect a few tidbits of discovery. but expect minimal update changes. The remnant finds are so few and medium now ... it reminds me of people "scraping the bowl" when their stash depletes.

Regardless, Enjoy your adventure and "stay thirsty my friend" !!

 

Inside scoop about permits

Redwood National and State Parks rangers said they prefer permits for activity like wrapping tapes around trunks or using rangefinders to gather data. I applied for 2 research permits in 2014 and 2015, then wrote a report for each year. Several discoveries were found before or after, and I am not obligated to keep those undisclosed. But I limit the locations to myself and a handful of exploring friends. These days I priimarily take scenic photos which do not require a permit. A good number of other people are searching and data gathering. Dozens of them. Virtually every one decided to stay under the radar and skip the permits altogether.

I can't blame those other people for bypassing permits. It's a long story, but In 2015, someone with first-hand knowledge confirmed a "ranger" told the location of an undisclosed (at the time) research project redwood, and apparently contrary to park policy. This confirmed emails over the years about someone on the parks' payroll breaking policy. The net effect boils down to people boycotting permits to hopefully better-protect their discoveries.

Permits can have good purpose and I won't discourage you from getting one. But I can understand why some people choose those as a last resort.

 

$1000.00 donation for the Grove of Titans

In 2016, a letter and check was sent to the Department of Parks and Recreation to help contend with environmental impact at the Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith park. For their purpose I am listed as the sender, but a large part came from someone we can express a big thank you (Mark Graham)

The donation can be for signs, trail or other needs. I added extra cash to the check to compensate for gofundme's fee and the final contribution matches every penny given. Photos showing impact are provided on my Screaming Titans redwood page. More about this on another page called Impact to a Grove

 

Information about Trees vs. The Crystal Ball

January 2018, John posted online "I predict that wet years after big droughts will yield the most casualties in the future". This speculation stems from just 6 novice recreational years exploring part time. In the context of redwoods, I realized this prediction may "knee-cap" the understanding of other people, assuming the context is stability. Nobody should consider that sort of divination based on merely one storm year following 2 drought-like years. If a handful of 350 footers fell around 2017, the only certain part is that storms cause collapse.

Also, most 350' redwoods were not fully starved of water during the drier years, and a few tallest redwoods grew height at increased rates, already noted in the Hyperion page. But generally, abundant irrigation natural or otherwise trends toward shallow rooting. Whereas reduced irrigation trends toward deeper rooting. A reduction of water can make trees more stable. Scientific study found roots evolved effective strategies to coordinate complex metabolic and structural demands to acclimate when faced with drought conditions. It requires some energy, but in a nutshell, if a redwood could not cope with drought, falling over 2 yrs. later won't be the symptom or evidence.

Actually, a dry growing season can enable earth to remain firm for a longer period because the first autumn and early winter rains will take time to moisten what is a drier soil rather than saturating the already moist soil of wetter years.

Here is a real experience from 25 yrs. ago which may drive this lesson home:

Beaverton, Oregon's weather cycle is very similar to the north redwood coast with a long rainy season followed by a dry summer season, July - September. In the 1990s a woman called about her back yard after a strong winter storm. From roughly 60 pine trees, nearly 25 were blown almost prostrate or leaning; but not uprooted. She asked if I could "pull" them back. But I suggested leaving the lean and pruning to redirect (lesson learned from years at golf courses). The sprinklers raised a red-flag, so I inquired. She said the trees get extra irrigation. I advised removing the zone or shut it off entirely to initiate deeper rooting and smaller needles (extra water and fertilizers can increase foliage size, which means more "sail" in storms). So I pruned the pines to redirect using existing and new growth, but left the trunk angle alone. She removed irrigation. Then several years later when this back yard grove was even taller, another stronger storm came. None of the 60 trunks budged an inch. Basically, we provided these pines with some extra drought in summer and it did wonders for them. I've seen similar with many species ranging from Japanese maples to hemlocks, using some variation for each kind.

The earlier prediction was speculative, and it's death nail (knell) should be obvious: rain. The winter 2016-2017 was the wettest on record in California for 122 years, and 2nd wettest for parts of northern California. Gasquet saw over 113 inches between October 2016 and March 2017, alone! Add lots of wind (which happened) and tall coast redwoods topple. A fair number of redwoods fell after the onslaught of water saturated the soil months into the wet season. Including the redwood that closed Boy Scout Tree trail, or the redwood that triggered a small earthquake in Prairie Creek. The rain was so great, it not only moistened the soil again during late autumn, but saturated it further. And this is the most common recipe for redwoods to fall over (rain and wind).

In 2018, I plan to record some videos about several misconceptions. Including whether evergreens really stand stonger together than alone, or the notion that redwoods have weak branches. But there you go ... a lesson for evergreen care that you can apply to your own property, park or university campus. Some extra-dry growing seasons may become nature's favor to evergreens.

 

 

Sightings of Kings Canyon rangers near Redwood National Park

Rangers of every denomination already know about coast redwoods like Del Norte Titan or Iluvatar. But no rangers from Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Park have ever set foot near any new coast redwood discoveries. If any of you happen to cross paths with any of them scouting in the coast redwoods, feedback via email would be appreciated. It's doubtful they will have a uniform. But if you learn through casual conversation, please share. Even a park sticker on a vehicle near the visitor center or parkway may offer a clue. Likewise for news writers if you learn of any. New discoveries are big enough to reconfigure what is understood about big trees or shift tourism, so there must be people in Tulare and Fresno counties who are more than just a little bit curious (inn the same way that Tom Clynes took a small team to try and ferret Hyperion). The coastal parks are obligated to keep the research report under wraps, and any outside rangers snooping around should be hunting from scratch. So we're not exactly worried about them finding anything.