Magnificent Seven: Dinkey Area

The many colors of the Dinkey landscape and the Sierra National Forest
The Dinkey wildland is in the Sierra National Forest east of Fresno, California. It is a place for camping, hunting, fishing and many other recreation activities.

The Dinkey area is known for its scenery and recreation, but it is a national forest in need of protection. It is one of many wildlands in California that The Wilderness Society is working to protect.

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About the Dinkey area

The Dinkey area is located in the Sierra National Forest near urban Fresno, California. Sierra National Forest welcomes 1.5 million annual visitors, who flock to the forest for its scenery and recreation. The park is dotted with 5,000 homes and cabins. It's known for opportunities in virtually every outdoor recreation activity — boating, camping, fishing, hunting, bicycling, horseback riding and hiking.

With its chaparral hillsides, alpine forests, lakes, meadows and rivers, Dinkey is scenic and diverse. It is home to threatened species, like the California red-legged frog and Lahontan cutthroat trout. Dinkey also is a habitat for the rare Pacific fisher, a shy, furry mammal, and the California spotted owl.

Threats to the Dinkey area

A century of eliminating wildfire in the Dinkey area and other changes, such as increasing pest concentrations and climate change, have caused a higher risk of large and deadly wildfires.

Wildfire is a natural part of the forest ecosystem. Eliminating forest fire in the Dinkey's forests has left many areas packed with too many small trees overtaking other species. In a healthier forest ecosystem, a variety of trees co-exist in a landscape where periodic forest fire helps to naturally thin out the density.

With its chaparral hillsides, alpine forests, lakes, meadows and rivers, the Dinkey wildland is scenic and diverse.

Unfortunately, if a wildfire whips through the Dinkey’s crowded stands of smaller trees, it can grow much more intense, with flames traveling upwards through the trees. This kind of forest fire can destroy species like Ponderosa pines, which typically survive smaller fires. This is when a forest fire becomes a devastating ‘crown fire,’ where flames spread rapidly across the crowns of trees, threatening residential communities and wildlife habitats.

This kind of massive, catastrophic wildfire threatens the Dinkey area.

Protecting the Dinkey area

At Wilderness, we are part of a unique collaborative working to restore about 154,000 acres of the Dinkey area. This is a decade-long project that uses science to:

  • Improve forest health
  • Protect communities from wildfire
  • Preserve land and water habitat for wildlife
  • Hire local workers

The project has hired crews to thin trees on nearly 8,000 acres, much of that near communities threatened by wildfires. This year, projects will continue to remove excess trees in meadows and forests. We plan to reintroduce low and moderate intensity forest fire to help thin another 46,000 acres in the next decade. Our partners in this collaborative include conservation groups, local businesses, federal agencies, lumber mill, Native American tribes, universities and others.

You can help

You can help ensure that the Dinkey area and the Magnificent Seven wildlands remain part of our natural heritage. Help save this iconic American landscape by making a donation today.

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