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Home / About Us / Mission and History / Milestones in History

Milestones in the History of Redwoods
and Save the Redwoods League

We can all agree that there are some places on Earth that are so special that they are worth saving. This shared belief motivated our founders to establish Save the Redwoods League in 1918.

Bolling Grove dedication ceremony in 1921

Bolling Grove dedication ceremony in 1921.

Timeline

1850
Start of widespread coast redwood logging.

1855
Crystal Palace exhibits in New York City and London made giant sequoias famous worldwide.

1879
Timber and Stone Act authorized sale of federal land at $2.50 per acre; thousands of acres of redwood timberland sold to private parties. Fraudulent use of this Act was common.

1890
Creation of Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park.

1902
California Redwood Park (later renamed Big Basin Redwoods State Park) established in Santa Cruz County as result of a spirited campaign led by the Sempervirens Club.

1907
U.S. Congressman William Kent of California donated Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County to the United States in honor of naturalist John Muir.

1917
After witnessing logging devastation along The Redwood Highway, John C. Merriam, Henry Fairfield Osborn and Madison Grant launched the movement to save the redwoods. Save the Redwoods League was founded in 1918.

1918
League received first donations to purchase redwood land. Donors were Stephen T. Mather, E.C. Bradley, Madison Grant, Henry Fairfield Osborn and William Kent.

1919
Members of California Federation of Women's Clubs established women's Save the Redwoods League in Humboldt County.

National Park Service Director Steven T. Mather recommended creation of redwood national park.

Save the Redwoods League hired Newton B. Drury as its first Executive Secretary.

1920
Save the Redwoods League was incorporated as a California nonprofit corporation.

1921
The first memorial grove was established in honor of Colonel Raynal C. Bolling, commemorating the first American Army officer of high rank to fall in World War I. The grove includes redwood forest on the South Fork of the Eel River.

1922
Richardson Grove was established when Save the Redwoods League encouraged the State of California to purchase land in southern Humboldt County from Henry Devoy.

1924
First acquisition made for Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.

1925
Save the Redwoods League established a California State Parks Committee, to be chaired by Duncan MacDuffie, to press for legislation creating a state park commission and mandating a survey of potential state park sites.

1927
California Governor C.C. Young signed legislation creating the California State Parks Commission and funding a state park survey by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

1928
California voters approved funds to establish a state park system and allocated $6 million in state park bond funds for acquisition of park lands. Save the Redwoods League led the campaign to win public approval of these bonds.

1929
First grove donated for Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park: Frank D. Stout Memorial Redwood Grove.

1931
League purchased Rockefeller Forest from Pacific Lumber Company for Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

1945
First grove donated for Montgomery Woods State Reserve in Mendocino County.

1954
South Grove of giant sequoias acquired by Save the Redwoods League, the Calaveras Grove Association and the State of California as a major addition to Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

1960
Avenue of the Giants Parkway dedicated in Humboldt Redwoods State Park after 40-year acquisition process by the League.

1961
Save the Redwoods League, the Sierra Club, and the National Geographic Society revived the idea of a redwood national park.

1963
National Geographic Society funded a study of possible redwood national park sites.

1965
Save the Redwoods League acquired Gold Bluffs Beach and secured Fern Canyon for Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

1968
Major acquisitions along the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. 50th anniversary of the Save the Redwoods League.

Redwood National Park established by Congress.

1978
U.S. Congress passed Redwood National Park expansion bill. Total cost of the park was about $1 billion.

1981
League purchased old-growth redwood grove at Partington Canyon for inclusion in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

1988
League purchased Navarro River Redwoods State Park for the State of California, setting aside 12 miles of parklands along the Navarro River.

1991
League purchased old-growth redwood land for Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.

1993
75th anniversary of the Save the Redwoods League.

1994
Save the Redwoods League purchased land on Big Sur Coast, now Limekiln State Park. Save the Redwoods League purchased land from the University of California, Santa Cruz, preventing the sale of old-growth redwoods to a lumber company.

1996
Save the Redwoods League purchased Gray Whale Ranch on the Santa Cruz coast to be added to Wilder Ranch State Park.

1997
Save the Redwoods League negotiated an option to purchase the Coast Dairies property on the Santa Cruz County coast.

1999
League began work with local landowners to protect the Corridor from the Redwoods to the Sea, linking Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the King Range National Conservation Area.

2001
Save the Redwoods League succeeded in purchasing the Dillonwood giant sequoia grove and transferred it to Sequoia National Park.

2002
League purchased the huge Mill Creek forest.

2007
1000th memorial/honor grove established.

2008
League's 90th anniversary.

2009
National Geographic Channel's Explorer features new animations of redwood forests based on data from the League.

2011
A remarkable alliance of activists, the owners of a redwood lumber company, Save the Redwoods League and donors from every American state protected a unique piece of California facing imminent harvest: the ancient Noyo River Redwoods along the 126-year-old Skunk Train route.

You Can Open the Gate to a Hidden Sequoia World

Southeast of Three Rivers in the Sierra Nevada is a kingdom of giant sequoias reachable on foot, mountain bike and horseback. Ancient giants here measure as much as 16 feet across, likely wider than your dining room. Save the Redwoods League is working with Sequoia Riverlands Trust and the Bureau of Land Management to buy Craig Ranch and provide easy access to the majestic ancient trees. Learn more about this purchase and how your gift can be matched.

Mendocino Headlands State Park

HIGHLIGHTS: Picturesque Mendocino Headlands State Park offers striking views from the sea to the inland forest. The park surrounds the historic town of Mendocino and offers a range of opportunities for exploring and sightseeing.

Park Highlights & Visitor Information »