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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.


Start of widespread coast redwood logging.

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

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.

Creation of Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

First acquisition made for Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

75th anniversary of the Save the Redwoods League.

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.

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

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

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.

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

League purchased the huge Mill Creek forest.

1000th memorial/honor grove established.

League's 90th anniversary.

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

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're Keeping an Ancient Forest Reachable

You helped us buy Noyo River Redwoods, a magical ancient forest you can see only by the historic Skunk Train, in 2011. Recently you came to the rescue again. Your gifts helped to repair a collapsed railroad tunnel that shut down the train's famous Redwood Route last April. The tunnel is now open and full Skunk Train service has resumed. You can make sure we're ready to protect and provide you access to amazing forests like this one: Please donate today.

Redwood National and State Parks

HIGHLIGHTS: Up in the rugged and wild terrain of the northernmost region in California you can find Redwood National and States Parks.

Park Highlights & Visitor Information »