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Home / What We Do / Protect / Creating Parks and Reserves

Creating Parks and Reserves

With more than $135 million of our donors' support, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 190,000 acres (the size of 16 Manhattan islands) and helped develop dozens of redwood parks and reserves for everybody to enjoy.

Shady Dell

Photo by Paolo Vescia.

For those who have had the chance to stand in a redwood grove, there are few life experiences that match it. Even if you have only ever seen a photo of the few ancient redwood forests left – and most of us have – it's hard to imagine life on our planet without these awesome and majestic places. We can all agree that there are some places on Earth that are so special that they are worth saving.

Save the Redwoods League was established in 1918 because these magical places were being logged, and we faced the risk of losing them forever. Today, there are still ancient redwoods slated for cutting that need to be protected. Redwood lands already protected in state and national parks also face threats such as devastating government budget cuts. These cuts close parks, leaving no personnel to protect redwoods from threats such as illegal logging and pollution from marijuana cultivation. Some of these lands are still struggling to recover from years of past damage and neglect.

To thrive, protected forests also depend on the health of nearby land, much of which is privately owned, including by commercial timber companies. Finally, we do not yet know the impact that the Earth's changing climate will have on the size, strength and survival of redwood trees and forests.

Save the Redwoods League is the only organization with the type of comprehensive approach needed to ensure that forests that take one thousand years to grow will be here for another thousand years.

With our members' and partners' support, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 190,000 acres (the size of 16 Manhattan islands) and helped develop dozens of redwood parks and reserves for everybody to enjoy.

Our members' donations help us create redwood parks and reserves by allowing us to purchase forests and the landscapes that nurture them from willing sellers. We donate or sell this land to caretakers such as other nonprofit organizations. If necessary, we care for the land we purchase until another organization can purchase or care for it.

Help us save more redwood forests. You can make your gift in memory or honor of an individual or organization.

Donor Profile

Jeff Norman: Sharing a Home's Wonder Creates Uplifting Legacy
Jeff Norman: Sharing a Home's Wonder Creates Uplifting Legacy

Jeff Norman enjoys a vista in Big Sur. His trustees protected the 20-acre parcel he loved by selling it to the League. Photo by Susanna Danner

Many might say that Jeff Norman was the embodiment of Big Sur. The historian, biologist and botanist loved his wild, rugged Central California coast so much that he dedicated his life to protecting the wilderness and documenting its history. He told its people's stories in the books, Big Sur Observed and Images of America: Big Sur.

The area's history included Norman's home, Alta Vista, a hand-hewn redwood cabin and barn built by homesteaders on a ridge 3,000 feet above the ocean. The property could only be reached by trail, and for more than 25 years, Norman made the trek in and out.

He passed away unexpectedly in late 2007 at age 56. Then in summer 2008, the Basin Complex forest fire consumed the Alta Vista cabin and barn. It seemed such a sad ending for a place and an era.

But the trustees of his estate knew Norman had previously sold 40 adjacent acres to Save the Redwoods League, and that the parcel was transferred to longtime partner California State Parks in 1989. So the trustees sold his remaining 20-acre property to the League, which they knew Norman would have appreciated.

"Save the Redwoods League became true partners to us in our efforts to create a meaningful legacy to commemorate Jeff Norman's life and to share the wonder of the place that he called home," said Kathy MacKenzie, the administrator for Norman's estate. Bordered on three sides by Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and on one side by Los Padres National Forest, the land sits upslope from old-growth redwood forest stands along a fork of Partington Creek.

Now that we own the property (thanks to our members), we will work with California State Parks to prepare the land for public use as part of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

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.

Navarro River Redwoods State Park

HIGHLIGHTS: Navarro River Redwoods State Park is as long and skinny as the river corridor it protects.

Park Highlights & Visitor Information »