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League Milestones

Bolling Grove dedication ceremony in 1921.
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.


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, Jr.
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.
2013 The League purchased the 125-acre Orick Mill Site at the southern gateway of Redwood National and State Parks, planning to create a visitor center and trail connections, and restore prime habitat for iconic and imperiled wildlife.

The League announced to the world the surprising discoveries of our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative, which will inform how we protect and restore redwood forests amid rapid global warming. These discoveries mark a huge leap forward in our understanding of redwood forests. One of the discoveries is that ancient redwood forests store at least three times more carbon above ground than any other forests on Earth.

2014 Save the Redwoods League protected the breathtaking Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest and Boulder Creek old-growth forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The League acquired a conservation easement that permanently protects from development San Vicente Redwoods’ 8,500 acres of redwood forestlands, waterways and imperiled wildlife. The staff helped complete plan for managing and restoring this landscape to support old-growth stands, wildlife habitat, sustainable timber harvesting and public recreation.

2015 Save the Redwoods members rally to protect Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods from logging and development.Less than 1 mile from the Pacific Ocean and the popular vacation town of Mendocino, the property is a rare example of two forest types in one magnificent location: a pygmy forest and an ancient redwood forest.
  Save the Redwoods League launches the first-ever Free Redwoods Friday event in California Redwood State Parks on the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday.

“We are starting a new tradition for Black Friday,” Save the Redwoods League president Sam Hodder said. “We invite everyone to experience the moments of joy, renewal and inspiration that you’ll find among our natural wonders, the ancient giant redwoods.”

2017 In February 2017, the League took major steps to further protect, restore and connect people to Stewarts Point. First, the League reached an agreement, transferring a conservation easement that conserves 700 acres of second-growth redwood forestland, more than 100 acres of coastal grasslands and a 1.7-mile stretch of the Gualala River. The transaction also includes a trail easement, an agreement that will grant public access along a planned segment of the California Coastal Trail by the end of 2019. Another agreement, a cultural access easement, is being finalized to grant the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians (Kashia) access to their ancestral home.