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Alder Creek

Key Facts About This Landscape

Alder Creek contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoia, nearly 500 wider than six feet in diameter. Photo by Max Forster, Save the Redwoods League
Alder Creek contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoia, nearly 500 wider than six feet in diameter. Photo by Max Forster, Save the Redwoods League

KEY FACTS

  • Alder Creek is the largest private holding of giant sequoia left on the planet.
  • There are hundreds of ancient giant sequoia on the property, nearly 500 of which are over six feet in diameter.
  • The grove contains trees in every age class from young seedlings to several thousand years old, which contributes to the larger giant sequoia biome.
  • Among the grove’s giant sequoia is the Stagg Tree, the fifth largest tree in the world.
    • The Stagg Tree is wider than a two-lane road and as tall as a 25-story building.
    • The Stagg Tree is the largest giant sequoia tree in the Giant Sequoia National Monument
    • The Stagg Tree is the largest tree on private lands (out of the top five largest trees in the world, it’s the only one on private lands)
    • Like all ancient giant sequoia, the Stagg Tree is a veritable wildlife condominium from its canopy to its roots, providing food and shelter for innumerable creatures, including ringtails, northern flying squirrels and several species of bats, owls, and woodpeckers.
  • Along with giant sequoia, Alder Creek supports robust stands of red fir, white fir, ponderosa pine and sugar pine.
  • Alder Creek is bordered on the three sides by Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, the heartland for Sequoiadendron giganteum.
  • The League intends to own and manage the property for five to 10 years. During this time, the League will develop and implement forest restoration and stewardship activities and develop public access plans. Ultimately, the League intends to transfer the property to the U.S. Forest Service for inclusion in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
  • Alder Creek encompasses diverse habitats, including old-growth forest, wetlands, high alpine ridges, and meadows. Alder Creek’s habitat could sustain several imperiled species, including Pacific fisher, American marten, and California spotted owl.
  • Alder Creek is comparable in size and significance to Yosemite National Park’s famous Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Alder Creek is as big as Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove with roughly as many large trees.
    • Alder Creek property: 530 acres; 483 giant sequoia with diameters of six feet or more (up to 25.5’)
    • Mariposa Grove: 531 acres; 480 giant sequoias with diameters of six feet or more

 

Snow on the ground at Alder Creek creates an otherworldly landscape. Photo by Victoria Reeder, Save the Redwoods League
Snow on the ground at Alder Creek creates an otherworldly landscape. Photo by Victoria Reeder, Save the Redwoods League

FAQ’s

What’s the location and size of the property?
Alder Creek is a 530-acre property off California State Route 190 near Camp Nelson in the southern Sierra Nevada. It is surrounded on three sides by Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest.
Why is the acquisition of this property a priority with the League?
The League strongly believes that a giant sequoia grove of this significance should be permanently protected and shared with the public. If we don’t purchase it, we can’t predict who will, or what their intentions will be.

There are only 48,000 acres of giant sequoia forest in the world, making every inch critically important. Of the 1,200 acres that remain unprotected, Alder Creek is by the far the largest and most ecologically important. The 530-acre property is a critically important piece of the protection of rare giant sequoia, and an exceptional example of ancient, wild California. It contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoia, 483 of which have a diameter of six feet or larger. These trees present a diversity of age classes, from young sprouts to towering trees that are thousands of years. Among these are Stagg Tree, believed to be the fifth biggest tree on the planet. It also supports mature forests of red fir, white fir, ponderosa pine, and sugar pine, and encompasses a variety of wildland habitats, including meadows and wetlands.

Are any imperiled species found on the property?
While wildlife surveys are still underway, the property includes ideal habitat for several species of concern that live in the area, including Pacific fisher, American marten, and California spotted owl.
Who are the owners of Alder Creek Grove?
The Rouch family has owned it since the 1940s.
Was logging ever conducted on the property?
Yes. The landowners are a logging family and have completed multiple timber harvests of the non-sequoia species.
Will Save the Redwoods League retain ownership of the property?
No. The League intends to own and manage the property for a period of up to 5-10 years. During this time the League will develop and implement forest restoration and stewardship activities and develop public access plans. Ultimately, the League will transfer ownership of Alder Creek to the U.S. Forest Service for inclusion in Giant Sequoia National Monument. During the League’s ownership, we plan to implement fuels reduction activities on the property to reduce the risk of severe fires.
Are there any specific management or restoration plans for the property?
The League will work with the US Forest Service on management goals, according to the general plan for Giant Sequoia National Monument. Though the property is in stellar condition, though some fuels reduction work is necessary. Some parts of the property have not had any fire or thinning in over a hundred years, resulting in dense stands of trees that can contribute to severe fires. We will conduct forest thinning where it’s needed. The League will also conduct a public access and recreation plan and pursue potential improvements to welcome public visitation to this extraordinary forest.

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