Andersonia West

A Key Habitat Corridor Along Mendocino’s Lost Coast, Protected

Forever Forest
Donors to the League’s Forever Forest Campaign are providing support to this project. Learn more
A mossy tree trunk crosses a light-dappled rocky stream running through the redwood forest on the League's Andersonia West property.
Andersonia West is a critical wildlife corridor, providing stream habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. Photo by Alex Herr, NCRM Inc.

A Legacy Reimagined

For more than a century, Andersonia West and the surrounding areas were almost entirely controlled by industrial timberland owners. Intermittent logging had occurred on the property since the late 1800s. In 1903, Henry Neff “Pap” Anderson acquired the land, where he dreamed of creating a model mill town. He imagined a community for loggers, mill workers, and their families, complete with a modern mill, gardens, and orchards. While Pap’s dream was cut short by a fatal accident, his progeny would usher in new hopes for the property.

In 2006, Pap’s great-grandson Harold “Hap” Anderson made initial contact with Save the Redwoods League to inquire about protecting this land forever. Today, that new vision for this forest has been realized: After years of talks with the Anderson family, the League was able to secure funding to acquire and protect the property.

Protecting Old-Growth Habitat

While logging ceased on the property 50 years ago, this acquisition permanently protects significant patches of remnant old-growth redwoods throughout the forest. An approximately 183-acre old-growth stand was one of the largest left unprotected. Some of the old trees are more than 8 feet in diameter.

There are also many large second-growth trees that are already exhibiting late-seral characteristics, including complex crowns and furrowed bark, meaning they are on their way to becoming healthy old-growth trees. This is a testament to the inherent resilience of coast redwoods and how their protection can help heal and restore whole landscapes.

One-and-a-half miles of Anderson Creek, which feeds the South Fork Eel River, is also safeguarded by this acquisition, preventing habitat loss and fragmentation. The property provides important habitat for Endangered Species Act–listed coho salmon, steelhead trout, marbled murrelets, and northern spotted owls. 

Andersonia West is the latest piece of the puzzle in protecting Mendocino County’s redwood forests. South of the property, the League owns and stewards the 957-acre Shady Dell and 401-acre Cape Vizcaino properties. In 2012, the League donated the 164-acre Four Corners property, between Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the headwaters of the Mattole River, to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council. The Council granted the League a conservation easement to permanently protect the property from development and natural resource extraction. 

A landscape image showing the tips of redwood trees standing against a partially cloudy blue sky, peaking above a hillside filled with huckleberry and other brushy undergrowth.
The 523-acre Andersonia West property contains 183 acres of old-growth coast redwoods and imperiled species habitat. Photo by Alex Herr, NCRM Inc.

A Creative Funding Strategy

The Anderson family has made a land value donation of $510,000 to the League, bringing the purchase price for Andersonia West down from the fair market value of $4.06 million to $3.55 million.

The League has successfully secured funding for this acquisition through a Habitat Acquisition and Management Agreement developed to meet Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s (PG&E) 30-year conservation goal for the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet. In PG&E’s Multiple Region Habitat Conservation Plan issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the company voluntarily agreed to develop conservation projects before conducting certain activities that are part of its ongoing operations and maintenance of gas and electric infrastructure.

Planning mitigation based on a 30-year projection enables larger and more meaningful conservation impacts to establish connected habitat, as is the case with Andersonia West. The property is a key acquisition for permanently protecting habitat on the North Coast for a variety of species, and it will provide future offsets for PG&E operations where similar habitat could be impacted.

In addition to acquisition funding, PG&E’s commitment includes an endowment, to be held by the League, for the perpetual management and stewardship of the property. The League is required to protect the property with a conservation easement, also funded by PG&E through the agreement. We are currently exploring opportunities to transfer this property to a permanent steward and hold the conservation easement, forever protecting the forest as a redwoods reserve.