One of our grantees, the Humboldt County Office of Education, worked with students this year from Fortuna High School’s videography class to create “art” in the redwoods after learning about redwood ecology.
The sword fern, one of the most common redwood forest plants, has become prominent in my life over the past few years. This is mostly due to the League’s Fern Watch project, which monitors the health of sword ferns throughout the redwood range. Even though these ferns are common, little is known about their ecology and how they respond to climatic change.
We lost an iconic ‘tunnel tree’ on Sunday as mother nature took down the over 1,000-year-old Pioneer Cabin Tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This tree, made famous for the car-sized tunnel through its trunk, toppled over during the heavy storms that swept through California over the weekend. The Pioneer Cabin Tree and surrounding park, have a rich story to share — one that catalyzed the conservation movement in the U.S., where giant sequoia were first discovered.
If you ask high school students what the impacts of climate change have been, they can tell you that the polar ice caps are melting, that we have extreme weather, and that California has been in a drought for the past few years. But if you ask them how climate change will affect our forests and the plants and animals that live in them, they find it harder to come up with an answer.
You cannot spend time in a redwood forest without coming across lichen. Only a few lichen species will catch your eye on the bark of a redwood but up in the canopy and on the forest floor an abundance of these organisms will surround you. A few years ago we conducted canopy research at Muir Woods looking at lichen diversity at the tops of the trees.