Author Archives: Emily Burns

Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

Remembering 9/11 and Finding Peace Among the Redwoods

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While working at Save the Redwoods League for the last five years, I’ve met people from all walks of life who share a resounding love for the redwoods. In listening to why people love the redwood forest, I often hear how at peace people feel when they walk among the giants.

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Avenue of the Giants Anniversary

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The beautiful Avenue of the Giants that winds for 32 miles through Humboldt Redwoods State Park was dedicated 55 years ago, on August 27, 1960. Thousands of visitors drive under the towering redwoods that line the Avenue as they visit Humboldt Redwoods to experience the breath-taking majesty of the largest old-growth forest on the planet.

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If Redwoods had Elephants…

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Recently, I had the honor of discussing research and forestry with guests from the Government of India and Michigan State University at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. This gathering was part of the US-India REDD+ Policy Exchange Tour and sponsored Continued

Photo courtesy Save the Redwoods League

Redwood Research Proposals Wanted

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Save the Redwoods League uses redwood science to guide our conservation work and we are ready to invest in new studies that will help us save the redwoods. Since 1997, we have supported redwood and giant sequoia forest research on Continued

When Giant Sequoia and Drought Don’t Mix

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I roamed through a few giant sequoia groves over the last week and did find a few mature giant sequoia that aren’t weathering the four-year drought well. Some of these afflicted giant sequoia simply were shedding leaves and their crowns Continued

Will the Redwoods Be Victims of the Sixth Extinction?

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Sixty-five million years ago, many of Earth’s inhabitants — including the dinosaurs — were wiped out when a meteor struck the Yucatan Peninsula. This was the fifth mass extinction in our planet’s history. Now, scientists have reached a broad consensus Continued

What We’re Learning from the Redwoods

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When we take a close look at what makes redwoods survive and thrive, the trees have remarkable stories to tell. That’s what researchers discovered thanks to three studies supported by research grants from Save the Redwoods League over the past Continued

Fog is Back

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The fog is back. After thinking mostly of drought for the last few years, suddenly my focus is back to fog. It’s the ephemeral and unpredictable force of nature that I spent nearly a decade studying among the redwoods. The Continued

The Memorial Service for President Roosevelt among the redwoods at Muir Woods on May 19, 1945. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

United Nations at Muir Woods 70 Years Ago

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On May 19, 1945, more than 500 United Nations delegates came from the first U.N. peace conference in San Francisco to gather at Muir Woods National Monument. At the time of this historic event, World War II was not yet over. Continued

Origins of Grace Cathedral’s Redwood Altar

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Grace Cathedral stands on top of San Francisco’s iconic Nob Hill. A large redwood altar has been a prominent feature of the Cathedral since 1964, inspiring many to wonder about the altar’s origin and the history of its wood. Grace Continued

Spring Inspires Red-Bellied Newt Romance

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If you’ve ever visited Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve, you may have stumbled across one of the three species of newt that occur there. Although it is tempting to keep your eyes upturned to take in the majesty of the Continued

With my conservation hero, Professor E.O. Wilson.

E.O. Wilson Champions Biodiversity Protection

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This week, I had the rare opportunity to meet Professor E.O. Wilson and hear him rally National Park leaders, academic scientists, and conservationists at U.C. Berkeley’s Park Summit to unwaveringly protect Earth’s biodiversity. His powerful charge for us is to set aside Continued

Warming Redwood Weather

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Wendy Baxter and Anthony Ambrose from Todd Dawson’s Laboratory at U.C. Berkeley have been tracking weather in the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative research plots in the coast redwood and giant sequoias forests. Check out their latest weather report Continued

A marbled murrlet tends to its treetop nest. Photo by Tom Hamer.

Victory for Marbled Murrelets and Ancient Redwoods

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Legal protection of the threatened marbled murrelet seabird was upheld this week by a federal appeals court. Despite a 15-year legal battle led by the timber industry to end the Endangered Species Act listing, marbled murrelets retain their threatened status Continued

This drawing shows how the upgraded Mariposa Grove trails will protect sensitive giant sequoia habitat while still giving visitors the amazing views of the forest. Image courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy.

Restoring Mariposa Grove

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The towering giant sequoias of Yosemite National Park are the iconic trees that catalyzed our Nation’s conservation movement, inspiring Congress in 1864 to designate both the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley “for public use, resort, and recreation”. Today, these mammoth Continued

Sniffing for Science

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Scientists certainly come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know sometimes they have four paws?! Recently, the League partnered with Tim Beam (Humboldt State University), Scott Osborn (California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife), and Working Dogs for Conservation Continued

Our Turn to Help Elk

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This week, we walked onto our Orick Mill property and were greeted by a large herd of Roosevelt elk. The League purchased this 125-acre property in the heart of the Prairie Creek Corridor a few years ago and are actively Continued

Ferns Flush First after Fire

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On October 14th last year, a wildfire burned four acres of coast redwood forest at Roy’s Redwoods Preserve in Western Marin. Despite this fire blazing after many cumulative months of dry weather, fire fighters quickly contained the burn and only Continued

The 1964 Christmas Flood

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This week is the 50-year anniversary of the historic 1964 Christmas flood. Half a century ago, several weeks of monumental rains devastated communities on the north coast and brought a tremendous amount of sediment into the streams and redwood forests of Humboldt Continued

Rain creates colorful mushroom show

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Aren’t we all more than a little relieved for the recent coast rains after too many dry, drought-stricken months here in California? I always look for mushrooms on the forest floor as proof that the rain has really sunk in. Last week Continued