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Author Archives: Ruskin Hartley

Rain drops glisten on a fence post after winter rain.

Bracing for Rain

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For millennia the redwoods have stood tall, facing west as they look out across the vast Pacific Ocean—an ocean that brings fog in the summer and rain in the winter.  Earlier this week the first storm of the season rolled … Continued

I am joined by Ruth Coleman and Jon Jarvis to celebrate acquisition of the Sandhill property from League to state parks.

Drilling for Park Land

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What do offshore oil drilling and Zion National Park have in common with the redwoods?  On first pass, not much – but as a recent story on CBS news shows, they are linked through a nearly 50-year-old program called the … Continued

Sudden oak death in Marin County, California. Photo by USFS Region 5, Flickr Creative Commons

Oaks and Ashes and Chestnuts, oh my!

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A recent article in the Observer, “Die-back kills off 90% of Denmark’s ash trees,” had me both remembering my childhood and thinking ahead to the future of the redwood forest.  Growing up in Britain, I remember the scourge of Dutch … Continued

Alerce. Photo by andrea ugarte, Flickr Creative Commons

80 Degrees of Separation

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If you leave Redwood National Park and journey 80 degrees south you will arrive at the coastal town of Valdivia, Chile.  These two areas—equidistant from the equator, north and south—are about to be united through a sister park relationship that … Continued

Steve Cheney and I enjoy a break on the Lawrence Merriam Memorial Grove bench on the Little Bald Hills Trail.

It’s the Moments

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On Friday afternoon I met Steve Chaney, the superintendent of Redwood National Park, in the small visitor center at Hiouchi in Del Norte county. After 39 years with the National Park Service and five years at Redwood National Park, Steve … Continued

Giant Sequoia

25 Years of Controversy amid the Monarchs

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I just got back from a trip to see the cinnamon-colored giants of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest in the southern Sierra. It was a real treat to explore a giant sequoia grove for the first time, especially when accompanied … Continued

Montgomery Woods State Park. Photo by Peter Buranzon

The Marathon to Reform State Parks

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I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics these past three weeks—and not just because it’s hosted in London with a British squad that has surpassed all expectations.  It’s just plain fun to get into obscure sports and watch people at the top … Continued

Close up of Long Meg and her Daughters

The Redwoods in Prehistory

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One of the things I enjoy when I’m in England is playing “spot the redwood tree.” It’s really pretty easy. I once read that if you ascend any church steeple in England and scan the horizon, the tallest tree is … Continued

Honor tree in Butano State Park

Redwoods and Remembrance

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I have spent the past week in England, not to attend the opening of the Olympics, but rather to attend my 90-year-old granny’s memorial service. As with all such occasions, the sadness of loss is mixed with the happiness of … Continued

Emily and Harry in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Redwoods Parks Still Need Your Help

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It’s never good news when the Governor’s office notifies you by email that the director of California State Parks has decided to step down because a senior staff member allegedly mismanaged park funds. According to an article published on July … Continued

Selection harvest in Mendocino County.

We Can Halt Animal Extinction by Restoring Forests

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An article on the London-based Guardian website caught my eye last week. Having completed an exhaustive study in the Brazilian Amazon, scientists have determined that even if deforestation halted across the region overnight, dozens of species are doomed to disappear. … Continued

"Big Tree" in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Redwoods’ Magic Shines amid Crisis

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After a year of anguish, hard work and some heartbreak, the headlines scream “no parks will close.” Well, except for the five that will. And the ones that will be closed during the week, or off-season. And some have no … Continued

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