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California State Parks protects 280 parks statewide, like Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Ginny Dexter.

The Transformation of California State Parks

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With 280 parks across 1.6 million acres, hosting more than 74 million visitors last fiscal year alone, California is one of the largest state park systems in the United States. In a focused and comprehensive effort to keep these world-class parks open and thriving, seasoned leaders from California State Parks and outside entities helped plan for and implement 60 ambitious initiatives, from a new state-of-the-art reservation system to increased protections and improvements for the parks statewide. Here are just some of the improvements for redwood state parks.

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The George Bush Tree. Photo by Don Barrett, Flickr Creative Commons

150 Years of Saving the Giant Sequoia

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The effort to save the giant sequoia groves of California began over 150 years ago. We were recently reminded that job is never done. In April, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for the review of all national monument designations occurring after January 1, 1996, where the monument exceeds 100,000 acres. Shortly after, the Department of the Interior confirmed that Giant Sequoia National Monument is on that list along with 26 others.

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Giant sequoias are some of the world's largest trees.

Executive Order Threatens National Monuments

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With the Trump administration passing its first 100-day mark, there came a whirlwind of commentary about how those first 100 days stacked up. Given that the 100-day measure coincided with Earth Day, the March for Science, Arbor Day, and the Climate March, much of the attention focused on the new administration’s stance on the environment. Last week, at the confluence of these events, the administration released an executive order, revealing a great deal about its perspective on the purpose and value of our public lands.

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Many of the most magnificent redwood parks and reserves you and generations of Americans have enjoyed, including Redwood National Park pictured above, have been partially funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Photo by Max Forster

President’s Budget Threatens Land and Water

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President Trump released his first budget blueprint, offering a glimpse into the Administration’s priorities. Sadly, if enacted by Congress, LWCF and many of the federal agencies that we work with face dramatic cuts, jeopardizing millions of jobs associated with our public lands and undermining protections that would otherwise support a safe and healthy future for Americans.

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Sam Hodder, Save the Redwoods League’s President and CEO, stands amongst the ferns in front of a magnificent old-growth redwood located in the 175-acres old-growth Restoration Reserve on the Stewarts Point property. Photo by Mike Kahn

Protecting a Forest, Restoring a Way of Life

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The spectacular Sonoma Coast and the mighty redwood forests are iconic elements of California’s identity. And forever intertwined with these inspiring landscapes is the cultural richness of the Native American tribes that have lived for thousands of years along the coastal bluffs and forested waterways. Save the Redwoods League and its partners are celebrating one special place along the coastline where these uniquely Californian assets come together in one successful conservation achievement, the protection of Stewarts Point.

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Want Redwoods on Your License Plate?

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With your help, our state tree – none other than California’s redwoods – could be featured on license plates statewide! What’s more, the proceeds from license plate sales and annual renewals will support the conservation and restoration of California’s state parks. However, we need you to help make the redwood license plate a reality.

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The Obama family at Yosemite National Park, Father's Day 2016. From left are Sasha, Barack, Michelle, and Malia. White House photo.

President Obama’s Conservation Legacy

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From protecting more land and water than any other president, to motivating our nation to act on climate, to opening every national park to kids and their families for free, President Obama earned a place in history as an accomplished conservation champion.

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Many of the most magnificent redwood parks and reserves you and generations of Americans have enjoyed, including Redwood National Park pictured above, have been partially funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Photo by David Baselt, redwoodhikes.com

What the Election Results May Mean for Redwoods

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After a long, divisive presidential campaign, the election is finally over. While we’re all working to move forward and understand the implications of the election results, there is much that we do not know. Our initial assessment is limited to preliminary announcements from the Trump transition team and the rhetoric of the campaign trail, rather than firm policy positions of the president-elect. However, we do know that the change in Washington will directly impact the work of Save the Redwoods League and the future of redwood conservation.

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Join Us Outdoors on Green Friday

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Back by popular demand and a continued craving to make Black Friday “green,” this new holiday tradition offers everyone the opportunity to experience California’s parks and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. To celebrate and raise awareness for these incredible outdoor spaces, we’re co-sponsoring free park passes, good for day-use admission to 116 parks throughout the state on Green Friday, November 25th.

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Some of the harmful chemicals used in illegal marijuana grows. Photo by Justin Faggioli

Illegal Marijuana Farms Threaten Redwoods

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In the upcoming November election, California voters will determine whether or not the state will join the ranks of those who have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. While the League has no position on legalization, we ask voters to … Continued


A National Monument for the Santa Cruz Coast?

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On the Santa Cruz coast, surrounding the picturesque town of Davenport, is a sweeping expanse of native coastal prairie and redwood forest. This beautiful landscape is special not only for what it is, a local historical and ecological treasure, but for what it could become — our next national monument.

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Soberanes Fire Burns in the Redwood Region

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At the time of writing, the Soberanes Fire has burned over 60,000 acres in Monterey County and is about 45% contained. The fire area covers much of Garrapata State Park, a scenic and rugged redwoods park at the southern end of the coast redwood range. We don’t yet know whether, or to what extent, the park’s redwood groves are suffering damage; and while the primary concern is for the well-being of nearby human communities, it’s interesting to consider the implications of fires like this in the redwood forest.

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Many of the most magnificent redwood parks and reserves you and generations of Americans have enjoyed, including Redwood National Park pictured above, have been partially funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Photo by Max Forster

Celebrating the NPS Centennial in the Redwoods

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Over the weekend, the League celebrated the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service at our Orick Mill Site property near Redwood National and State Parks. It was a momentous event, and I was honored to speak to the attendees about the significance of the moment. For those who weren’t able to be there, I’ll take the opportunity to share my remarks, and some photos, here.

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Photo by Paolo Vescia

New Lost Coast Trail Extension Now Open

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The Lost Coast lends itself to adventure like nowhere else in California. As you explore this stunningly beautiful, remote expanse of coastal bluffs and forests, a true sense of discovery takes hold – it feels wonderfully wild and unchanged. With 100 miles of almost completely roadless beauty, this is the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline left in California. Small wonder that the spectacular trail that winds along the Lost Coast is a top-tier, bucket-list adventure for all who love to get into the wild. And now that trail is even better!

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Watch: The Future of Redwoods Conservation and Why You Should Care

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Those of us who have visited, learned about, or seen images of a redwood forest will understand the feeling of caring deeply about what happens to this ancient, unique, inspiring corner of the Earth. Listen to my talk to find out what threatens the redwoods today, how we can ensure that this irreplaceable forest will thrive into the future — and why you should care.

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