Interior Secretary notes importance of project for climate and land protection
Bringing attention to one of the country’s most exemplary conservation partnerships, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland yesterday toured the work of Redwoods Rising, a joint project of Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, and the National Park Service that is restoring about 70,000 acres of redwood forest that has been damaged by decades of intense logging. Haaland and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory met with community leaders at Redwood National and State Parks involved in the partnership and talked about how the program is not only returning the forest to its former glory, but also providing local jobs, building climate resilience, and contributing to the federal goal of protecting 30% of the country’s land by 2030.
“Nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and every community in America,” said Haaland. “It’s exciting to see the local partnerships in action that ensure future generations get to experience the wonder of the Redwoods, as we do today. This is the kind of collaboration that we are hoping to support across the country to conserve, connect and restore our lands and waters.”
“President Biden set a bold national conservation goal to protect the lands and waters upon which we all depend,” said Mallory. “This historic conservation goal drives us to think about ways we can be better stewards of our natural resources in order to confront the climate crisis and threats like extreme heat, wildfires and floods. Local partnerships like the ones that are conserving California’s redwoods are instrumental to this effort, improving ecosystem health and resilience, supporting local economies, and expanding access to the outdoors for all.”
League President and CEO Sam Hodder joined the tour, as did Rep. Jared Huffman.
The tour stopped at the Prairie Creek Aquatic Enhancement to view efforts to restore fish habitat in a stretch of creek devoid of large wood and sufficient riparian forest cover. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Yurok Tribe. The tour also viewed a road removal site and another where workers are uncovering buried stream channels.
Haaland said that Redwoods Rising embraced the principles of resiliency and landscape connectivity, and that its work will accelerate restoration and prepare park landscapes for the impacts of drought, fire, disease, invasive species, and climate change — all key components of the Administration’s commitment to protecting natural resources and landscapes.
Haaland also acknowledged the devastating fires in Northern California and noted that climate change is making fire seasons more intense as our firefighters deal with hotter, drier conditions, worsening drought conditions, and more extreme fire behavior. The visit comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent report, which affirms that climate change is impacting the planet in unprecedented ways.