“I appeal to you to save these mighty trees, these wonderful monuments of beauty.”
—Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America
As staff at Save the Redwoods League, it is both humbling and inspiring to have history (including an ex-President) calling to us. Our predecessors at the League left a legacy of success upon which we dream to build.
But, unlike that of our predecessors, the work needed to protect redwood forests today is more complex than ever before. One example is the recent Shady Dell acquisition near Sinkyone Wilderness State Park on the southern end of the Lost Coast.
We collaborated with several partners including The Conservation Fund, Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc., the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board and the Coastal Conservancy. Together we protected the Usal Redwood Forest’s 50,000 acres, the largest contiguous block of permanently protected coast redwood forest in Mendocino County and the largest conservation project in California in 2011. Shady Dell is one part of this larger forest.
The logical long-term owner of the land is California State Parks. In years past, League staff would now be working on the transfer of Shady Dell to State Parks.
But this is 2012, not years past, and the logic and practice of the past may not survive into the future. State government’s allocation of funds to State Parks has been insufficient for years and many parks lack adequate infrastructure, maintenance and services. Added to all that is the fact that many parks remain at risk to close next year.
At the League, we see this parks crisis as an opportunity to re-think and re-imagine our work and relationship with California State Parks. We are looking at a range of options for long-term ownership and management of Shady Dell and several other state parks, including Grizzly Creek, Portola Redwoods, Hendy Woods and Mill Creek in Del Norte County.
We’ve been protecting redwood lands for nearly 100 years and welcome the challenge of finding creative solutions to protecting these magnificent trees into the future. For updates on our work please follow our weekly blog or sign up for our enewsletter!