Calling on the Wisdom of a Redwood Tree

Majestic coast redwood tree.
Majestic coast redwood tree.

The bark on our redwood tree was especially soft this morning.  The ground was squishy beneath my feet.  It was drippy as I stood underneath the tree in the morning fog, and newly fallen redwood leaves littered the ground.

I see our redwood tree daily, from our kitchen and from my desk.  I do not often go to visit up close.  It stands tall – very tall – on the bank of Cerrito Creek at the rear of our Berkeley yard.

I tend to visit to feel its strength or to listen to its stories.  Today I visited to tap into its wisdom, to help with our work.

We are discussing wording for two redwood forest conservation easements.  What are the “conservation values” that we are protecting?  The “old growth“?  The old second growth?  All of the old second growth, or most of it?  Do we protect the creek corridor too?  Can part of the forest be cut “sustainably” for commercial purposes?  What do we want the forest to look like in 50 years?  In 100 years?  Can the land be divided into two separate properties?  Is it okay to build a house on each property?  Do we ask the owner to allow a hiking trail across the property to the State Park land next door?

We make judgments on each of these, write them up, and send the document to the landowners for their review. The owners are a wonderful family, and they love the land.  It has been in their family for generations.  They are thrilled to be preserving the forest – and the League is honored to be their partners in this effort.

As I walk into the house, I turn around and nod to our redwood.  Thanks for the help.

About the author

Harry joined Save the Redwoods League’s staff in 2011 as the General Counsel. He brings over 30 years of experience in the fields of law and real estate transactions.

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