Save the Redwoods League and our colleague land conservation organizations are tackling more sophisticated and more capital-intensive projects than ever before. We have learned that we can do this better by collaborating.
One of the League’s most exciting and successful collaborations is the Living Landscape Initiative (LLI). The LLI mission is to create and maintain a “vibrant, sustainable living landscape in the heart of coastal California,” i.e., the “redwood heartlands” of San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties.
The League has a long history of protecting redwood forest and supporting landscapes in this region, having protected more than 13,000 acres now located in six state parks and one regional open space preserve. And, we have often worked informally with other land conservation organizations in the area.
The LLI brings this collaboration to a new, even more effective level by leveraging the efforts of five organizations: Save the Redwoods League, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and The Nature Conservancy.
Thanks to a $15 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the LLI organizations have collectively leveraged these funds by a ratio of nearly 7 to 1 to protect close to 15,000 acres of critical lands in the region. The largest single acquisition is CEMEX Redwoods – some 8 miles long and 3 miles wide (8,500 acres) and connecting other protected lands from the coast to the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The protection of the CEMEX Redwoods property is a prime example of how the LLI partners can accomplish so much more by working together. The acquisition and long-term protection of this critical property would not have been possible by any one of the organizations working alone. The CEMEX Redwoods property showcases the beauty and rich recreational and natural values of the region, and epitomizes the type of transaction that will contribute to the LLI vision for a vibrant, resilient eco-region in coastal California.
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