Another Side of Cemex

Richard Campbell stands in a grove of large redwoods on the Cemex property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Richard Campbell stands in a grove of large redwoods on the Cemex property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This week I explored Cemex Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my colleagues.  I’d been there many times, but this time felt different because I walked into corners of the expansive property that I hadn’t seen before.

During my first field trips to Cemex, I saw acres of young redwood forestland that had been harvested many times over the past decades. While I saw some old giant redwoods during these visits, I thought that large trees were rare on the property. This week, I got off the main road that bisects Cemex and saw groves of large redwoods that made me smile.

Along Big and San Vincente Creeks, we hiked among redwoods several feet in diameter. They may not be the oldest redwoods on the property, but they are growing fast on productive soil. I’m amazed how large second-growth redwoods can be today, so tall and wide that soon they are certain to be indistinguishable from old redwoods to everyone except those with a trained eye.

With our protection and careful stewardship of Cemex Redwoods in the years ahead, I look forward to helping create the old-growth groves of the future in the Santa Cruz mountains. The young redwoods grow so vigorously here, it won’t be long until we all can walk along trails and watch these forests grow back into their original splendor. They are already magnificent.

Help us protect this property permanently.

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About Emily Burns

Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

The League will own, steward and manage Shady Dell for the foreseeable future until we can transfer it to a permanent steward.

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