Those of us who have visited, learned about, or seen images of a redwood forest will understand the feeling of caring deeply about what happens to this ancient, unique, inspiring corner of the Earth. Listen to my talk to find out what threatens the redwoods today, how we can ensure that this irreplaceable forest will thrive into the future — and why you should care.
In the scenic redwoods country near Eureka, California, lies Headwaters Forest Reserve. You might remember Headwaters as the subject of a very contentious, very public, decade-long struggle in the 1990s to protect ancient redwoods from continued logging. When you walk among its massive, moss-draped giants, it’s easy to see why so many people fought so hard for their preservation.
At Yosemite National Park this week, you may see smoke curling up from Mariposa Grove, the spectacular giant sequoia forest that catalyzed the conservation movement 150 years ago. This smoke is part of a planned prescribed burn in the forest to lower fuel loads that have accumulated over many decades of fire suppression.
Since about 92% of the redwood forest is second and third growth, restoration will be a key strategy. Restoring young forest so that it can become old growth once again is essential for the future of conservation. Restoration at San Vicente Redwoods started recently with a volunteer day. Twelve volunteers from the Oracle Corporation spent the morning pulling invasive weeds amongst the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains.