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Giant Thoughts

This is a place for personal insights into our work by Save the Redwoods League leaders. You can explore posts by category: It Takes a Forest SM focuses on League project and program updates; Off the Beaten Path gets you into the redwood forest; Redwoods Futures illuminates the issues affecting our redwood forests; and The Eighth Wonders explores the art, education, and science of the redwood forests. Please join the conversation by posting your stories and comments.


Your donation can help support the League’s general purposes, our Redwood Land Fund, or one of our priority projects.

IRAs: Amazing Year End Giving Opportunity

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In 2015, Congress voted to reinstate the IRA Charitable Rollover and it is now a permanent part of the tax code! This legislation allows you to make tax-free charitable gifts from your IRA without claiming any increased income. And, your gift may count towards your minimum distribution requirement.

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Elizabeth Saucier, Redwood Legacy Circle Member

All Aboard: The Skunk Train!

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On Sunday, October 22, the League hosted its 2017 Annual Thank You Event, where Redwood Leadership Circle and Redwood Legacy Circle members took a ride through the redwoods of Mendocino County on the beautiful and historic Skunk Train.

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Christina Jaromay in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Christina Jaromay Strengthens Parks through Lasting Partnerships

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As the Chief of the California State Parks Partnership Office, Christina Jaromay’s primary challenge is figuring out connections: how to make new ones and strengthen old ones. The long-standing partnership between Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks is one such relationship Jaromay oversees.

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: LWCF helped make it possible for Save the Redwoods League to protect part of the Prairie Creek corridor and add the land to Redwood National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo by Max Forster

Speak Up to Save the Land and Water Conservation Fund

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Redwood National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks — over the last five decades the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) helped protect them all. We need your help to tell Members of Congress to support LWCF and renew the program before it ends in September 2018.

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Student Perspectives: Driving Through the Redwoods

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What is home? For me, it is the redwoods. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or in my family’s case, driving, you just can’t beat the redwood forest. Not only are these trees beautiful beyond measure, but they are also a place of bonding and healing. Joaquin Miller Park and Redwood Regional Park have always been my family’s favorite places, and I will always think of them as places of comfort and sanctuary.

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Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park still has passes available. Get yours today! Photo by Jon Parmentier

Get Your Redwoods Friday Pass While They Last

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Spend the day after Thanksgiving outdoors in California’s spectacular redwood state parks!

Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks are offering free, downloadable vehicle day-use passes to more than 40 redwood state parks for use on November 24, 2017. The passes are going quickly, so reserve and download yours today at RedwoodsFriday.org.

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Fresh Air music video by Sergio Herrera and Jose Hernandez

Redwood Education Grants Program

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One of our grantees, the Humboldt County Office of Education, worked with students this year from Fortuna High School’s videography class to create “art” in the redwoods after learning about redwood ecology.

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Crescent Meadow, Sequoia National Park. Photo Ming-yen Hsu at Flickr Creative Commons

Nighttime Magic and Fall Forest Festivities

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Now that the sun is setting earlier, it’s great time to experience the sights and sounds of the redwood forest after dark. Not a night owl? Celebrate fall with a birdwatching walk or a trip to an autumn festival. Here’s a sample of fall fun throughout the redwood regions.

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Roosevelt elk on the Orick Mill site.

A Lesson in Ecology from the Roosevelt Elk

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The Orick Mill Site, a 125-acre property in the Prairie Creek Scenic Corridor, was a top priority for acquisition by the League for a long time. It’s not hard to see why: the property is nestled between the most iconic redwood groves in the world — the groves of Redwood National and State Parks. But land acquisitions — and the resulting changes in land management — are complicated affairs, especially if you happen to be a herd of Roosevelt elk.

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Field crew sampling young and old sequoias in a Bearskin Grove canopy gap. Photo by Marc D. Meyer

Questions Remain for Giant Sequoia National Monument

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National Public Lands Day on September 30 celebrates our nation’s cultural and natural resources that are open to everyone, but the work to defend our national monuments continues. This year, along with celebrating our public lands, unfortunately, comes trepidation, as we face the threat of eroded protections at a scale never seen before in U.S. history.

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Sequoia National Park.

New Initiative to Sequence the Redwood Genomes

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We are sequencing the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. While the first steps in this project will happen in the laboratory, the goal is to rapidly put this new understanding of redwood DNA to work for conservation. To support vigorous coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in the decades ahead, we will need to protect not only the remarkable structure of the forest, but also protect the genetic diversity that underlies it.

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Fern Watch volunteers at Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve.

Watching Ferns in the Redwoods for Signs of Climate Change

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The sword fern, one of the most common redwood forest plants, has become prominent in my life over the past few years. This is mostly due to the League’s Fern Watch project, which monitors the health of sword ferns throughout the redwood range. Even though these ferns are common, little is known about their ecology and how they respond to climatic change.

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Pleasant Surprises at Portola Redwoods State Park

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Whenever we decide to go hiking, we always do research to find out a bit about the park first. Just little things such as location, how long it will take us to get there, accessibility, and, of course, what the weather will be like. In doing so, we will often come across interesting facts such as trees of some notoriety, but our number one criterion is the variety of trails because it does no good to go to a park if there are no trails suitable for me to hike. For these reasons, Portola Redwoods State Park fit our criteria.

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An endangered California condor keeps protective watch over its chick in a nesting cave. Photo: John Brandt/USFWS

Condor Chick Signals Hope for the Future

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This summer proved to be momentous for the recovery of the California condor. Joe Burnett and Amy List, biologists at Ventana Wildlife Society, located the nest of two condors, #538 and #574, inside a hollowed-out coast redwood in Big Sur. Over the years Burnett watched these two birds, nicknamed Miracle and Nomad, as they fledged and grew up in the wild. Now, they’re raising their own chick — the first chick, since the 1980s, born to parents who were not raised in captivity.

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Aiden Conway visit the redwood forest for the first time.

My First Encounter with the Giants

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The fresh, salty air hung heavy as I wound my way south along the coastal highway with expansive vistas of the Pacific Ocean stretching across and meeting the blue sky infinitely far away. I’m on my way to see the giants I’d dreamed about since I was a kid. Could it be true? Entire cars driving through a tunnel in a tree trunk? No way.

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Latino Conservation Week 2017. Photo courtesy of Hispanic Access Foundation

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity in the Sequoia

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On July 15-16, 2017, Latino Conservation Week was in full swing and we had the privilege to participate in visiting this beautiful national park with a group of city youth, young adults and youth leaders ranging from different backgrounds and ages from Los Angeles.

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