Did you know that the California Legislature named the coast redwood as California’s official state tree on April 3, 1937? In honor of our magnificent redwoods, we’ve created an infographic to show just some of the ways that redwoods support people and wildlife.
As I prepared to teach my first Redwoods and Climate Change lesson in the classroom, I was admittedly nervous. This class was composed entirely of English language learners. As the students shuffled into the classroom, took their seats and began reading the board, it was clear they were excited about the week’s lesson.
We all know that redwood forests are part of a larger ecosystem, the components of which can find themselves closely intertwined and interconnected. This system can often be referred to as a watershed, where all the land-borne water downward, starting at the tops of the hills and making its way to the ocean. Everything in a watershed is connected, from the redwood forests to the San Francisco Bay — and knowing your place within the watershed can be a powerful tool in protecting these natural areas.
On August 8, 1919, Save the Redwoods League founders Madison Grant and Stephen Mather spoke to a packed auditorium in the Northern California mill town of Eureka. They had driven up from San Francisco, where the League had just held its first Board meeting, and they called for local support of the League’s mission to protect the redwoods. To their great surprise, they received a wildly enthusiastic response. Why were hundreds of citizens of Humboldt County, the epicenter of redwood logging operations, so receptive to this message of conservation?
What I hoped to gain from the recent Cultural Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations convening was a sense of togetherness on a topic that very few outdoor organizations and foundations are addressing in action. It is a complicated topic to wrap one’s brain around in reaching an action plan, I get it, but what is at stake is a country that will be majority people of color in 20 years, and if people of color are not developing relationships with the land now, we certainly won’t care about saving the redwoods or protecting endangered species as we grow into a majority status.
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.
In the depths of winter, an amazing emergence of emerald green ferns appear on cliffs, rocks, and forest tree trucks throughout the coast redwood forest. These delicate beauties are Polypodium glycyrrhiza, commonly known as licorice fern. The species name, glycyrrhiza, means sweet root in Greek and is aptly named because the fern’s rhizome tastes faintly of licorice.