Blog

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.

When We Can’t See the Trees for the Forest

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re documenting the many …


Half Earth

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E. O. Wilson and other prominent biologists have a rallying cry for conservationists like you and me: let’s set aside half of planet Earth as protected wild landscapes and let’s do it right now. In order to provide sheltering and traveling habitat …


San Vicente Redwoods

Today’s Historic Success for Redwoods

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Something huge happened today. The California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), an independent State board charged with funding “the purchase of land and waters suitable for recreation purposes and the preservation, protection and restoration of wildlife habitat” in California, voted to …


Happy Anniversary to Our State Tree

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Today marks the anniversary of the adoption of the coast redwood as California’s state tree. In my opinion, no tree could better represent the golden state. For a little history on state symbols you have to go back to the …


A very large coast redwood. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

Making Friends with the Trees

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re …


A coast redwood tree cone —one of the smallest cones, from the tallest tree. You can see how the scales are fused together creating a spiral pattern in the cone. Photo by Finch, Flickr Creative Commons

What’s So Cool About Cones?

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During a recent hike in the Berkeley hills with a friend, the topic of cones came up. There is an activity I like to do with students to teach them about cones: I bring in a small redwood cone and …


California’s state parks, like Calaveras Big Trees State Park, remain the jewels of the state despite financial setbacks.

California’s State Parks Still Sublime

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Over the past few years, especially since the “parks closure crisis” of 2012, California State Parks staff have taken a lot of heat. And, to be sure, our parks face real challenges — like a severely depleted workforce, declining appropriations, …


Many new redwoods grow in areas with old-growth cutting. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

A Strange and Wonderful Mystery Forest

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re …


White flowers of thimbleberry turn into spectacular red berries in the summer. Are the berries ripe in your neck of the woods?

Berry Picking at its Best

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In the redwood forest, one of the most fabulous transitions every year is seeing spring flowers give way to sweet berries. While I know that I should probably leave the fruit for wildlife, I simply can’t help but taste the …


Cooley spruce gall. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

Exploring One of Nature’s Weird Phenomena

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As you may have read in their recent blog, Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient …


Coastal Trail, Skunk Cabbage Section, Redwood National Park, CA

Learn What You Know and Don’t Know

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As surprising as it may seem, the shaded areas on park maps indicating different kinds of habitat and vegetation do not always reflect the reality “on the ground.” This is true for Redwood National and State Parks, which contains a …


Bats at the Redwood Treetop

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If you’ve stood in the redwoods near dusk, no doubt you glimpsed bats darting above you. I love to see them, especially when I’m camping, because I know they are hunting pesky mosquitoes. A new research study by Jean-Paul Kennedy, …





Students set up fern plots and learn scientific field techniques as part of Pepperwood Preserve's TeenNat program.

Conservation Scientists in the Making

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As an environmental educator, there is nothing better than seeing young people making observations and asking questions out in nature. Questions like, “Why do you think that bay tree and redwood are growing so close together?”, “Why are the tanoaks …



Nature persists in the paved expanses of the urban jungle. Photo by Luke McGuff, flickr creative commons.

Urban Wilderness: In the Heart of the City, Nature Takes Root

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There is an empty lot just up the hill from Save the Redwoods League’s office in San Francisco. The lot is fenced off, but by peering through the gaps between the slats, it is possible to get a brief glimpse …


Fern Canyon is all its ferny glory.

My favorite hike

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When I am driving north on Highway 101 through Humboldt County and know my destination is the James Irvine trail at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, it’s hard to contain my excitement. This week, Orange Coast shares the history of how …


SCA crew, and their California State Parks supervisor.

Historic Redwood Grove Gets TLC Through Team Effort

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Have you ever thought about what it takes to take care of protected land at the landscape scale? Most of us don’t manage areas of land much greater than our own backyards — it’s difficult to think on the scale …