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.

Crown‐mapping involves measurements of heights, diameters, distances, and azimuths of all branches. Here Jim Spickler (left) extends a steel tape to measure the horizontal extension of a dead branch while Bob Van Pelt (right) records the measurement. Photo by Stephen Sillett, Institute for Redwood Ecology, Humboldt State University

Countdown to BioBlitz!

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In 21 days we will have a major scientific event happening throughout the Bay Area: the 2014 National Park Service BioBlitz. Here at the League we are busy preparing for this 24-hour exploration of the ecologically diverse areas of the Continued


What we do, and why we do it, affects the land — from the smallest flower to the mightiest redwood.

What Is a Conservationist?

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As we at Save the Redwoods League begin to focus on managing and restoring land as much as on acquiring it, we will need to ask ourselves hard questions about what it means to be a conservationist these days. Chief Continued


The Lady Bird Johnson Grove dedication, 1969

The Tale of an Oval Office Redwoods Deal

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Have you ever wondered what the small redwood grove signs along the Avenue of the Giants and redwood park trails mean?  They mark over 1,000 dedicated redwood groves, from Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park near Crescent City all the way Continued


Shaggy Mane Mushroom in a Forest Near You

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Finally, with the onset of rain, we have amazing mushrooms pushing up throughout the coast redwood forest. One of my favorites is the shaggy mane mushroom, Coprinus comatus. This is a gilled mushroom that emerges with a white scaly cap Continued


Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has safeguarded special places, including the pictured Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.

What Is Our Land Ethic?

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Like many in the land conservation arena, I often use the term “land ethic” in discussing the vision and work of Save the Redwoods League and our partners.  As the League approaches its 100th anniversary, I’ve been thinking a lot Continued


Some redwoods are genetically adapted to wet, foggy environments; some are better suited to drier locales.

“Right” and “Wrong” Redwoods?

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Redwoods are redwoods, right?  And when we want to restore forests, it’s as simple as just planting some redwoods, right?  You may not be surprised to hear that the business of replanting a forest is a bit more complicated than Continued


Redwood seedlings.

Growing Future Giants From Tiny Seeds

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Last week’s blog began, perhaps a little cavalierly, with the assertion that growing big trees may be the easy part of redwood forest restoration, and so far as it goes that’s a fair assessment.  It also may be a little Continued


View California’s Drought from Space

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The last 12 months in California have been the driest on record since weather records began in 1885.  NASA’s Earth Observatory recently showed us just how seriously the drought is impacting Californian vegetation statewide from the redwood forest to grassy Continued


What Do the Winter Olympics and Redwoods Have in Common?

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Well, they’re both part of a rapidly-changing world. It’s more than a little scary to watch the Winter Olympics this year and see the bare, snowless mountains in the background and the spectators in T-shirts lining the race courses. Scarier Continued


Sixth graders in LandPaths' environmental education program work to restore the redwood forest.

Students Learn About Restoration

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On a cold December morning, I arrived at Rancho Mark West in Sonoma County to the sight of twenty-two sixth graders huddled in a circle beneath towering redwood trees. They were listening silently as their instructors explained how they were Continued


Bringing back clear, healthy waterways is one of the more challenging parts of restoration. Photo by Peter L. Buranzon.

Growing Back Big Trees? That’s the Easy Part (Well, Kind Of)!

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Compared to fifty or sixty years ago, logging practices in redwood country today are dramatically different and much kinder to the environment. Gone — thankfully — are the days when heavy equipment punched primitive roads into the forest, dragged heavy Continued


What better place to create memories with your loved ones? Muir Beach photo by advencap, Flickr Creative Commons

Celebrate Your Love at Muir Beach

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¡Feliz Dia de Amor y Amistad! Happy Love and Friendship Day! For me — and maybe for you, too —this day is about celebrating the loves in my life: love for family, friends and nature. And rather than expressing that Continued


Couple hiking in a redwood forest

Your Romantic Redwoods Getaways

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Around Valentine’s Day, our thoughts turn to redwoods and romance. I’ve been to places where you can spend a magical weekend with your love among the redwoods. Here are three picks that span the range of the coast redwoods, from Continued


In 1926, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. discusses redwoods conservation with Save the Redwoods League leader Newton Drury. David Rockefeller is pictured on the front, right side.

Conservation, Then and Now

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For decades, the rallying cry of conservation has been, “Buy land — they’re not making any more of it!”  And since 1918, that’s what Save the Redwoods League has done: bought land to protect old-growth groves for future generations. Now, Continued


Waddell Creek, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Photo by Michael Carl, Save the Redwoods League Photo Contest

Hidden Park Gems, Valentine’s Redwoods Gifts

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In the deep folds of the Santa Cruz Mountains, you’ll find the largest stand of ancient redwoods south of San Francisco at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking and more.

... Continued

Bringing Back the Big Trees

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A recent discovery has been making headlines around the world: Trees don’t grow more slowly as they get older as was previously assumed. Rather, the older the tree, the faster it bulks up! This rapid growth in old age is Continued


Various ages of forest after different clear cuts in Mill Creek. Photo by Save the Redwoods League

Big Questions in Restoration

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Ten years ago, the first crews entered the newly-protected Mill Creek watershed.  Their mission: to implement a large-scale experiment in forest restoration. As the result of past logging and misguided reseeding practices, the young forest of the watershed had become Continued


Drought in the Redwoods

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Last week I traveled northwards up the coast redwood range to check on weather conditions in the forest at Humboldt Redwoods, Prairie Creek, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks. Through our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative, we are studying how Continued


Photo by Paolo Vescia

A Prescription for Parks

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“It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character, particularly if this contemplation occurs in connection with relief from ordinary cares, change of air and change of habits, is favorable to the health Continued


Mountain lion. All photos courtesy of our partners, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Sempervirens Fund

Camera Traps: Windows into Wild Lives

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Over the past few months here at the League we have been inspired by photos captured of wildlife on the CEMEX Redwoods property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Motion-activated wildlife cameras called “camera traps” are set up throughout the property, Continued