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.

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

“Right” and “Wrong” Redwoods?

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When we want to restore forests, it’s as simple as just planting some redwoods, right? You may be surprised to hear that the business of replanting a forest is a bit more complicated than that. When we work to restore forests, we try to make sure that the forests we rebuild are as close as possible to those that were lost — and there are also very practical reasons for doing so


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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, …


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.


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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, …


It’s part of my job to walk our conservation easement properties at least once a year to keep an eye on things.

Conservation Easements, Part 2: Monitoring and Enforcement

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Last month, I explained the nuts and bolts of conservation easements, a super important tool in land conservation and one that we at Save the Redwoods League use often. This month, you can learn about what happens next: monitoring and …


The PORTS program connects students to their state parks through videos and interviews with a park ranger. Photo courtesy of California State Parks.

Visit a Redwood Forest… from Your Classroom!

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When students learn about a threatened plant, animal or environmental community, their desire to help often kicks in. They contribute to the cause by writing letters, raising money, and educating others about the issue. Once raised, their awareness can last …


Redwood forest trail

How Open Space Can Bring Us Together

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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the National Park Service offered free admission to its parks on Monday. I hope you were able to take advantage, because visiting a park — whether national, state, or neighborhood — is …


Left, Cape Vizcaino in 1947, with meadows clearly visible. Right, the present view, with trees encroaching heavily.

Burning Cape Vizcaino

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The view from the picnic table was grand to be sure, the blue infinities of sea and sky meeting where the distant fog gathered offshore (and coastal fog, when you think about it, really is the perfect blend of the …


Big Trees in the News

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This week, Nate Stephenson and his colleagues published a new study showing that 97% of tree species grow faster as they age. Unlike in animals whose growth clearly plateaus with maturity, older trees just keep getting bigger and bigger. Large …