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.

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


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 Continued


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 Continued


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 Continued


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 Continued


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 Continued


There’s a long path ahead, but California just took a big step in the right direction for state parks (like Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, pictured). Photo by Ginny Dexter.

Leap Forward for State Parks

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Governor Brown recently announced California’s 2014-2015 budget, and I speak for all of us at the League in applauding the governor’s Parks-related proposals: to provide one-time funding of $14 million for operations and $40 million for backlogged maintenance costs, as well as to keep all parks open and Continued


: It’s easy to see how tanoak mortality from sudden oak death can have effects on the whole forest community. This photo was taken in Marin County, CA. Image by the USFS Region 5, Flickr Creative Commons.

Sudden oak death is plaguing California forests

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Last week, Deborah Zierten introduced us to sudden oak death, a nasty fungal disease (known in scientific circles as Phytopthera ramorum) that is causing the widespread  decline and death of tanoak, one of the most common tree species found in Continued


Smooth Bark Matters

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If you’ve driven around the country in recent years, it’s likely you’ve seen vast stretches of pine forest wiped out by the mountain pine beetle. This beetle naturally occurs in North American forests, but changing climatic conditions are causing outbreaks Continued


Tanoak mortality in Humboldt County. Photo Credit, Yana Valachovic, UCCE Humboldt County

Why are all the tanoaks dying?

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During a recent walk through Sam MacDonald Park in San Mateo County, I noticed many downed, brown-leafed tanoak trees amongst the towering redwoods. At first I wondered why the county would cut down so many trees, but then I realized Continued


Bird's nest fungus. Photo by pellaea, Flickr Creative Commons.

Bird’s Nest Fungus in the Forest

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This fall and winter has definitely been a dry one for us here in California. One thing I’ve noticed is that with limited rainfall comes fewer mushrooms. I have always associated the rainy fall with prime mushroom time. I love Continued