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.

Photo courtesy of Vida Verde

Exploring a Redwood Forest with Kids

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A few weeks ago I traveled an hour south of San Francisco to the town of San Gregorio to observe a group of fifth graders from Oakland begin their adventure at an outdoor education center, Vida Verde. During this visit Continued


John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Newton Drury, Secretary of Save the Redwoods League, pictured here on the right, enjoy California’s redwoods in 1926. Both men did a great deal to protect redwood forests.

Celebrating the Past and Future of Our Parks

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In 2014, California State Parks (CSP) will be 150 years old. The park system has come a long way in that time; from the first park at Yosemite to the 280 parks that currently make our system the largest in Continued


Long-horned beetle drawing by Loren Green, image courtesy of NPS

The Secret of the Long-Horned Beetle

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We have probably all seen squirrels running around with a seed in tow, looking for  the perfect place to bury their food for the winter. Some of these seeds do get eaten later, and some are forgotten and eventually grow Continued


Conservation easements can permanently protect privately-owned properties like this one. Photo by Paolo Vescia.

What IS a Conservation Easement, Anyway?

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Conservation easements are an incredibly important tool we use to help protect land. They can be confusing to understand, so my next few blogs will focus on different aspects of conservation easements to explain the concept and show why land Continued


Save the Redwoods ladies, 1918. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Historical Society.

How Did the League Help Start the State Parks System?

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With California State Parks’ 150th anniversary just around the corner, it seems like a good time to reflect on the League’s role in shaping State Parks and to look back at our shared history. Since its inception in 1918, the Continued


Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth project. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Give the Gift of Green this Cyber Monday

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Sweaters fade, electronic gadgets become obsolete, but redwood trees last for centuries. This holiday season, forget the frames and nix the novelties. Instead, help protect California’s redwoods by dedicating a tree or grove in honor of your loved ones this Continued


How Redwoods Heal

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The ability of redwoods to heal themselves is almost as remarkable as how incredibly tall they grow. Amazingly, coast redwoods can heal over a wound when they are injured from fire, are damaged by the wind, or even are cut Continued


Sam Hodder, President and Chief Executive Officer. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends of Save the Redwoods League!

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Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, sends his heartfelt thanks to all of you friends and supporters of the League.   Tweet to @SamH4Redwoods and tell us what you’re thankful for!


A trail camera captured this beautiful mountain lion as it roamed the CEMEX property.

Thankful for New Discoveries, Mountain Lions and More

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I sure have a lot to be grateful for this year.  Our work at the League has never been more diverse or more important; and more than anything, I am thankful to have the opportunity to Continued


Charles Clarke visits Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park with Sharon Rabichow, League Major and Planned Gifts Associate, to dedicate the Ella S. Clarke Memorial Grove in 2009.

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m Thankful for Our Members

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Not only is it a day spent with family and great food, but it also provides an opportunity to reflect on the year and express our gratitude. November marks my  seventh anniversary working Continued


Critical Conservation at Strybing Botanical Garden

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Not many people know this, but I can trace my career as a redwood conservation scientist back to Strybing Botanical Garden in San Francisco. It was during a field trip to Strybing in 1998 that I sat and sketched plants Continued


Top 5 Redwood Parks to Visit This Winter

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5. Calaveras Big Trees State Park As the story goes, in 1852 a hunter named Augustus T. Dowd wounded a grizzly bear and chased him into this forest, only to find trees that were three times bigger than any he’d Continued


Epiphytic mushrooms and moss growing on a redwood branch. Photo by Steve Sillett

Epiphyte Heaven!

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I think I first really learned the meaning of the word “epiphyte” while working in the rainforest of Ecuador. There are epiphytes all over the trees in the tropical rainforest – one of the most famous  is the orchid. But Continued


Students measure fern fronds through a Save the Redwoods League education program at Redwood Regional Park. Photo ©Save the Redwoods League.

Our Redwood Classrooms

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Bay Area residents got a sneak peek into the hopes and dreams of the Department of the Interior last week when Secretary Sally Jewell came to Crissy Field (external link) to announce the department’s new campaign to connect the next Continued


DIY iPhone microscope.

DIY Microscope: See Nature’s Secrets

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If there is one piece of equipment to make you feel like a scientist, it has to be a microscope. There is something exciting about being able to see the hidden secrets of an object, the minutiae that are not Continued


You can be a scientist and help redwoods, too! Image © Save the Redwoods League

You Too Can Be A Scientist – Join Redwood Watch Today

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Did you ever want to be a scientist but think it’s just for professionals?  Love the redwoods but don’t know how to help?  Lucky for you, the League has a project that can solve both these problems. As part of Continued


League and parks staff visit the former site of the Orick Mill, 45 acres of concrete with a lot of potential. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Opportunity Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

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When thinking of redwood conservation, the mind doesn’t naturally jump to a vast expanse of pavement.  Save the Redwoods League is hoping to change that.  We have just acquired the Orick Mill property in Humboldt County that includes 45 acres Continued


Deliberate burning as a restoration tool. Images by Leonel Arguello, National Park Service

Burning as a Restoration Tool

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Last week, the sky around the Bald Hills area of Redwood National Park was hazy beyond the normal shroud of fog.  Smoke filled the air.  The forest was burning.  Water trucks stood at the ready, fire crews and park staff Continued


Have you noticed that the League is featured in the WPA murals at the Beach Chalet? On the right is Jack Spring, general manager of the Parks and Rec Dept.

A Passion for Redwoods, a Commitment to Parks

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This year we mark the 70th anniversary of the death of John McLaren, one of America’s great park leaders. Born and raised in Scotland and trained as a horticulturalist, McLaren is responsible for much of the vision and construction of Continued


The spotted owl is another irreplaceable redwoods inhabitant. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It’s About the Critters Too!

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The League is working to move State Parks forward to protect the many species that call the redwood forest home. As my colleague Richard Campbell wrote in his blog last week, saving old-growth redwoods is not the same as saving Continued