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.

View of the coast redwood canopy. Photo by Stephen Sillett

BioBlitz is Here!

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The time we have been preparing for during the past few months, BioBlitz 2014, is finally here! For the next two days you will find us at Muir Woods National Monument and the Crissy Field Center as we explore, learn, …


Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.: Conservation leader, parks pioneer, and Save the Redwoods League Councillor and collaborator.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and the League

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I’ll be speaking at the Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. Symposium at Stanford University today, on a panel about parks along with California State Parks Director Major General Anthony Jackson and Jack London State Historic Park Executive Director Tjiska Van Wyk. …


My colleague Richard Campbell tries to make his way uphill through the thick brush.

Protecting Our Land Through Restoration

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During my annual monitoring visit to one of our lands, I noticed thick brush growing up around the redwood forest. Something would need to be done about it! California’s drought has brought dry conditions that create an increased chance for …


Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Do you know the story of this beautiful park’s namesake? Photo by Frank Kehren, Flickr Creative Commons.

Women and the Redwoods: Three Inspiring Stories

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In celebration of Women’s History Month, I want to share the inspiring stories of local women who pioneered redwoods conservation — one of whom was a literal pioneer! Check out these three inspirational women who fought to protect the redwood …


Change is in the air. Shady Dell photo by Paolo Vescia.

Conservation 2.0

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Happy first day of Spring!  While our thoughts  turn to rebirth and new beginnings of the season, I’m thinking about another kind of new beginning, because conservation as we know it is undergoing some substantial changes. It’s hokey, I know, but …


Will wandering salamanders be among the creatures found in the canopy during the BioBlitz? Photo by Dan Portik

BioBlitz at Muir Woods: What Will We Find in the Canopy?

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The Muir Woods BioBlitz is just a couple weeks away, and folks around here are getting excited.  One of the hot topics of conversation around the Save the Redwoods League office is which species the scientists will find living in …


U.S. Cavalry with the Fallen Monarch tree, Mariposa Grove, 1899. In the days before park rangers, the army administered the national park.

War, the White House and Redwoods Conservation

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The roots of redwoods conservation extend back more than 150 years, all the way to President Abraham Lincoln. In 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln signed The Yosemite Valley Grant Act that transferred federal lands in the …


Redwood Canopy – A Research Frontier

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Humans have walked through the redwood forest for millennia, but we first journeyed into the redwood canopy mere decades ago. Recent advances in climbing technology now enable canopy researchers to safely access the highest reaches of the redwood tree tops …


Stephen T. Mather and WIlliam Kent. Photo by F. Ransome

Celebrating the League’s 96th Anniversary

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On March 11, 1918, Save the Redwoods League received its first donation.* Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate all that we’ve achieved and learned together since. First and foremost, on behalf of the redwoods, I want to thank conservationists like …


Marin high school students use their cell phones to participate in Redwood Watch, our citizen science program.

Using Cell Phones for Science

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These days, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that many people spend more time on their cell phones — checking email, posting to Facebook, playing games— than they do out in nature. This trend seems especially prevalent among our …


The League’s own Mary Wright (right) is a great example of character, courage and commitment! Photo by Paolo Vescia.

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Mary Wright

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Happy Women’s History Month! I’m grateful to work with brilliant, inspirational women every day here at Save the Redwoods League. In reflecting on some of the women who have dedicated their lives to the preservation of the redwood forest, one …


Family hiking in a redwood park

NPS Economic Impacts Report: Parks Are A Great Investment!

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Conservation is important for so many reasons. It’s good for the land and wildlife, air and water, it’s good for our mental and physical health, it’s good for the soul — and now we know it’s great for the economy. …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …