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.

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 …


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 …


Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is stunning and secluded. Photo by David Baselt.

Redwood Resolutions

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It’s a brand new year, and with it comes the inevitable New Year’s resolutions. Like many people, I plan to eat a healthier diet and exercise more (sure, and let’s see how long I last!). Besides those, here are some …


Enjoy summer’s sun-dappled trails, like this one in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Photo by Julie Martin

Parks, Planet, Pavement: Redwood Highlights of 2013

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While many year-end lists will highlight the accomplishments of 2013, for Save the Redwoods League, the year is best reflected with three major highlights. Together these stories speak of the focus and commitment of the League and its partners, the unique …


My “Best of” List for 2013

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As 2013 comes to a close, it’s that time again for the “best of” lists to come out.  You know—the best movies of the year, the best music, etc. Since I started my job here at Save the Redwoods League …


Favorite Photos of Redwoods in the Snow

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Happy Holidays! I hope you are enjoying time with loved ones. Winter is an incredible time in the redwoods, and nothing embodies the peace and beauty of the holiday season like a redwood forest cloaked in snow. Here are some …


Celebrating the Endangered Species Act

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In three days (December 28th), we will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the most important and successful pieces of environmental law in our country’s history – the Endangered Species Act. The Act (commonly known as ESA) protects species …


Knowing Nature: The Best Gift Ever

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This is a joyous and peaceful time of year, whatever your belief system. It is a time when the world seems to collectively pause and remember what is truly important, whether family and friends, health and peace, or places of …


Lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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It was close to dusk when we crossed the stream, heading deeper into the forest along an old logging road. We were touring the areas of CEMEX Redwoods where restoration reserves are to be established, assessing conditions and discussing strategies …


The Future of Redwood Conservation

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Much has been said about the importance of old-growth redwood forests. Their superlative beauty, their mind-bending longevity, their capacity to sequester carbon, and their ability to inspire peace, awe, and contemplation are all reasons why our commitment to their protection …


Researcher Emily Burns noticed that half the ferns in coast redwood forests were evergreen and half were deciduous. Deciduous ferns turn white in the fall while the evergreen ferns stay vibrant green.

Winter white ferns

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We may not have a typical white winter wonderland here in the coast redwood forest, but we do have spectacular displays of white leaves that appear this time of year. Half of the fern species that live in the coast …


My Top Three Redwood Stocking Stuffers!

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Still looking for redwood-themed stocking stuffers? Well, look no further! Check out one of my favorite online stores, the Muir Woods Trading Company.  The Trading Company allows you to share your love for the redwoods with simple, fun and unique …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …