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.

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

on

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 …


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

Burning as a Restoration Tool

on

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 …


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

on

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 …


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

It’s About the Critters Too!

on

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 …


Too dry for redwood sorrel?

on

I recently walked with a childhood friend through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, one of the only old coast redwood forests left in Sonoma County. It certainly felt like fall, with the sunlight low in the sky as midday approached. …


Exploring the Forest at Night

on

One of the great joys of Halloween time, besides the candy, is the spooky, dark and eerie  theme of the holiday. And what better location to represent this theme than a cool, foggy redwood forest at night. The tall trees, the profound silence …


I Looked for Inspiration. This is What I Found.

on

My career at Save the Redwoods League began on a trail in an old-growth redwood grove in Big Basin.  It was the Friday before I walked in the League’s door as its new President and CEO.  Hoping to find inspiration …


The Douglas Fir and the Mouse

on

Have you ever been walking in the forest and seen a cone, and wondered what tree it was from? This happens to me all the time. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify conifers (cone-bearing trees) because their branches can …


Adventures in GPS-ing a Stream

on

It is a very common experience to pick up a map I’ve made in GIS (Geographic Information Systems, a software mapping program) and realize that there is no way the stream shown on my map is actually where the stream flows on …


Are Old-Growth Redwoods (Functionally) Extinct?

on

A new research study published in Nature (found here; and excellent summary is here) got me thinking about the work we do to restore redwood forests. Basically, the idea behind the research is this: species perform many roles beyond just …


Photo by Julie Martin

It’s About the Children!

on

There are so many reasons to move State Parks forward.  For me, the first reason is for our children. Remember how much fun you had in the forest as a child?  I recall digging for bugs in the dirt at …


Life on the leaf’s edge

on

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Nature will bear the closet inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.” His words eloquently describe a field of research that would …


Save the Redwoods League introduces a new free travel guide for parents and kids

Editor’s Notes: The Family Guide to the Giant Sequoias

on

For almost a year now we’ve worked on developing and producing the first-ever family guide to the redwoods. Initially we were going to produce a single edition, but after the writing and editing were underway, we soon realized that we …


What Do These Commonly-Used Words Really Mean?

on

Today is World Dictionary Day, and in honor of that I’d like to discuss a few words that are used a lot in our conservation science work.  They are: Precision, Accuracy, and Bias.  These may seem familiar, but they have …


The Coastal Trail, Last Chance section, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. Photo by David Baselt

Do You Want to Move State Parks Forward?

on

Save the Redwoods League does. In this fast-changing world, we either move forward or we are left behind. California’s state parks house some of the world’s most treasured natural resources, including large portions of our beloved redwood forest.  We visit …


Are You a Scientist?

on

If you search on Google images for “scientist,” you get a lot of photos of men and women with unkempt hair, white lab coats and goggles. If you ask a child what they think a scientist looks like, they will …


How Tall is Your Tree?

on

Ever wondered how big that tree in your backyard is?  There are many ways to measure the heights of trees, but most of them unfortunately require lots of time, money, and specialized equipment.  There is one method, however, that needs …


Bats of Humboldt Redwoods

on

Last week, we drove into Humboldt Redwoods State Park at dusk to watch bats dart over Bull Creek. We joined up with USDA Forest Service researcher, Ted Weller, and his team as they studied local and migrating bats through the …


Preparing our Properties for Future Landowners to Manage Sustainably

on

Recently our Conservation Science Manager and I set out into one of the League-owned forests to map its trees. We wanted to know where the younger redwoods are located, in order to determine where a future landowner of the property …


Could You Survive in a Redwood Forest?

on

As I’ve become more familiar with Bay Area plants over the years, it is difficult for me to go hiking and not think to myself, “Yum, blackberry—oh look, bay laurel—I didn’t know horsetail grew around here.” If you go hiking with …