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.

Technology can be a useful tool in protecting our forests.

Nature + Technology = Fact Finding and Fun!

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As our Stewardship Manager, I enjoy regular visits to our magnificent properties for a variety of reasons—checking that roads are clear for an upcoming tour, overseeing the demolition of a structure, investigating any issues with trespassers, checking for invasive species, Continued


Aspens in Utah. Photo by Fool-On-The-Hill, Flickr Creative Commons

Meet an 80,000-Year-Old Tree

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Do you think a 2,000 year old redwood is ancient? A giant sequoia weighing 2,000 tons is heavy?  What if I were to tell you that these weren’t even close to the oldest or the biggest?  Sure, bristlecone pines live Continued


Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Obama’s Budget Calls for More Conservation Funding

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There was a bit of good conservation news coming from Washington, DC, last week. President Obama’s budget includes a substantial increase for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding. The LWCF program has had a huge impact on land conservation Continued


I Smell Cyanide!

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The fantastic yellow-spotted millipede, Harpaphe haydeniana, roams freely through the coast redwood forest. Often found crawling in the duff on the forest floor, H. Haydeniana is multi-legged invertebrate that demands respect. When it senses danger, this millepede curls up in a ball Continued


Vineyard conversion has become an increasingly significant threat to redwood forests in recent years.

Vineyards, Redwoods, and Climate Change

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The direct effects of climate change come in many different flavors – shifts in temperature and precipitation will have significant, though yet undetermined, implications for the redwood forest.  The ways in which climate change might indirectly affect the redwoods make Continued


We're trying a variety of restoration techniques at Mill Creek.

Sustainability or Resilience?

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Do you feel tension?  No, not emotional tension, the intellectual kind.  Does intellectual tension invigorate you?  It invigorates us at Save the Redwoods League.  There is a debate among conservationists:  should our goal be sustainability or resilience? At Save the Continued


Ferns in the Redwood Canopy

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In last week’s blog, I described my climb into a large double redwood to help Steve Sillett and his team make measurements for our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. While up in this tree, I was suspended alongside enormous fern Continued


New California State Parks Director, Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), left, continues his organization's 90-year relationship with the League. He's pictured here with Jim Larson, League Board of Directors President.

New Parks Leader Committed to State’s Treasures

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Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks have worked together to protect parklands for some 90 years. So it’s not too surprising that the new California State Parks Director, Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), lunched with the Save the Redwoods League Council on his third week on the job.

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Your donations helped protect Hendy Woods State Park's magical ancient forest (pictured) by keeping the park open and by securing matching funds to repair water lines there.

Your Gifts Secure Match for Park Improvements

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Your generous donations recently helped obtain matching funds for essential operating expenses and infrastructure projects at three amazing redwood parks that faced closure: Portola Redwoods, Hendy and Standish-Hickey. Totaling $130,000, your gifts helped cover operational shortfalls and plans for improvements of septic systems, campsites, shelters, bridges and more. Now these parks will receive more than $1 million from the State Parks and Recreation Fund and matching funds from California Assembly Bill 1478. Thank you!

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Fire-suppressed sequoia grove – note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Setting Fire to the Forest

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We’ll do all the law’s allowin’/Tomorrow I’ll be right back plowin’/ settin’ the woods on fire —Hank Williams In a recent post, I discussed the role of natural disturbance in creating the forests we see today. This week, I’d like Continued


Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana). Photo by ingridtaylar, Flickr Creative Commons

Birds Matter Too

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Audubon Magazine (March-April 2013 issue) reminds us “Why Birds Matter.”   Of course birds have intrinsic value:  to watch an eagle in flight is a thrill; to hear the whistle-like song of a marbled murrelet echo through the dark forest is Continued


forest floor

200 Feet Up a Redwood

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Harness cinched. Helmet buckled. Camera and notebook tucked in tightly. Knowing this was one of the last days this spring to collect coast redwood canopy data, we scurried up climbing ropes into the leafy forest canopy of Del Norte County. Continued



Giant sequoia cones. Photo by Mark Bult

Finding Patterns in the Redwoods: It’s Easy as 1, 1, 2, 3…

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Nature’s patterns are everywhere.  Sometimes they’re obvious – we mammals, for instance, almost always have five fingers and five toes on each hand and foot.  Sometimes these patterns aren’t nearly so apparent, but they’re still there nonetheless. The Fibonacci sequence Continued


Portola Redwoods State Park.

Hope for Our State Park System

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Crisis is turning into opportunity for our state park system. California State Parks has new, effective leadership in Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (retired). And the State’s Little Hoover Commission just issued its thoughtful report, identifying many of the Continued


Trillium is toxic!

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Have you ever seen this stunning flower in the redwood forest? It is a Giant Wake Robin, or Trillium chloropetalum, and was recently seen blooming in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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Howland Hills Road, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Economic Benefit of Conservation

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All you readers out there know that a day in the redwoods is good for the soul.  It is calming, inspirational, healing and fun. Whether you walk with your honey, picnic with friends or romp with your children, it is Continued


Sequoias Suddenly Snowless

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I fastened on my snowshoes and set off for a wintertime hike among the giant sequoias.  I quickly realized the snow in the forest was patchy at best and completely melted at worst, and it’s only March! It was shocking Continued


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