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.

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


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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


Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Jon Parmentier

Three Northern Forests Paint a Picture of Hope

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I don’t get out to the woods for work nearly enough these days (then again, who does?), but last week was an exception.  During a trip to the Northern California forests for some meetings, I was lucky enough to get Continued


Bay Lights – 1.5 Redwoods Tall

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  Outside our office this week the San Francisco Bay Bridge began twinkling with the artistic illumination of 25,000 new LED lights strung along the west span.  After dusk, views of the bridge are spectacular as waves of light pulse along 1.8 Continued


Founders Grove, Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Tradition. History. Healing.

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Images, encounters, and lessons in Humboldt Redwoods State Park on a grey, dry winter Saturday – March 2, 2013: Bolling Grove, the League’s first memorial grove of redwoods.  Stop #2 on the Avenue of the Giants auto tour.  Paid respects Continued



Giant in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Redwoods and the Passage of Time

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Time.  Einstein said, “Time is an illusion.” We all feel that it goes by too fast. Dr. Seuss said, “How did it get so late so soon?” To make a difference, we have to focus on now.  As Mother Teresa said, Continued


Burned tree in Redwood National Park.

Where do forests come from?

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Whenever I’m out in the forest, I can’t help but think about how it all got started.  Even though the redwoods may seem timeless and unchanging, they almost always began in turmoil.  These periods of rapid change are known as Continued