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.

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 …


Montgomery Woods State Park. Photo by Peter Buranzon

Redwoods and the Economy

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Why does the League work tirelessly to save the redwoods? “They are beautiful, peaceful, humbling, inspiring…” according to a recent visitor. Yet there is another important, practical reason: it benefits the economy. Our public lands contribute to the nation’s economic …


Another Side of Cemex

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This week I explored Cemex Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my colleagues.  I’d been there many times, but this time felt different because I walked into corners of the expansive property that I hadn’t seen before. During my …


The League will own, steward and manage Shady Dell for the foreseeable future until we can transfer it to a permanent steward.

The Tasks Ahead

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“To some it might appear that, having accomplished what will be considered one of the greatest pieces of conservation work in America, the Redwoods League might not have a place of as great importance in the future as that occupied …


Spring is coming!

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Punxsutawney Phil predicts spring will come early this year. As much fun as it is to trust the behavior of a charismatic groundhog, I also love searching for my own signs of spring a little closer to home. Wildflowers are …


You helped us protect the Noyo River Redwoods. Photo by Julie Martin

The Fight to Save the Redwoods: Then and Now

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Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has been fighting to fund redwoods protection all the while the funding for land conservation in California has continued to change. More recently, between 2002 and 2006, the voters of California approved bond measures to …


Redwood burl. Photo by Peter Montesano

Exploring the Mysteries of Redwood Burls

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We’ve all seen them—those enormous growths from the trunks or bases of redwood trees, sometimes covered in new sprouts, sometimes appearing to drip down the side of the tree like the molten remnants of a lost limb.  These strange formations …


Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest by Paolo Vescia

Good News For Old-Growth!

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We have some good news here at Save the Redwoods League, and we’re thrilled about it! We have reached a major milestone by raising half of the $8 million cost to protect some of the tallest and oldest redwood forests …


Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Photo by Paolo Vescia

4 Ways to See the Redwood Forest Anew

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This weekend, I visited a corner of paradise in Portola Redwoods State Park.  This park is the home of some of the tallest, most majestic redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Now is the perfect time to see a veil …


Redwood Sorrel Sun Salutations

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Ever wonder why redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregano) leaves appear to wilt in the sun?  The leaves fold downwards when sun flecks shine onto patches of this tiny plant that carpets the coast redwood forest floor.  This is a protective response …


California Giant Salamander. Photo by William Leonard

Do salamanders bark in the woods?

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Every time I talk to a researcher who works in the redwood region, I learn something that makes my jaw drop. It happened again just a few days ago when I was speaking with Prof. David Wake of U.C. Berkeley. …


Photo by William K. Matthias

Your Employer Can Double Your Impact to Protect the Forest

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I’m so pleased to report that resounding responses from our loyal and generous supporters raised the $100,000 needed to secure a matching gift for CEMEX Redwoods by December 31, 2012! Long-time League members Pete and Patty Mattson issued the challenge …


Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.

“Success”

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That was Saturday’s word of the day, according to our guide, National Park Ranger Dick Ewart. Dick led a group of 15 of us on a hike through the lower Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park.  He …


Coast redwoods on the UCI campus are not thriving.

Can redwoods thrive in Southern California climate?

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Redwoods do fine in Southern California, right? Researchers at UC Irvine are not totally convinced. In the 1980’s a scientist by the name of Ernest Ball cloned coast redwood giants from Northern California and reared test-tube redwoods. Many of these …


Giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite.

Grove Protected by Lincoln Offers Historical Perspective

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Next week will be my second visit in eight months to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park.  That makes me a lucky guy.  My wife Joanne and I visited the Grove in May, while our traveling …


Megan Ferreira and I stand next to one of Yellowstone's remarkable petrified redwoods.

The Oldest Redwood I’ve Ever Seen

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I just returned from a New Year’s trip through Yellowstone National Park, where I hiked out to see one of the petrified redwoods still standing on the forest slopes of Wyoming. This ancient redwood has been through an amazing transformation—its …


Visitors to Muir Woods can see the dates of redwood tree rings.Visitors to Muir Woods can see the dates of redwood tree rings.

2013: Exploring the calendar year, fiscal year, and tree-ring year

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What is it about the annual cycle that resonates deep within us? Long before most of the world began using the Gregorian calendar as the civil calendar (first decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582), humans used other calendars to …


The Best of the Redwoods 2012

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What an incredible year for the redwoods! This year approximately 2,000 acres of redwood forestland totaling $14 million were protected. More than $200,000 in education and research grants were awarded to educators working to inspire a new generation of redwood …


Grove in Hendy Woods State Park.

Life on the Forest’s Edge

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It takes a long time to get to Hendy Woods State Park from San Francisco. It takes a while to get there from pretty much anywhere, but it’s worth it.  Approaching the park through the Anderson Valley wine country, the …


Giant sequoia branches covered in snow. Photo by garden beth, Flickr Creative Commons

Why are Christmas trees pointy on top?

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Why are Christmas trees shaped the way they are, pointy on top and wide at the bottom?  It’s because their growth is regulated by hormones.  One such hormone (called auxin) is produced at the growing tip of the treetop and …