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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 ambassadors and researchers uncovering the secrets of the redwoods. I could go on and on, but instead I will share my personal redwood highlights for 2012.

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Noyo River Redwoods. Photo credit: Paulo Vescia
Ribbon cutting ceremony at Noyo River Redwoods. Photo credit: Paulo Vescia

5. League and partners protect CEMEX Redwoods: Less than an hour from the hustle of California’s Silicon Valley is the largest unprotected redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Perched above the Pacific Ocean, CEMEX Redwoods is 8 miles long and 3 miles wide. Towering redwoods reach into the fog. The air is still, and the ground is spongy with its carpet of rusty-hued redwood leaves. This land shelters at least 90 ancient redwoods that will be protected in special reserves. CEMEX Redwoods also connects 27,500 acres of contiguous protected territory, providing habitat for rare animals and plants including the endangered California red-legged frog, federally endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout that live downstream from the property.

4. National Geographic Features League Research: National Geographic Magazine’s December cover story includes the remarkable findings of League scientists who are studying how redwoods can survive sweeping environmental changes. The feature includes incredible photos, such as a portrait of “the President,” a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia, and the interactive gallery, Tree of Life. Research team members of the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative helped National Geographic photographer Michael Nichols and Deputy Director of Photography Ken Geiger to capture these images.

3. League hosts third annual art contest for kids: K–12 students from across the nation sent us their redwoods-inspired art. The art contest was designed to raise awareness of and encourage visits to redwood forests in California by asking young artists to create and submit a drawing, painting or sketch of themselves in the redwoods. Over 1,000 entries were received and all the entries were mailed to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior. To see the winning entries please visit the website. Thank you to all of the students and teachers who participated in this year’s contest. Be sure to sign up to be notified when we launch next year’s contest!

2. California State Parks remain open for now: Save the Redwoods League continues to work with our longtime partner California State Parks to make the park system viable for all. CSP is an important partner not only to Save the Redwoods League but to the redwoods themselves, because they are the caretakers for most of the redwood forestland that you have protected and cared for over the last 100 years. Our priority is to safeguard these magical forests for all to experience and enjoy forever.

1. Four Corners: Just a few hours north of San Francisco in northern Mendocino County lays a special place for redwoods, wildlife and American Indians. Known as Four Corners, this 164-acre parcel is covered with beautiful redwoods and offers a home to threatened wildlife. For more than a thousand years, this land has been the meeting place for native and non-native local residents. With your gifts, Save the Redwoods League has protected the property and donated it to descendants of the land’s original inhabitants.

If you have a highlight that you want to share please feel free to add it to this list!



About Jennifer Benito-Kowalski

Jennifer joined Save the Redwoods League in 2007 as the Director of Outreach, charged with leading the organization's marketing communications and outreach efforts to connect people to the peace and beauty of the redwood forests.


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