The Eighth Wonders

Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods. Photo by Mike Shoys

Opposites Attract: Saving Giant Redwoods and a Pygmy Forest

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Thanks to your support, we were recently able to purchase and permanently protect Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods! Having been in the business of protecting redwoods for nearly a century, you’d think the League would have been involved in every kind of …

The 1964 Christmas Flood

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This week is the 50-year anniversary of the historic 1964 Christmas flood. Half a century ago, several weeks of monumental rains devastated communities on the north coast and brought a tremendous amount of sediment into the streams and redwood forests of Humboldt …

Turkeys in the Redwoods

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As we sit back and relax on the day after Thanksgiving, our bellies still full from our decadent meals the day before, I’m thinking about turkeys, redwoods, and what the Native Americans might have eaten years before us at this …

Rain creates colorful mushroom show

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Aren’t we all more than a little relieved for the recent coast rains after too many dry, drought-stricken months here in California? I always look for mushrooms on the forest floor as proof that the rain has really sunk in. Last week …

Wild strawberry plant.

Protecting Plantings

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Recently, I visited Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and was surprised to see mesh bags dotting the forest floor. Taking a closer look, I saw a variety of plants hidden under the mesh coverings. Park ecologist Jeff Frey explain the park …

Green Cones Go Red

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Typically, cones mature on the redwood branches in autumn. They turn slightly yellow as the cone scales separate, exposing the seeds hidden within to the elements. Rain then washes away tannic crystals that hold the seeds inside the cones and …

Drought in the Redwoods Makes Headlines

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This week, our research partners from UC Berkeley braved the fall heatwave to check on how some old redwood forests are handling the drought in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I joined them among the redwood giants at Henry Cowell State …

Beautiful from a Safe Distance

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While the colorful display of poison oak leaves turning red in the fall is certainly beautiful among the redwoods right now, the sight is also totally frightening if that plant gives you a nasty rash! Despite most people despising this …

Redwood Weather

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  RCCI researcher Wendy Baxter describes below why we are tracking weather in the woods: Monitoring the local weather and long-term climate is an integral part of the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative (RCCI). Beginning in 2011, scientists from UC …

We’re BioBlitzing Again!

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Here at the League, we love getting people out into the redwoods to explore, learn and have fun. And we especially love bringing out everyone’s inner scientist to discover the creatures big and small that call the redwood forest their …

Favorite Discoveries from the Forest

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re documenting the many interesting …

77% of Birds and Climate Change Studies Use Community Science

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This study speaks to the incredible need to continue community science projects because they are critical to learning about the planet in a rapidly changing environment, and the volunteer contributions are significantly pushing the research field ahead.

The Wilderness Act Turns 50 Today

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This day marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. For 50 years, hundreds of thousands of people have been enjoying the most beautiful and remote areas of our nation while protecting some of the most ecologically important habitats we …

Half Earth

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E. O. Wilson and other prominent biologists have a rallying cry for conservationists like you and me: let’s set aside half of planet Earth as protected wild landscapes and let’s do it right now. In order to provide sheltering and traveling habitat …

Happy Anniversary to Our State Tree

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Today marks the anniversary of the adoption of the coast redwood as California’s state tree. In my opinion, no tree could better represent the golden state. For a little history on state symbols you have to go back to the …

A coast redwood tree cone —one of the smallest cones, from the tallest tree. You can see how the scales are fused together creating a spiral pattern in the cone. Photo by Finch, Flickr Creative Commons

What’s So Cool About Cones?

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During a recent hike in the Berkeley hills with a friend, the topic of cones came up. There is an activity I like to do with students to teach them about cones: I bring in a small redwood cone and …

White flowers of thimbleberry turn into spectacular red berries in the summer. Are the berries ripe in your neck of the woods?

Berry Picking at its Best

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In the redwood forest, one of the most fabulous transitions every year is seeing spring flowers give way to sweet berries. While I know that I should probably leave the fruit for wildlife, I simply can’t help but taste the …

Cooley spruce gall. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

Exploring One of Nature’s Weird Phenomena

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As you may have read in their recent blog, Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient …

Bats at the Redwood Treetop

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If you’ve stood in the redwoods near dusk, no doubt you glimpsed bats darting above you. I love to see them, especially when I’m camping, because I know they are hunting pesky mosquitoes. A new research study by Jean-Paul Kennedy, …

Students set up fern plots and learn scientific field techniques as part of Pepperwood Preserve's TeenNat program.

Conservation Scientists in the Making

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As an environmental educator, there is nothing better than seeing young people making observations and asking questions out in nature. Questions like, “Why do you think that bay tree and redwood are growing so close together?”, “Why are the tanoaks …