Healing historically logged and damaged redwood forests is a multifaceted process, involving deep research, meticulous planning, fundraising, and a great deal of hard, dirty work. All these components must align before thinning overcrowded young forests, retiring old, eroding logging roads, planting trees, creating fish habitat structures, and removing invasive species. The work of Save the Redwoods League also includes increasing the carbon storage potential of redwood and giant sequoia ecosystems, while protecting them and surrounding communities from the threat of severe wildfires.
The League supports multiple restoration projects, and we made significant progress in fiscal year 2018-19. At San Vicente Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we’ve thinned 110 acres, and we’re planning to thin 550 more acres through 2022. At our Shady Dell forest in Mendocino County, we’ve completed a 3-mile-long firebreak (a gap in vegetation) that will protect the entire basin from severe wildfire.
In the Corridor from the Redwoods to the Sea in Humboldt County, we started work on a 15.7-mile-long firebreak and meadow restoration, a project funded by a $1.3 million CAL FIRE grant. Staffers and contractors are nearly done thinning 30 acres of young forests at Beaver Creek next to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, adding to the 120 acres already treated. We received a $2.4 million CAL FIRE grant to thin 350 more acres, and reduce wildfire fuels (combustible vegetation) on 950 acres. These CAL FIRE grants are funded through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Restoration is a key part of our mission. And we know the payoff will be worth the effort: a mature, healthy redwood forest stretching from the Oregon border to Big Sur, as it did before any of us were born.