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Giant Thoughts

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.

Sequoia National Park. Photo by Anthony Ambrose

Startling Report Highlights Issue of Air Pollution Among National Parks

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According to a recent report from the National Parks Conservation Service, that last part of the equation is problematic at several national parks, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks. Startlingly, the report names Sequoia and Kings Canyon as among the parks with the worst air pollution in the country, meaning that the parks “had unhealthy air for most park visitors and rangers to breathe for more than two months of the year, mostly in the summer months.”

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Photo by Alisha Laborico, courtesy Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

New Redwoods Park Opens Near Los Gatos

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Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month, San Francisco Bay Area residents now can enjoy a spectacular redwood park near Los Gatos. The 1,432-acre Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve features an easy-access interpretive trail around Upper Lake and 6 miles of hiking and equestrian trails.

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California State Capitol. Photo by Marcin Wichary, Flickr Creative Commons

Forest Conservation and the State Budget

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Gov. Gavin Newsom in late June signed a nearly $215 billion budget for the State of California. With public funding a key part of our organization’s strategy for protecting and preserving California’s redwood forests, Save the Redwoods League plays an active role in the budget process, advocating for our priorities. As one would expect, there are many interests at play in these negotiations. While the Legislature didn’t approve funding for all of our priorities, there were some significant victories.

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We and our partners used controlled burning to reduce non-native vegetation on a League-protected property.

A Look Inside a Prescribed Fire

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Save the Redwoods just led a team of researchers and land stewards from all over California to learn about using prescribed fire (controlled burning) on private lands. Take a peek behind the scenes to see how we use fire as a tool to reduce hazardous buildups of combustible vegetation and improve the health of our forests across League properties and the redwood range.

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Help protect native redwood forest plants such as this slink pod. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Botany Bill Fosters Power of Science

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Your voice is needed to support the new Botany Bill (H.R. 1572), which promotes plant research, improves staffing of trained botanists on federal lands, grows the market for native plant materials, and supports federal programs to protect rare, endangered, and native plants such as those species found in our redwood forests. Botanical science research is an essential element in our fight against climate change.

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League President Sam Hodder, left, Board member Peggy Light, and Redwood Legacy Chair Mike Helms.

Redwood Legacy Circle Celebrates Peggy Light

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Save the Redwoods League recently celebrated Board Member Peggy Light for her extraordinary generosity in inspiring 105 new legacy gift commitments in 2018 to commemorate the centennial of Save the Redwoods League. Peggy offered to match each new legacy gift commitment made in 2018 with a $1,000 gift, with a goal to encourage 100 people to join the Legacy Circle. We were thrilled to surpass our goal.

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The animals of the redwood forests.

Take Our Quiz to Find Out

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Hello, this is Sunny the banana slug with a special invitation. Have you ever wondered what redwood forest animal is most like you? Take our new personality quiz and see. I promise, it will only take a moment, and it’s a nice way to break up this summer day. And who knows, you might even find out that I am your very kindred spirit!

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The Once and Future Forest: California's Iconic Redwoods limited edition book.

A Redwood’s-Eye View of Essays on Our Iconic Forests

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Oh, the stories of a redwood forest — millions of years’ worth. In honor of the Save the Redwoods League centennial in 2018, the organization published a book that tells some of these epic tales. The Once and Future Forest: California’s Iconic Redwoods is a robust collection of essays that illuminates everything from indigenous peoples’ connections with redwood forests to scientific research and natural history.

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Student observes the sword fern leaves

Students Find Connections with Nature

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This spring, hundreds of high school students from around the San Francisco Bay Area and Humboldt County explored coast redwood forests as scientists through the Redwood Education Programs offered by Save the Redwoods League. Students ventured out of the classroom and into the forest to connect to the natural world and learn about climate change and scientific field techniques.

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Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative

Apply Now: Education Grants Available

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Save the Redwoods League is accepting applications for our Education Grants Program for the 2019-2020 school year. A single school field trip or outdoor family experience can have a lasting impact on youth at any age. That is why the League makes it a priority to connect youth to the redwoods, so they can experience and study these awe-inspiring forests.

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The red-bellied newt (Taricha rivularis)

Newts: Charismatic Creatures of the Redwood Forest

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If you decide to venture into the redwoods on a rainy day, you may be rewarded with the pleasure of crossing paths with one of the redwood forest’s most charismatic creatures – newts! There are three species of newts that can be found in the coast redwood forest, and they love to make an appearance during wet weather.

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