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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.


Giant sequoia in North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, California. Photo by age fotostock / Alamy

Bring a Giant Sequoia into Your Classroom

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Everyone at Save the Redwoods League is so excited about the new giant sequoia curriculum for K-12 classrooms offered by the California State Parks PORTS® program, which stands for Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students. This distance learning program features the giant sequoia of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in its new unit and uses an innovative system incorporating interactive media and virtual reality platforms to teach about the ecosystems, wildlife, and history of California State Parks.

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Albino redwood chimera. Photo by Tom Stapleton

Pondering the Existence of the Mysterious Albino Redwoods

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Tom Stapleton’s research on albino redwoods started with searching for these rare trees in the wild and has led to the patent of three albino redwood varieties, named “Mosaic Delight”, “Grand Mosaic,” and “Early Snow,” which are albino redwood chimeras. Stapleton hopes shed more light on understanding why these mutations exist.

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Redwoods Rising Botany Apprentice, Len Mazur, gazes up at the towering canopies of ancient coast redwood while mapping invasive plant species in Prairie Creek. Photo by Ryan Thompson

Notes from the North: Restoration in Action

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This summer launched the first season of the Redwoods Rising Apprenticeship, adding capacity to the effort of landscape restoration in Redwood National and State Parks. Len Mazur, a student at Humboldt State University and Redwoods Rising Apprentice on the botany crew, writes about his experiences helping to restore this fragile and resilient landscape.

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Redwoods Rising Botany Apprentices take a break at an overlook of Redwood Creek in the Bald Hills area of the park. Photo by Len Mazur

Redwoods Rising Apprentices Help Restore Redwood National and State Parks

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Redwoods take thousands of years to grow, and as we look to the future, we recognize the importance of training the next generation of conservation leaders to continue caring for these forests. That’s why we started an apprentice program this summer. Meet the Redwoods Rising apprentices who gained hands-on field experience as they helped us study and restore the historically logged lands within Redwood National and State Parks.

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Thick bark enables giant sequoia to withstand lower-severity ground fires

Status of Our Forests During Wildfires, Urgency of Restoration

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As major wildfires burn throughout California, our thoughts are with the affected communities and dedicated firefighters. The area burned by California wildfires has grown in recent years, and in many cases, the fires have been burning hotter than ever. Kristen Shive, the League’s new Senior Scientist, explains how our forests are faring, and how the League’s restoration and forest management efforts can prevent negative consequences of severe wildfires.

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Deadline Soon: Speak Up for LWCF, the Top US Conservation Fund

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America’s most useful and cost-effective conservation program is about to expire this September, and we need your help to keep it going! For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has served as the engine of America’s conservation and outdoor recreation movement. Without using a single taxpayer dollar, LWCF invests in our quality of life, a booming recreation economy, and our history and culture, protecting iconic places like Muir Woods National Monument.

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The exhibit, Sustaining Grandeur: The First 100 Years of Save the Redwoods League, features letters from presidents of the United States and First Ladies, historical photos of coast redwoods and giant sequoia, artifacts and films from the past century, and much more.

Exhibit Celebrates 100 Years of Save the Redwoods League

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A hand-drawn map by celebrated naturalist John Muir. Correspondence to the League from President Barack Obama, including a photo of his family. A signed letter from John F. Kennedy endorsing a grove, dated shortly before his death. These treasures, and more, tell the story of Save the Redwoods League, and are part of an illuminating exhibit at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, called Sustaining Grandeur.

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Photo by Mike Kahn, Save the Redwoods League

Major League Celebrations at Giants Game

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Two organizations that celebrate the giants of the West Coast are marking milestones together. As a Lead Centennial Partner, the San Francisco Giants are spotlighting the 100th anniversary of Save the Redwoods League. In turn, the League is celebrating the baseball team’s 60th anniversary. You’re invited to join these major league celebrations on Saturday, August 25, 2018!

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Celebrations of the Century: Join us Oct. 7-14

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It has been 100 years since the founders of Save the Redwoods League first resolved to protect California’s redwood forests — a mission that would build momentum for America’s conservation movement and create and expand world-renowned redwood parks — crown jewels of the state and national park systems. So now, in our Centennial year, we’re hosting a week-long celebration October 7-14, 2018 to honor that legacy, renew our commitment to protecting and restoring these remarkable forests, and celebrate the dedication of all those who came before us to save the redwoods.

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Legacy & Leadership: Celebrating 100 Years with our Supporters

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We’re just over halfway through the year, and 2018 has already proven to be legendary for Save the Redwoods League. As you have probably heard, this year is the League’s 100th birthday, which has been a joyous cause for celebration! I am so glad that we were able to share our festivities and show our appreciation for members of the Redwood Legacy Circle, who have committed to the long-term protection of the redwoods by including the League in their estate plans.

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Students from Half Moon Bay High School collect plant data as part of our Redwoods and Climate Change High School Program.

Tracking Seasonal Changes in Our Parks

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What determines when shrubs bloom? The study of seasonal life cycle events such as this is called phenology, and gathering long-term data on these cycles is the focus of the California Phenology Project (CPP). Collecting data is simple, and anyone can participate. For the past couple of months, I’ve been tracking some plants in Redwood Regional Park as part of the Redwood Phenology Project by Save the Redwoods League and the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Pacific Trillium

Calling all Redwood Volunteers

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As a science-based conservation organization we are always looking at the latest redwood research to help guide our efforts to protect, restore, and connect people to these magnificent forests. Our citizen science projects are one way we engage the general public in our work to get a better picture of what is happening in the redwoods.

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