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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.


Two people looking up into the canopy of giant redwoods

10 Rules of the Redwood Forest

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We have amazing access to redwoods in some of the most beautiful parks on Earth. That’s worth protecting, and the best way to do it is to be mindful visitors. Here’s what you can do to be a good steward while exploring the redwood forest.

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A Native History of the East Bay Redwoods

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From forests to creeks to trails, every natural space has a past that predates our conventional history books. Few people today realize that the hills of the East Bay were once home to coast redwood forests of incredible stature. Living among them were the Ohlone people.

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Redwoods Rising Apprentices 2019

Redwoods Rising Apprentices Team Building

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Earlier this season, Redwoods Rising apprentices toured the Greater Miller Creek Project Area to get a sense of the work they would be doing later in the summer. They also did a team building activity, where they established a circle in the grass, and then had to retrieve a piece of redwood branch that they placed outside of the circle without touching the ground. The larger lesson was that growth requires teamwork. All in all a fun day.

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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.

Which Forest Animal Is Like You? 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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