Blog


Dudley's lousewort (Pedicularis dudleyi). Photo by asadotzler, Flickr Creative Commons

A Rare Plant Inhabits the Forest – Or Does It?

on

It was a beautiful day for a hike along Peters Creek. The ancient forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains was in full bloom; chattering woodpeckers, the tumbling creek, giant redwood and Douglas fir trees all begged for acknowledgement and appreciation.  …


Giant redwood crowns loom over a canopy of lesser trees (Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla) in JSRSP. Photo by Stephen Sillett

Clone the best, forget the rest?

on

People are cloning the world’s oldest redwoods. Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is planting their clones en masse around the world in an effort to create robust forests of the future. They say these ancient clones will reverse deforestation across the …


Marbled murrelet nest. Photo by Tom Hamer

Searching for the Elusive Marbled Murrelet

on

The League’s Shady Dell property was a busy place on Monday. Armed with binoculars and aerial photo maps, four League staff members were joined by a couple of staff from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and a pair of consultants to search for potential nest sites for the marbled murrelet.


Aerial view of CEMEX Redwoods. Photo by William K. Matthias

Collaboration for Conservation

on

Save the Redwoods League and our colleague land conservation organizations are tackling more sophisticated and more capital-intensive projects than ever before.  We have learned that we can do this better by collaborating. One of the League’s most exciting and successful …


Secret Life of Ferns

on

Ferns are under-appreciated, despite the fact that as a group they have more than 12,000 species worldwide and their lineage is even older than the redwoods! Maybe I’m a fern nerd (well, no maybe about it actually), but I can’t …


Technology can be a useful tool in protecting our forests.

Nature + Technology = Fact Finding and Fun!

on

As our Stewardship Manager, I enjoy regular visits to our magnificent properties for a variety of reasons—checking that roads are clear for an upcoming tour, overseeing the demolition of a structure, investigating any issues with trespassers, checking for invasive species, …


Aspens in Utah. Photo by Fool-On-The-Hill, Flickr Creative Commons

Meet an 80,000-Year-Old Tree

on

Do you think a 2,000 year old redwood is ancient? A giant sequoia weighing 2,000 tons is heavy?  What if I were to tell you that these weren’t even close to the oldest or the biggest?  Sure, bristlecone pines live …


Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Obama’s Budget Calls for More Conservation Funding

on

There was a bit of good conservation news coming from Washington, DC, last week. President Obama’s budget includes a substantial increase for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding. The LWCF program has had a huge impact on land conservation …


I Smell Cyanide!

on

The fantastic yellow-spotted millipede, Harpaphe haydeniana, roams freely through the coast redwood forest. Often found crawling in the duff on the forest floor, H. Haydeniana is multi-legged invertebrate that demands respect. When it senses danger, this millepede curls up in a ball …


Vineyard conversion has become an increasingly significant threat to redwood forests in recent years.

Vineyards, Redwoods, and Climate Change

on

The direct effects of climate change come in many different flavors – shifts in temperature and precipitation will have significant, though yet undetermined, implications for the redwood forest.  The ways in which climate change might indirectly affect the redwoods make …


We're trying a variety of restoration techniques at Mill Creek.

Sustainability or Resilience?

on

Do you feel tension?  No, not emotional tension, the intellectual kind.  Does intellectual tension invigorate you?  It invigorates us at Save the Redwoods League.  There is a debate among conservationists:  should our goal be sustainability or resilience? At Save the …


Ferns in the Redwood Canopy

on

In last week’s blog, I described my climb into a large double redwood to help Steve Sillett and his team make measurements for our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. While up in this tree, I was suspended alongside enormous fern …


New California State Parks Director, Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), left, continues his organization's 90-year relationship with the League. He's pictured here with Jim Larson, League Board of Directors President.

New Parks Leader Committed to State’s Treasures

on

Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks have worked together to protect parklands for some 90 years. So it’s not too surprising that the new California State Parks Director, Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), lunched with the Save the Redwoods League Council on his third week on the job.


Your donations helped protect Hendy Woods State Park's magical ancient forest (pictured) by keeping the park open and by securing matching funds to repair water lines there.

Your Gifts Secure Match for Park Improvements

on

Your generous donations recently helped obtain matching funds for essential operating expenses and infrastructure projects at three amazing redwood parks that faced closure: Portola Redwoods, Hendy and Standish-Hickey. Totaling $130,000, your gifts helped cover operational shortfalls and plans for improvements of septic systems, campsites, shelters, bridges and more. Now these parks will receive more than $1 million from the State Parks and Recreation Fund and matching funds from California Assembly Bill 1478. Thank you!


Fire-suppressed sequoia grove – note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Setting Fire to the Forest

on

We’ll do all the law’s allowin’/Tomorrow I’ll be right back plowin’/ settin’ the woods on fire —Hank Williams In a recent post, I discussed the role of natural disturbance in creating the forests we see today. This week, I’d like …


Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana). Photo by ingridtaylar, Flickr Creative Commons

Birds Matter Too

on

Audubon Magazine (March-April 2013 issue) reminds us “Why Birds Matter.”   Of course birds have intrinsic value:  to watch an eagle in flight is a thrill; to hear the whistle-like song of a marbled murrelet echo through the dark forest is …


forest floor

200 Feet Up a Redwood

on

Harness cinched. Helmet buckled. Camera and notebook tucked in tightly. Knowing this was one of the last days this spring to collect coast redwood canopy data, we scurried up climbing ropes into the leafy forest canopy of Del Norte County. …


Working hard, assessing areas where old, fallen trees need to be removed. Not a bad day "at the office"!

What Happens to the Land Once We’ve Bought It? Stewardship Happens!

on

We all get really excited when we close a big project—like when we acquired the beautiful 145-acre property with pristine redwoods next to Portola Redwoods State Park a few months ago, or when we received a conservation easement on 90 …


Giant sequoia cones. Photo by Mark Bult

Finding Patterns in the Redwoods: It’s Easy as 1, 1, 2, 3…

on

Nature’s patterns are everywhere.  Sometimes they’re obvious – we mammals, for instance, almost always have five fingers and five toes on each hand and foot.  Sometimes these patterns aren’t nearly so apparent, but they’re still there nonetheless. The Fibonacci sequence …


Portola Redwoods State Park.

Hope for Our State Park System

on

Crisis is turning into opportunity for our state park system. California State Parks has new, effective leadership in Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (retired). And the State’s Little Hoover Commission just issued its thoughtful report, identifying many of the …