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A glimpse of a mountain lion caught by wildlife cameras on the San Vicente property.

A Mountain Lion’s Perspective: Humans are Terrifying

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A few years ago, Justine Smith, researcher with the Santa Cruz Puma Project, observed an interesting pattern; in human-populated areas, mountain lions killed more prey but spent less time feeding. Researchers weren’t sure why, but they suspected it had to do with lion’s fear of people.

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Mariposa Grove. Photo by jenkinson2455, Flickr Creative Commons

Happy Birthday Mariposa Grove!

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Today marks the 153rd birthday of the spectacular giant sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park, Mariposa Grove. The protection of Mariposa helped inspire a movement of conservation at a time when sequoia were being cut, leading to the protection of the biggest trees in the world.

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Redwoods and Wildflowers along the Cape Viz Coastline

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Cape Vizcaino, along the Mendocino coast, is named after Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaíno, who is known for mapping much of the area. This spring, while the wildflowers were in bloom, we surveyed the area with the California Native Plant Society to map the plants along the coastline.

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Photo by Andrew Slack

Notes from the North: Crossing the Bridge

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Bob grinned as he confirmed to us that in fact, we would be crossing the bridge. “Weren’t you warned? It’s the only way across. Move slow, stay on the left, and you’ll be fine.” After Bob climbed onto the first plank, his dogs jumped past him and trotted fearlessly across the bridge. We followed and separated ourselves to ease the stress on the old cables and limit any swaying. The milky-emerald water of the Mattole River rushed below, overflowing from recent storms.

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Black bear caught on wildlife camera at Orick Mill site.

Wildlife Wonders: Caught On Camera

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Hoping to catch a glimpse of the various wild animals living on and passing through the Orick Mill Site, Save the Redwoods League set up multiple wildlife cameras – and we found some incredible species on the property.

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

Managing for Fire

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Through thoughtful stewardship practices, the ways we seek to emulate aspects of the natural state of the forest can also work in conjunction with how we manage forestland into the future.

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Panorama of a prescribed fire at Boyes Prairie in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. The three panels show immediately before, during, and after the fire.

Prescribed Fire and Coast Redwood Prairies

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During a brief burn window in October, crews from California State Parks and the National Park Service diligently worked to restore the natural process of fire to various ecosystems in over 2,800 acres of Redwood National and State Parks.

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Laura Lalemand and Lenya Quinn-Davidson on the fire line.

Lighting Up a New Path

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I had just arrived at the first ever Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX), and I was one of about 30 participants from around the world who would spend the next ten days learning about, sharing experiences in, and working on controlled burning, with a focus on supporting women in fire management positions.

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From the top of the canopy looking down. Photo by Stephen Sillett, Institute for Redwood Ecology, Humboldt State University

Forest Canopies of the World

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High up in the canopy of an old growth forest, there exists an extraordinary world hardly known to most of us on earth. For centuries, people have admired the sheer size of redwood trunks and appreciated the bounty of ferns and sorrel that carpet the forest floor. We have cherished the rare silence that envelopes the trees and relished in the beauty of sunlight filtering through the underside of the canopy. Yet, the intricate world at the top of the trees remained a mystery until the late twentieth century, with the advent of canopy exploration.

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A League of Their Own: The Women Who Started Saving the Redwoods

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On August 8, 1919, Save the Redwoods League founders Madison Grant and Stephen Mather spoke to a packed auditorium in the Northern California mill town of Eureka. They had driven up from San Francisco, where the League had just held its first Board meeting, and they called for local support of the League’s mission to protect the redwoods. To their great surprise, they received a wildly enthusiastic response. Why were hundreds of citizens of Humboldt County, the epicenter of redwood logging operations, so receptive to this message of conservation?

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Teresa Baker at the Cultural Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations convening in 2016.

Taking Action on Cultural Relevancy and Inclusion

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What I hoped to gain from the recent Cultural Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations convening was a sense of togetherness on a topic that very few outdoor organizations and foundations are addressing in action. It is a complicated topic to wrap one’s brain around in reaching an action plan, I get it, but what is at stake is a country that will be majority people of color in 20 years, and if people of color are not developing relationships with the land now, we certainly won’t care about saving the redwoods or protecting endangered species as we grow into a majority status.

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Coast Redwood Forest’s Native Rose

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Did you know that the coast redwood forest is home to a native rose? The wood rose or dwarf rose, is known botanically as Rosa gymnocarpa. It grows throughout Western North America and commonly grows on the forest floor of … Continued


Stephen Mather, father of the National Parks Service and a founder of Save the Redwoods League. Photo courtesy Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Stephen Mather’s Inspiring Story and Indelible Legacy

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Within the span of a couple of years, Mather had helped found the National Park Service and Save the Redwoods League: two organizations that would go on to safeguard millions of acres in hundreds of parks. In spite of frequent poor health, Mather helped get both organizations off the ground by devoting huge amounts of his time, energy, and personal funds; even paying rangers’ salaries out of his own pocket.

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