We celebrate the success of the Forever Forest Campaign and historic projects on the Lost Coast that restored Indigenous guardianship to Tcih-Léh-Dûñ and protected the spectacular Lost Coast Redwoods.
A pioneering organizer inspires her descendants to protect redwood forests. More than 100 years ago, Eureka’s Laura Perrott Mahan helped galvanize the movement to protect old-growth redwoods in danger of being clear-cut. In recent months, dozens of Mahan descendants and friends continued her legacy by supporting Save the Redwoods’ work to protect coast redwoods — raising funds to help the League purchase Atkins Place in Mendocino County.
Save the Redwoods League is raising $1.3 million to protect Atkins Place, a critical redwood habitat corridor bordering Montgomery Woods within the Big River watershed. Atkins Place features 335 acres of mixed coast redwood and Douglas-fir forest and 1.25 miles of high-quality streams for imperiled fish in the salmon family. Well-stewarded second-growth forests like Atkins Place, where the trees range in age from about 50 to 90 years, are key puzzle pieces that can help bolster the health of old-growth groves, watersheds, and entire landscapes.
For millennia, one of the defining characteristics of giant sequoias has been their innate resilience to wildfire. But in the last several years, severe fires in the Sierra Nevada have revealed an unprecedented vulnerability in the groves. League staffers’ publication in a scientific journal is the first to document this new phenomenon.
The ambitious Forever Forest campaign — now concluded — will fund key initiatives to lay the foundation for a new era of redwoods conservation. Even in the face of an unexpected global pandemic, unprecedented wildfires and climate change impacts, and some of the most divisive social and political times in America’s history, we as a community drew strength, inspiration, and resilience from the redwoods we all love.
The League restored Indigenous guardianship to old-growth redwoods on Sinkyone lands. With their complex understandings of the land, based on traditional knowledge and lifeways within which redwood and other ecosystems flourished for millennia, California tribes are natural leaders and partners in land protection and conservation.
To ensure lasting protection and ongoing stewardship, the League donated and transferred the forest to the Sinkyone Council, and the Council granted the League a conservation easement. Through this partnership, the Sinkyone Council returns Indigenous presence to a land from which Sinkyone people were forcibly removed generations ago.
By breaking ground, partners are writing a new chapter for a former Orick redwood mill site at the confluence of Prairie Creek and Redwood Creek. For decades the mill site has remained as a scar on the landscape, a reminder of that misguided past. Now that’s changing. The League has begun restoring the site and constructing a southern visitor gateway to Redwood National and State Parks.
Jorge Ramos, a new Councilor for Save the Redwoods League, aims to expand young people’s understanding of carbon cycling and sequestration in ecosystems. “I look forward to working with the members of the League so we can all continue to protect and restore these forests through authentic and inclusive connections with the public.”