Stephanie Rico feels fortunate to live among the redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of her favorite things is standing in a circle of redwood trees at a nearby park with her son. “I look up, feel humbled and am reminded about what’s really important in life,” said the Wells Fargo Vice President of Environmental Affairs. Troubled by how climate change affects our lives, Rico wants to motivate more people to work toward solutions.
One way to motivate her company’s team members and others is to help Save the Redwoods League learn more about how climate change will affect redwoods. That’s why Wells Fargo has generously granted $200,000 to support the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
The Initiative is urgent because redwoods stand at a new crossroads at which climate changes threaten them in ways they have not experienced in their long history on Earth: Today, temperatures in the redwood range have increased, while the water supply has decreased. In addition, humans have introduced other stressors to the redwood forest, including invasive plants and animals, and pollution.
“We love our redwood trees – that goes without saying,” Rico said, explaining part of the motivation to support the Initiative. “And if we save the redwoods, we save ourselves,” she added.
Rico is referring to how redwoods could provide an early warning of how climate change will affect us more over time. That’s because with increasing height, treetops become more sensitive to environmental conditions. Among other research methods, Initiative scientists have installed monitoring systems on redwood treetops to study these effects.
Save the Redwoods League is the only organization with the type of comprehensive approach needed to help protect these forests that take one thousand years to grow so that they will be here for another thousand years. The Initiative’s findings could help the League focus on protecting and restoring the places that need it most.
The findings are important to Wells Fargo, Rico said.
“Different messages are going to resonate with different people in different ways,” she said. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all message that’s going to compel people to turn off their lights and pay attention to climate change. That’s why we support many different projects. Redwoods have a unique story to tell.”
“I’m positive that when our team members learn about our support of this Initiative that they will be very excited and proud to work for a company that supports it,” Rico said.
Wells Fargo’s environmental grant program helps communities identify and address challenges and opportunities in creating a more sustainable future. This strong financial institution endeavors to work environmental sustainability into its daily operations. We are proud to receive this grant, along with the contributions made by Wells Fargo employees who are League members.
With your help, we can protect the magical redwood forests forever. Donate to the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative today.
View our new video about the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
On Thursday, March 15, see why our Emily Burns, Ph.D., Save the Redwoods League Director of Science, thinks redwoods are amazing: Read her Wells Fargo blog entry (external link).