No matter where you live, you’ve likely seen the striking footage of the recent wildfires across the West. For those of us in California, who experienced the destruction of thousands of homes and weeks of hazardous air quality, the fires reemphasized the connection between the health of our forests and the health of our communities. Just like we invest in protecting our own physical and mental health it’s critical we invest in the health of our forests and redwood parks.
Ask your representatives in Congress to take action on wildfire and redwood parks recovery today.
At one point this summer, more than 20 redwood parks were closed due to wildfire. Some parks, like the beloved Big Basin Redwoods State Park, where millions of visitors have their first encounter with the redwoods, suffered serious damage and will be closed for an extended period of time. These redwood parks are special to us, intertwined with family memories and our fondest aspirations for the future. For the health of ourselves, and our communities, it is vital that we rebuild these parks for all to experience and enjoy, and ensure the protection and restoration of our redwood forests for a more resilient future.
Healthy redwood forests mean healthy California communities. Numerous studies show that spending time among the tall trees has tangible health benefits. And the forests also drive our economy and store more carbon than any other forest type. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which locked in billions of dollars for national parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and land conservation — including the redwoods we all hold dear. It also fully funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is a vital tool for protecting old-growth redwood forests.
Save the Redwoods League has a long tradition of protecting and restoring California’s incredible coast redwood and giant sequoia forests, and with our partners we’ve helped millions of people experience them firsthand. We helped establish the California State Park system in 1927, and over the years we’ve created or expanded 66 redwood parks. Our parks work continues with exciting partnership projects such as a proposed gateway site at Redwood National and State Parks, and at our own Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve, which will be the first new old-growth park in a generation.
Our redwood parks wouldn’t be what they are today if people from around the globe hadn’t rallied to protect and share these wonderful landscapes. But the challenges facing them require us to raise our voices again, this time to our members of Congress to fulfill their promises to ensure a future for the parks and forests of the West, including our redwood parks.