Humboldt State University

Unofficial trails including this one in Redwood National and State Parks' Grove of Titans result in trampling that can harm roots of ancient trees. Photo by Claudia Voigt

Mitigating Effects of Unofficial Trails on Ancient Redwood Groves


And now, because of internet and mobile technology, the locations of more and more of the tallest redwoods are becoming public knowledge, drawing more people to these giants. This often leads to people blazing their own trails either because the officially designated trail does not provide close access, or because there is no official trail to a specific tree or grove. These unofficial trails are called social trails. So, just how great is the impact of these unofficial trails?

For a League-sponsored study, Wicket sniffs for the scent of a white-footed vole, one of the rarest and least understood mammals in North America, and one of the only mammals endemic to the coastal coniferous forests of Northern California and Oregon. Photo by Humboldt State University

Seeking Elusive White-Footed Voles


The League funded an ambitious study to learn more about white-footed voles. Unfortunately, they’re almost impossible to find in the luxuriant understory of the typical coastal redwood forest. In response, researchers have released the hounds.

New Zealand mud snails showed up in Redwood National Park in 2009. These prolific creatures could reduce insect numbers, and therefore the food web. Photo by Darren M. Ward

Snail Invasion Could Mean Trouble for Food Web


Humboldt State University fisheries biologist Darren Ward was concerned, but not surprised, when New Zealand mud snails showed up in Redwood National Park in 2009. With help from a grant from Save the Redwoods League, Ward and a colleague at the US Geological Survey, Adam Sepulveda, began searching to see if they were moving upstream. Learn more about this research.