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RARE PYGMY AND REDWOOD FOREST ATTRACTS SUPPORT FROM THOUSANDS OF DONORS ACROSS THE U.S
— Land parcel saved from logging and development
SAN FRANCISCO (March 24, 2015) — An 83-acre tract of land near the town of Mendocino has inspired more than 4,600 people to protect this property from logging and development.
Dubbed Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods, the property features an unusual combination of two forest types in one location: a rare pygmy forest and an ancient redwood forest. Located less than one mile from the Pacific Ocean and the town of Mendocino, a popular vacation destination, the land also features a tributary of the Big River which runs to the ocean.
“This property has captured the public’s imagination,” says Sam Hodder, president and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League. “The forest’s supporters love its strange, wonderful and rare pygmy forest and ancient redwood giants and its potential for trails so close to Mendocino.”
In the early 1990s, the League identified this forest as a high priority for redwoods conservation. When the property went up for sale in October 2014, the League launched a campaign to bring in the needed dollars to purchase the land. “The donations came in quickly in just six months,” says Hodder.
The League will use these gifts, combined with other donations to the League’s Redwood Land Fund to meet the $1.4 million purchase price to buy the land and remove the immediate threat of development or logging. The Redwood Land Fund provides the League with the financial resources necessary to protect threatened redwood forestland. Additional private support is needed to permanently protect and restore this forest, and to replenish the Redwood Land Fund so the League can acquire and protect other forests in the future The League hopes to open the special property to the public for recreation, including hiking, biking and kayaking.
Mendocino-area resident Susan Juhl made a generous donation to help the League buy this forest. “This property means so much to me because these beautiful old-growth redwoods are right in our backyard,” Juhl says. “It’s fantastic to pass by the ocean and smell the sea air, and to travel a few minutes and be in the beautiful redwood forest. Having one right here is wonderful, special and very important.”
Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods also features old-growth and second-growth redwood stands, which are ideal locations for imperiled northern spotted owls. The ancient redwoods offer prime habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet, a seabird that nests on the platforms that old-growth branches provide.
“Conserving and restoring this property also may contribute to the recovery of Big River, home of imperiled steelhead trout and coho salmon and many other species of fish,” says Jon Hendrix, senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The League’s restoration plans include removing stream crossings that would erode and dump sediment into the river, which is federally listed as impaired due to excessive sediment from past logging in the surrounding area.
The land surrounding the League’s new property is the Big River Unit of Mendocino Headlands State Park. Renée Pasquinelli, Senior Environmental Scientist with the area’s California State Parks District, said she was glad that the League was able to protect the property. “Big River-Mendocino Old-Growth Redwoods is very important because it contains one of the very few remaining pockets of old-growth redwoods on the Mendocino Coast,” she says.
About Save the Redwoods League
Walk through a redwood forest — home of the tallest, largest, and some of the oldest living beings on Earth — and you can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of awe and peace among these magnificent giants. Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has led the effort to protect the coast redwoods and giant sequoias for all to experience and enjoy. To date the League has protected nearly 200,000 acres of redwood forest and associated land. For more information, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org.