You helped us protect Noyo River Redwoods, a magical ancient forest you can see only by the historic Skunk Train. Recently you came to the rescue again.

Noyo River Redwoods
Your gifts helped to repair a collapsed railroad tunnel that shut down the Skunk Train’s famous Redwood Route to the Noyo River Redwoods, which you protected. Smiles have returned to riders’ faces, as in this 2011 image. Photo by Paolo Vescia.

You’re Keeping an Ancient Forest Reachable

August 26, 2013: In 2011, you helped us buy Noyo River Redwoods, a magical ancient forest you can see only by the historic Skunk Train. Recently you came to the rescue again. Your gifts helped to repair acollapsed railroad tunnel that shut down the train’s famous Redwood Route last April. Full train service — from Willits to Northspur and from Fort Bragg to Northspur — has been restored.

You can make sure we’re ready to protect and provide you access to amazing forests like this one: Please donate today.

How Your Gifts Made a Difference

Because of your support, the League and Mendocino Railway (which owns the Skunk Train) were able to reach an innovative agreement that will lead to ongoing protection of redwoods along the Redwood Route. The deal also enabled repairs to the collapsed tunnel to begin immediately. As Mendocino Railway owner Robert Pinoli told the Press Democrat (external link), “We’re quite certain that in the end it will be a win-win for everybody.”

Skunk Train Cave
Your support enabled repairs of this collapsed tunnel along the Skunk Train’s Redwood Route. Photo by the Skunk Train

Your support enabled repairs of this collapsed tunnel along the Skunk Train’s Redwood Route. Photo by the Skunk Train

The Skunk Train brings about 45,000 visitors a year through the spectacular Noyo River Valley, which includes the amazing 426-acre Noyo River Redwoods.

The League’s $300,000 funding commitment buys the League the option to protect the most threatened redwoods along the 40-mile-long railroad, permanently barring commercial timber harvesting and development.

Originally a logging railroad, the 128-year-old Skunk Train (external link) attracts visitors from around the world. Many of these visitors experience redwoods for the first time while riding this train.

“We’re grateful for League members who are making it possible for so many visitors to ride the Skunk Train and enjoy the ancient redwoods,” said Richard Jergenson, President of the Mendocino County Railway Society. Members of the Society generously contributed to the 2011 campaign to protect the Noyo River Redwoods.”

You Protected Noyo River Redwoods Forever!

April 2012: A League member’s phone call exemplified your commitment to the redwood forest. The Midwest gentleman called during the campaign to protect the wild, ancient and spectacular Noyo River Redwoods from imminent harvest. He asked, “How are we doing?” He felt part of the effort, as did thousands of you. The Noyo project generated an outpouring of support: 4,000 generous gifts, at least one from every state. Now this forest is under the permanent care of our partner, Mendocino Land Trust (MLT) (external link).

Your support enabled Save the Redwoods League to buy this remote, dense 426-acre forest along the route of the historical Skunk Train (external link) for $7 million. Then, last month, according to plan, the League sold the property to MLT after that organization received a $4 million grant for the purchase from California’s Wildlife Conservation Board. Thanks to your donations, the League was able to donate $3 million of the property’s value, continuing our tradition of contributing funding when it’s most needed to protect redwoods.

MLT will now care for and restore the forest with help from you and the League. Winston Bowen, President of MLT’s Board of Trustees, said his organization aims to protect and enhance qualities such as its diverse plants and animals and huge ancient redwoods.

You can see much of the Noyo River Redwoods by riding the Skunk Train (external link) from Willits to Northspur.

Thank you again for making a difference.

The Campaign to Protect the Noyo River Redwoods

The last surviving old redwoods in an important Mendocino County, California, forest faced harvest after April 1, 2011, so Save the Redwoods League raised $7 million from generous contributors like you to purchase the forest and $500,000 to cover stewardship, management and project costs.

The property contains about 30 percent of all remaining old forest in the Noyo River area.

This region has the fewest ancient redwood stands in the coast redwood range, which made its purchase a high priority according to our science-based Master Plan.

Protecting these redwoods also safeguards the wide variety of animals that depend on this complex forest for their survival. This project could provide habitat for threatened species such as the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.

A Timber Harvest Plan had been approved for the property, and trees were marked for felling.

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Experience Rails Through the Redwoods



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