Treasured redwoods along the scenic Russian River purchased
Just outside the Sonoma County town of Guerneville, a lush expanse of coast redwoods rises dramatically from the banks of the Russian River. Here, in the traditional land of the Pomo peoples, raptors ride the thermals over green treetops while great blue herons hunt for supper at water’s edge. Beneath the canopy, the forest is sun-dappled and serene, its reverie broken only by the chattering of a gray squirrel or the distant laughter of kayakers paddling downriver toward the sea.
This is Russian River Redwoods, a nearly 400-acre property crucial to wildlife habitat, climate resilience, and scenic beauty along one of Northern California’s most beloved river corridors. The sizable redwoods here have come back from the roots of ancient giants that were logged more than a century ago. These maturing trees hold the promise of becoming a spectacular old-growth forest once again. Yet their future has never been certain.
Save the Redwoods League is reimagining that future. In October of 2023, following a two-month-long fundraising campaign, the League purchased 394 acres of Russian River Redwoods, including the 2,000-year-old Clar Tree, a charismatic colossus considered one of the tallest and oldest redwoods in Sonoma County. Thanks to donors from across the country, this historic tree and the healing forest that surrounds it will be permanently safeguarded for future generations, with an eventual transfer to Sonoma County for ongoing stewardship, restoration, and the exciting possibility of public access from the Russian River.
Supporters from every U.S. state helped the League raise the $6.5 million to purchase the property from the RMB Revocable Family Trust. Included in this was a $2 million bridge loan from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, a $500,000 matching gift from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and donations from more than 2,000 supporters. Donations will also support the nonprofit’s project costs and stewardship of the forest until it can be transferred to Sonoma County for long-term protection.
Learn more about this important project at the links below.
San Francisco Chronicle: 2,000-year-old redwood on the Russian River may finally be conserved
Press Democrat: Save the Redwoods League to buy nearly 400 acres of redwood forest along lower Russian River
- 10/03/2023 – Save the Redwoods League Buys 394-acre Redwood Forest in Sonoma, Including One of the County’s Tallest Trees
- 08/16/2023 — Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Pledges $500K Matching Gift to Support Russian River Redwoods Acquisition
- 08/01/2023 — Save the Redwoods League Secures an Opportunity to Protect 394-acre Redwood Forest in Sonoma, Including One of the County’s Tallest Trees
To access hi-res images, b-roll or drone footage, please visit our media resources.
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