Historic Partnership Protects Critical Link in Santa Cruz Mountains
Celebrate What We’ve Achieved Together!
On behalf of our conservation partner organizations, Save the Redwoods League on August 28, 2014, secured $10 million from the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board to help permanently protect San Vicente Redwoods (formerly CEMEX Redwoods), a vast and critical part of the Santa Cruz Mountains’ ecosystem.
The grant is a tremendous boost toward funding this $30 million project, historic because five conservation organizations worked together to conserve the forest for multiple uses: protection of old-growth redwood forest, habitat restoration, sustainable timber harvesting and public recreation.
The grant will help the League fund the now-official legal agreement, aka conservation easement, that permanently protects from development the San Francisco Bay Area project’s 8,500 acres of redwood forestlands, waterways and imperiled wildlife. The state’s Coastal Conservancy also granted $1.9 million toward the project in October 2013, in addition to donations from our generous members like you.
Funds are still needed to fund the agreement and manage and steward the land. You can be part of his historic project by donating to the San Vicente Redwoods Fund today.
An Essential Part of the Region’s Forests
San Vicente Redwoods is the keystone property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, partly because of its 90 ancient redwoods, but mostly because of its sheer size. It covers 8,500 acres — a sprawling forest 6 miles long and 2.5 miles wide that connects 27,500 acres of contiguous protected woodland
San Vicente Redwoods is home to a variety of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals, including the California red-legged frog, Shreve and Oracle oaks and Anderson’s manzanita. Endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout inhabit local creeks. Many of California’s signature mammals live here, including black-tailed deer, bobcats and coyotes. The property is so vast that wide-ranging mountain lions have established several nurseries here.
Further, the property provides drinking water for Davenport and Santa Cruz and clean flows for streams supporting imperiled fish. And with 70 miles of unpaved roads and trails, San Vicente offers outstanding recreation potential. Plans are underway to provide public trail access.
A Historic, Multiyear Project
The San Vicente Redwoods conservation effort has started through the Living Landscape Initiative (LLI) (external link), launched in 2011 by Save the Redwoods League, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County (external link), Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) (external link), Sempervirens Fund (external link) and The Nature Conservancy (external link). We are working together to protect this vast property that none of us could protect alone.
Threatened with development and subdivision, San Vicente Redwoods received a reprieve in 2011 when our partners in the Living Landscape Initiative, POST and Sempervirens Fund, purchased the property for $30 million. However, neither POST nor Sempervirens Fund had the financial resources to hold the property long term. They planned to sell or trade San Vicente Redwoods to a permanent steward after securing a conservation easement that would protect the land forever.
Our Living Landscape Initiative partners will apply strict guidelines for sustainable wood harvesting on the property while permanently protecting the features we all value: old redwoods, homes for endangered wildlife, clean waterways and access to recreation. You can see a map of the land uses at San Vicente Redwoods. Habitat restoration in the Restoration Reserve parts of the property may be funded partially through our partners’ sustainable harvesting of young redwoods and other trees in the Working Forest part of the property. Restoration will speed the creation of old-growth forest characteristics, such as giant redwoods, which store huge amounts of carbon and help mitigate global warming.
You Can Make a Difference
Resounding responses from generous members like you raised the $100,000 needed to gain a matching gift for San Vicente Redwoods by December 31, 2012. Long-time League members Pete and Patty Mattson issued the challenge to match contributions made to San Vicente Redwoods by the deadline. Thank you!
You can help keep up the progress by donating today.Your donations will assure the implementation of a comprehensive plan that will protect this magnificent forest and provide for future access opportunities.
Our work with San Vicente Redwoods is a huge undertaking, but we couldn’t turn down the chance to conserve what was the largest unprotected redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Please donate now through our secure webpage, call (888) 836-0005, or mail a check payable to Save the Redwoods League to our new address below. 100% of your donation will support the San Vicente Redwoods Fund.
Save the Redwoods League
111 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Please note on your check that your gift is for San Vicente Redwoods.
Thank you for 8,532 precious acres.
If you have questions, or you would like to learn more about the San Vicente Redwoods (formerly CEMEX Redwoods) project, please contact Membership at (415) 820-5800 or membership@SaveTheRedwoods.org.
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A cave was recently discovered in San Vicente Redwoods (formerly CEMEX Redwoods). See the video below from KQED about this fascinating discovery.