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Living Landscape Initiative Partners Save the Redwoods League and Sempervirens Fund protect critical redwood forestlands in Santa Cruz Mountains

Photo by Paolo Vescia
Photo by Paolo Vescia

LIVING LANDSCAPE INITIATIVE PARTNERS — SAVE THE REDWOODS LEAGUE AND SEMPERVIRENS FUND — PROTECT CRITICAL REDWOOD FORESTLANDS IN SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
33-acres to protect rare old-growth redwood forests and imperiled steelhead trout and coho salmon

Download Press Release PDF

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 8, 2014) — Living Landscape Initiative Partners — Save the Redwoods League and Sempervirens Fund — have protected another 33 acres of redwood forestland in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This property is located near the stunning Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest in San Mateo County and near Portola Redwoods State Park. According to the League’s science-based Master Plan for the Redwoods, this parcel was identified as a high-priority acquisition because of its substantial old-growth redwoods, key recreation potential and adjacency to protected forestland.

The property also buffers nearby Pescadero Creek, home of state- and federally threatened coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. State-endangered and federally threatened marbled murrelets nest high in the redwoods. This undeveloped gateway provides valuable habitat for the forest community, and it connects protected land that wildlife needs to survive.

“Our Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth campaign will safeguard iconic old-growth forests for all time and make it possible for future generations to experience and enjoy California and the Bay Area’s truly unique natural wonders,” said Sam Hodder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Redwoods League. “With less than 5 percent of the ancient redwood forest remaining, we and our partners and supporters must seize every opportunity and continue to work diligently to protect ancient redwoods and giant sequoias throughout their natural ranges.” 

So far, LLI partners have successfully protected nearly 9,000 acres of redwood forestlands in the Santa Cruz Mountains region since the inception of the partnership three years ago. All project areas are less than an hour’s drive from Silicon Valley — home to nearly 4 million Bay Area residents.

“This acquisition in particular protects one of the last and most important pieces of the redwood forestland near Portola Redwoods State Park,” said Reed Holderman, Executive Director of Sempervirens Fund. “It will take us all working together — like our good friends and partners at Save the Redwoods League — to complete our ‘Great Park’ idea, a vast and vibrant redwood forest between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, working together means more redwoods saved.”

Because of its proximity to Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area, this property had the potential to be developed into luxury estate homes. The current fair market value of this property is $910,000. The former landowner, Patricia Van Kempen, decided to protect the property forever by selling it to a conservation organization. Van Kempen also made a generous donation to honor her father, who recently passed away.

Save the Redwoods League must raise $975,000 to complete the project, make critical improvements and steward the property long-term or until a permanent steward can be identified. Contributions from our members to the Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth Fund will help protect magnificent forests like this one, assist in stream stabilization to ensure fish passage and survival, and help develop the public access plan for this property.

Editors, please note: For images or to schedule an interview with Save the Redwoods League please contact Jennifer Benito at (415) 820-5814 or jbenito@SaveTheRedwoods.org. To reach Sempervirens Fund, please contact Reed Holderman at (510) 610-0517 or rholderman@Sempervirens.org.

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 completed the purchase of more than 190,000 acres of redwood forest and associated land. For more information, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org, or to receive monthly email updates, sign up at SaveTheRedwoods.org/signup.

About Sempervirens Fund
Sempervirens Fund is a land trust based in California’s Silicon Valley that protects, expands and cares for the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has permanently protected more than 53 square miles of local redwood forests and watersheds for people, wildlife and future generations. The organization played a pivotal role in creating Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail and three other parks in the region that offer extensive trails, campgrounds and other facilities as well as old-growth redwoods, pristine waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Today Sempervirens Fund is working to re-establish the Great Park — a vast and vibrant redwood forest between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean. The organization is involving new partners and new models to protect critical lands, increase public access and keep local parks open for the long term. Learn more at www.sempervirens.org.

About the Living Landscape Initiative
The Living Landscape Initiative is a collaborative effort among five land conservation organizations in and around Silicon Valley to create and maintain a vibrant and sustainable living landscape in the heart of coastal California. Through the partners’ expertise and shared focus on a healthy ecosystem, the Living Landscape Initiative exists to protect landscapes and inspire a renewed connection to the land. The Initiative seeks to benefit local communities with an environment that supports a high quality of life through clean air and water, landscape preservation, farms and working landscapes, habitat protection, biodiversity, natural aesthetics, recreational access and economic vibrancy in the region.


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