Redwoods Magazine

Burls protrude from a coast redwood

What is a burl?

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We’ve all seen them—those enormous growths on the trunks or bases of coast redwood trees, sometimes covered in new sprouts, sometimes appearing to drip down the side of the tree like the molten remnants of a lost limb. These strange formations are collectively known as burls.

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Save the Redwoods and outdoors advocates from underrepresented communities visit the League’s Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve. Photo by Wondercamp

Hope and healing amid ongoing crises

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In this edition, we strive to depict a more holistic story of redwoods culture—one in which we all stand together to protect and restore these forests to which we are connected.

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A Latina woman who is a student leader for Latino Outdoors holding a pinecone and smiling

New Voices Reveal the Forest

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Molina is a Latino Outdoors outings leader, and with warmth and enthusiasm, she introduces video viewers to the forest’s history and wonders in her favorite park, which she always visits whenever she needs to feel grounded. Molina’s tour is among three Explore the Redwoods videos produced by Latino Outdoors and Save the Redwoods League to offer virtual trips to the coast redwoods and giant sequoia. The joint project advances the League’s mission to connect people of all backgrounds and identities to redwood forests.

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A white woman with red hair and bangs and an Indian man walk their large dog in Joaquin Miller, holding hands and smiling.

Redwoods Near You

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With many focusing on staycations this year, check out a few ideas for day trips. While parks are open again around California, many travelers are putting off big trips until the pandemic blows over. Thankfully for most Californians, redwoods are closer than you might think, and an inspiring day trip is well within reach.

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Photo by Jack Dykinga

Indigenous Perspectives Are Crucial for Conservation

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After many years protecting Tribal lands and waters, and a lifetime in close relation with nature, why isn’t it easier for me to convey these concepts and perceptions? A deep tension persists between the things my heart knows and the fluency required for sharing them.

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CLARK SIMPSON

On the Front Lines of Redwood Forest Restoration

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A recent partnership was announced between the State of California and the U.S. Forest Service, which will work together on state and federal forests and rangelands to reduce wildfire risks, restore watersheds, protect habitat and biological diversity, and help the state meet its climate objectives.

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Damage in Big Basin building

Fire Recovery at the Core of New Parks Effort

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The fire at Big Basin Redwoods State Park made headlines around the world, but it was far from the only redwood park to burn. Sadly, each of the parks forced to close by fire had only recently been reopened following the state’s COVID-19 stay-home order. Today, through our Redwood Parks Fund, Save the Redwoods League is prioritizing fire recovery and resilience, expanding access to redwood parks, and ensuring that the park experience engages diverse visitors looking to the redwoods for recreation and enrichment. The work funded by this campaign will help redefine how the public enjoys redwoods long into the future. The Redwood Parks Fund will address these impacts as a cornerstone of Forever Forest: The Campaign for the Redwoods, supporting the League’s vision to connect all people with the beauty and power of the redwoods through transformational park experiences. Our goal is to raise $1.5 million for the Redwood Parks Fund by December 31, 2020.

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Researcher climbing a giant sequoia tree

League Project Updates

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LEAGUE PURCHASE PROTECTS A CRUCIAL REDWOOD FOREST Andersonia West contains hundreds of acres of old-growth coast redwoods and is a critical habitat corridor for imperiled species on the remote Lost Coast. Learn More   PHOTO EVIDENCE THAT REDWOODS RISING IS Continued

A view of wildfire damage in Big Basin, taken from the forest floor angled up to see the canopy.

How Will Redwoods Fare Under Wildfires in a Changing Climate?

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In the giant sequoia range, roughly 16,000 acres (or 34 percent of the range) had burned, most of which is old growth. We have yet to assess the fire effects on the ground, but as with most modern wildfires, there will likely be a mix of beneficial and detrimental ecological effects.

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Historic photo of El Palo Alto tree

An Enduring Emblem: El Palo Alto

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In 1776 and 1777, the missions in San Francisco and Santa Clara were established (along with the Presidio), and the road connecting them was the El Camino Real, which passed right by El Palo Alto. Apart from some oaks, the only large tree on the 47-mile journey between the two missions was El Palo Alto, so it naturally became a famous landmark — it is currently listed as California Historical Landmark No. 2.

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Book cover of Who Saved the Redwoods? The Unsung Heroines of the 1920s Who Fought for Our Redwood Forests by Laura and James Wasserman. The book is resting on a redwood log.

Spotlight on Forest Heroines

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Women Who Played Crucial Roles in Redwoods Conservation Who Saved the Redwoods? The Unsung Heroines of the 1920s Who Fought for Our Redwood Forests Laura and James Wasserman Who Saved the Redwoods is an absorbing, well-researched account of the mid-1910s Continued

Close up view of Redwood sorrel growing on a mossy log. The background is out of focus, giving an atmospheric feel of dappled light shining through the canopy.

Coolest Thing I’ve Seen in the Forest

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In the last edition of Redwoods, we invited you to tell us the coolest thing you’ve seen in the forest. Here’s what our members and fans have to say. Our Question for the Next Edition What is your favorite activity Continued

A California condor glides over Big Sur, California. Photo by Sebastian Kennerknecht/Minden Pictures.

Soaring Soon

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Federal agencies and the Yurok Tribe have partnered to reintroduce California condors to Redwood National and State Parks. Before too long, visitors to Redwood National and State Parks may spy the condors, which have been missing from the area for more than 100 years.

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Logging Miles on the Travel Log

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National Public Radio tells the story: “From 1917-1921, Kellogg took his Travel Log on the road. He drove it across the country four times, coast to coast, bringing word of the redwoods to people who had never heard, let alone imagined, there could be such trees. He spoke of the accelerated logging taking place in the redwood forests, made impassionate pleas for the trees’ preservation, and spread the word about a fledgling organization looking for members. It was called the Save the Redwoods League.”

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A photographer wearing a sun hat and khakis stoops at the bottom of a sloping hill while aiming a camera at the young redwood forest.

Is it OK to use redwood as a building material?

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Can people who care about protecting redwood forests buy these redwood products with a clear conscience? Douglas D. Piirto, Ph.D., provides his perspective as an expert on the subject. He is a California Registered Professional Forester with broad experience studying and managing redwood forests on public and private lands.

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The Allure of Big Sur

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Life is a journey, not a destination. That’s Big Sur—a journey, the quintessential scenic route. Named for the pioneer family that conveyed to the state of California a key piece of land here, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is home to some of the region’s most impressive redwoods. From fanciful trees and hidden swimming holes to dramatic coastline vistas, the southern end of the coast redwood range beckons along Highway 1.

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Square cropped photo of author Teresa Baker, a black woman, smiling outside on a wide trail. She wears a scarf, green puffy coat, dark pants and grey sneakers with pink accents.

While Hiking Solo, Nature Speaks

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Community Voices is a series in which guest writers share their perspectives on redwood forests. Advocate for Diversity Outdoors Revels in Solitude and Beauty Among Redwoods I often refer to myself as a “lazy weekend hiker.” The joy isn’t in Continued

Cascade Creek: A Keystone Forest Protected

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The League’s Forever Forest Campaign for the Redwoods is providing support to this project. Learn more Save the Redwoods League reached our fundraising goals and expects to finalize the purchase of this breathtaking coast redwood forest in the coming weeks, Continued

Redwoods Rising collaborators at kick-off event.

Forests of Opportunity

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With the public launch of our Forest Forest Campaign, the League scales up our pace, reach, and impact.

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