LETTER

A time of regrowth and renewal

Second-growth coast redwoods regenerating after fire.
In a show of spring recovery, coast redwood leaves glow against trunks charred in the 2020 wildfire that
has temporarily closed Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Photo by Kyle Cooper, Save the Redwoods League.

Dear Save the Redwoods League Friends,

“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern,” wrote Oscar Wilde. Together we are starting to emerge from the pandemic haze. Through plague, through wildfire and smoky, crimson skies, through social unrest within our communities, I looked to the redwood forests to bolster my hopes for the future. What I found was the balance that is needed to protect what we can of the forests that sustain us, and heal what has been lost, and in so doing, reimagine how we can—we must—build something new.

The theme for this edition of Redwoods is Renewal. Within these pages, we discuss the ways in which forest well-being and human well-being can progress in tandem. We dive into the 30 by 30 movement to protect 30% of Earth by 2030. This endeavor to safeguard our most resilient ecosystems like redwood forests is gaining political momentum with the new U.S. presidential administration and the first Indigenous Secretary of the Interior. We explore the scientific research behind the health benefits of time in the forest and the importance of including marginalized communities in these studies. We consider the impact of the removal of the Klamath dams on food sovereignty and spiritual sustenance for the Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa, and Klamath Tribes—and how this rewilding will boost the health of the redwood forest ecosystem. And as summer ushers in our return to our beloved redwood parks, we celebrate with some of our best friends.

I am grateful for this moment of renewal. Yet, there remains so much to be done. As we turn a corner from the pandemic, we brace ourselves for the unknowns of the wildfire season to come. Even as we witness regrowth and recovery in the landscapes that burned last year, the future of our forests and our people, intertwined, hangs in the balance until we embrace the change, and take the action that’s needed now. We begin the climb to a new, more resilient “normal,” one that learns from our mistakes, heals our scars, and empowers a new generation of leaders. As the seasons shift from spring to summer, may we look to nature and its cycles to invoke our own resilience—and the wisdom that change is a beautiful thing.

Thank you, friends. As much as the redwoods, your commitment to our mission has carried us through. I hope you enjoy this edition.

 

sam-hodder-signature

About the author

President and Chief Enthusiast for the Outdoors (CEO) of Save the Redwoods League, Sam brings more than 25 years of experience in overseeing land conservation programs from the remote wilderness to the inner city.


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