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giant sequoia

Bring a Giant Sequoia into Your Classroom

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Everyone at Save the Redwoods League is so excited about the new giant sequoia curriculum for K-12 classrooms offered by the California State Parks PORTS® program, which stands for Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students. This distance learning program features the giant sequoia of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in its new unit and uses an innovative system incorporating interactive media and virtual reality platforms to teach about the ecosystems, wildlife, and history of California State Parks.

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Photo by Belkin International, courtesy of California State Parks.

Digital Field Trips to Giant Sequoia

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Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks have collaborated to develop a new study unit focusing on the impacts and challenges facing giant sequoia. The innovative distance learning program, developed in honor of the League’s Centennial Year, will transport students around the world through virtual field trips to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a nearly 6,500 acre preserve in the central Sierra that protects two spectacular groves of mighty old-growth giant sequoia.

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This spectacular tree is among Red Hill Grove’s 110 ancient giant sequoia. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Save the Redwoods League Has Secured the Opportunity to Protect One of the World’s Last Privately Owned Giant Sequoia Forests

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Save the Redwoods League, the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and stewarding coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in California, today announced that it has negotiated an agreement to purchase and protect the 160-acre Red Hill property, one of the two largest unprotected giant sequoia properties in the world. The property, on the South Fork of the Tule River, contains 110 ancient giant sequoia and provides a critical habitat for a variety of imperiled species including the Pacific fisher, Sierra marten and California spotted owl. Red Hill is located less than 200 miles from Los Angeles.

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Red Hill

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This forest was one of the world’s last unprotected giant sequoia properties. Red Hill is a spectacular property on the South Fork of the Tule River that supports more than 100 ancient giant sequoia and a mixed coniferous forest teeming with wildlife.

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Teresa Baker at Muir Woods National Monument.

Teresa Baker Blazes Trail for Racial Diversity in Parks

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“America is changing demographically,” said Teresa Baker, founder of the African American Nature & Parks Experience. “People of color will soon be in the majority, and we need to do everything possible to connect them to the outdoors, to help them experience the power of nature.”

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In the first year, researchers will develop and publicly release genome sequences using a tree from the pictured Butano State Park for the coast redwood genome and a tree from Sequoia National Park for the giant sequoia genome.

Groundbreaking Project to Map the Redwood Genomes

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The genome sequences and the screening tools developed will allow researchers to quickly assess genetic diversity in redwood forests to inform plans that restore the health and resilience of these forests as they face environmental stressors such as climate change.

Learn more in the inaugural edition of Redwoods magazine.

With your annual membership of $19 or more, you’ll receive a year’s subscription to Redwoods, the new magazine of Save the Redwoods League.

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Emily Burns, PhD, League Director of Science, reaches for the captivating cream-colored needles of an albino sprout growing out of a redwood. “It lacks chlorophyll, so it’s white, and it’s caused by a mutation on that particular sprout’s DNA,” she said. Further genomic research could confirm hypotheses that albino sprouts are more than parasites. It’s clear that the deeper we go into the redwood genome, the more we’ll know. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Mapping the Redwood Genomes

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Save the Redwoods League is leading research to fully sequence the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes — for the first time — utilizing conifer genetic sequencing techniques unavailable until now. By the end of this five-year project, the genome sequences and the screening tools developed will allow researchers to quickly assess genetic diversity in redwood forests to inform management plans that restore the health and resilience of these forests throughout their natural ranges as they face environmental stressors such as climate change.

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Sequoia National Park.

New Initiative to Sequence the Redwood Genomes

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We are sequencing the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. While the first steps in this project will happen in the laboratory, the goal is to rapidly put this new understanding of redwood DNA to work for conservation. To support vigorous coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in the decades ahead, we will need to protect not only the remarkable structure of the forest, but also protect the genetic diversity that underlies it.

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Giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. Photo by garden beth, Flickr Creative Commons

Why are Christmas trees pointy on top?

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Christmas is coming and so like last year, I’m answering the question that arises when we sit around our decorated trees: Why are Christmas trees shaped the way they are, pointy on top and wide at the bottom?

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Photo courtesy Save the Redwoods League

Redwood Research Proposals Wanted

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Save the Redwoods League uses redwood science to guide our conservation work and we are ready to invest in new studies that will help us save the redwoods. Since 1997, we have supported redwood and giant sequoia forest research on … Continued

When Giant Sequoia and Drought Don’t Mix

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I roamed through a few giant sequoia groves over the last week and did find a few mature giant sequoia that aren’t weathering the four-year drought well. Some of these afflicted giant sequoia simply were shedding leaves and their crowns … Continued

What We’re Learning from the Redwoods

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When we take a close look at what makes redwoods survive and thrive, the trees have remarkable stories to tell. That’s what researchers discovered thanks to three studies supported by research grants from Save the Redwoods League over the past … Continued

Snow plant. Photo by Isolino, Flickr Creative Commons

Sequoias and Snow Plants

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If you have read my recent blog posts, you can see a plant identification-theme forming. I promise it won’t be forever but today I have one more to throw at you. This time I will take you to the giant … Continued

Giant Sequoia Thirsty for Snowpack

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It’s Arbor Day, a time to reflect on the importance of trees in our lives. I for one can’t stop thinking about water and how much of it the redwoods need to thrive. I hope you enjoy this video by … Continued

Warming Redwood Weather

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Wendy Baxter and Anthony Ambrose from Todd Dawson’s Laboratory at U.C. Berkeley have been tracking weather in the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative research plots in the coast redwood and giant sequoias forests. Check out their latest weather report … Continued

This drawing shows how the upgraded Mariposa Grove trails will protect sensitive giant sequoia habitat while still giving visitors the amazing views of the forest. Image courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy.

Restoring Mariposa Grove

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The towering giant sequoias of Yosemite National Park are the iconic trees that catalyzed our Nation’s conservation movement, inspiring Congress in 1864 to designate both the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley “for public use, resort, and recreation”. Today, these mammoth … Continued

Rascally bears break our weather station, repeatedly

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Sometimes, the bears just win! That seems to be the verdict after months of repeatedly repairing a weather station installed among the giant sequoia as part of our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. Researchers Anthony Ambrose and Wendy Baxter installed … Continued

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