A pioneering organizer inspires her descendants to protect redwood forests. More than 100 years ago, Eureka’s Laura Perrott Mahan helped galvanize the movement to protect old-growth redwoods in danger of being clear-cut. In recent months, dozens of Mahan descendants and friends continued her legacy by supporting Save the Redwoods’ work to protect coast redwoods — raising funds to help the League purchase Atkins Place in Mendocino County.
On August 8, 1919, Save the Redwoods League founders Madison Grant and Stephen Mather spoke to a packed auditorium in the Northern California mill town of Eureka. They had driven up from San Francisco, where the League had just held its first Board meeting, and they called for local support of the League’s mission to protect the redwoods. To their great surprise, they received a wildly enthusiastic response. Why were hundreds of citizens of Humboldt County, the epicenter of redwood logging operations, so receptive to this message of conservation?