Oh, the stories of a redwood forest — millions of years’ worth. In honor of the Save the Redwoods League centennial in 2018, the organization published a book that tells some of these epic tales. The Once and Future Forest: California’s Iconic Redwoods is a robust collection of essays that illuminates everything from indigenous peoples’ connections with redwood forests to scientific research and natural history.
Shrouded in fog and bearing dense, labyrinthine canopies hundreds of feet in the air, redwoods remain mostly a mystery because of their formidable size and scope. But nothing could stop several courageous and curious scientists from getting as up close and personal as humanly possible to the world’s tallest trees.
High up in the canopy of an old growth forest, there exists an extraordinary world hardly known to most of us on earth. For centuries, people have admired the sheer size of redwood trunks and appreciated the bounty of ferns and sorrel that carpet the forest floor. We have cherished the rare silence that envelopes the trees and relished in the beauty of sunlight filtering through the underside of the canopy. Yet, the intricate world at the top of the trees remained a mystery until the late twentieth century, with the advent of canopy exploration.