stewardship

Burned redwood trees with green sprouts growing out of the bases and trunks

Post-wildfire lessons from San Vicente Redwoods

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Active stewardship and restoration at San Vicente Redwoods—which burned in the CZU Lightning Complex fire—is critical now as we approach the next fire season.

A firefighter protects a park sign and supporting crews contain the fire within a narrow strip under an old growth canopy on the edge of the prairie.

Why is fire used to manage redwood forests?

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Fire is a natural part of the environment and benefits many forests. Prescribed fires have long been used to encourage growth of beneficial and native plant species and reduce the amount of combustible vegetation that could fuel catastrophic wildfires. Thousands of prescribed fires are carried out across the country every year, and they are integral to forest restoration and stewardship.

Photo by Andrew Slack

Notes from the North: Crossing the Bridge

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Bob grinned as he confirmed to us that in fact, we would be crossing the bridge. “Weren’t you warned? It’s the only way across. Move slow, stay on the left, and you’ll be fine.” After Bob climbed onto the first plank, his dogs jumped past him and trotted fearlessly across the bridge. We followed and separated ourselves to ease the stress on the old cables and limit any swaying. The milky-emerald water of the Mattole River rushed below, overflowing from recent storms.

Fire-suppressed sequoia grove – note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Managing for Fire

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Through thoughtful stewardship practices, the ways we seek to emulate aspects of the natural state of the forest can also work in conjunction with how we manage forestland into the future.

Panorama of a prescribed fire at Boyes Prairie in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. The three panels show immediately before, during, and after the fire.

Prescribed Fire and Coast Redwood Prairies

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During a brief burn window in October, crews from California State Parks and the National Park Service diligently worked to restore the natural process of fire to various ecosystems in over 2,800 acres of Redwood National and State Parks.

Conservationists Hike 1,230 Miles of California Coast to Foster Spirit of Stewardship

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Hikers along the California Coastal Trail in Del Norte County have begun to mistake Morgan Visalli and Jocelyn Enevoldsen for twins. If you ignore Visalli’s blonde hair and Enevoldsen’s dark brunette braids and pay attention to the color spectrum that radiates around them, you can see it too. They wear matching turquoise rain coats, handkerchiefs, and socks.

When We Can’t See the Trees for the Forest

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re documenting the many …

SCA crew, and their California State Parks supervisor.

Historic Redwood Grove Gets TLC Through Team Effort

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Have you ever thought about what it takes to take care of protected land at the landscape scale? Most of us don’t manage areas of land much greater than our own backyards — it’s difficult to think on the scale …

Bennett Juniper is quite large! Our property caretaker is standing to the right of the tree.

Caring for One of the Oldest Living Trees in the World

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Out in Tuolumne County, near the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River, is a Western juniper tree known as the Bennett Juniper. It is estimated to be somewhere between 2,000 and 6,000 years old, and some botanists think it may …

Celebrating National Trails Day

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I talk a lot about the importance of parks and wild places, the beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife they contain, but this week I’m putting the spotlight on one of my favorite features of our open spaces: trails. My appreciation …

Here at the League, we love learning about the forest! Photo of RCCI researcher collecting data, by Steve Sillett.

Top 5 Fascinating Redwoods Facts

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It’s National Environmental Education Week! This week is a celebration of environmental education and a special time to inspire learning and stewardship among students. I can’t say enough about how important outdoor education is to complete the circle of land …

My colleague Richard Campbell tries to make his way uphill through the thick brush.

Protecting Our Land Through Restoration

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During my annual monitoring visit to one of our lands, I noticed thick brush growing up around the redwood forest. Something would need to be done about it! California’s drought has brought dry conditions that create an increased chance for …

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has safeguarded special places, including the pictured Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.

What Is Our Land Ethic?

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Like many in the land conservation arena, I often use the term “land ethic” in discussing the vision and work of Save the Redwoods League and our partners.  As the League approaches its 100th anniversary, I’ve been thinking a lot …

What Do the Winter Olympics and Redwoods Have in Common?

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Well, they’re both part of a rapidly-changing world. It’s more than a little scary to watch the Winter Olympics this year and see the bare, snowless mountains in the background and the spectators in T-shirts lining the race courses. Scarier …

Sixth graders in LandPaths' environmental education program work to restore the redwood forest.

Students Learn About Restoration

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On a cold December morning, I arrived at Rancho Mark West in Sonoma County to the sight of twenty-two sixth graders huddled in a circle beneath towering redwood trees. They were listening silently as their instructors explained how they were …

It’s part of my job to walk our conservation easement properties at least once a year to keep an eye on things.

Conservation Easements, Part 2: Monitoring and Enforcement

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Last month, I explained the nuts and bolts of conservation easements, a super important tool in land conservation and one that we at Save the Redwoods League use often. This month, you can learn about what happens next: monitoring and …

The Future of Redwood Conservation

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Much has been said about the importance of old-growth redwood forests. Their superlative beauty, their mind-bending longevity, their capacity to sequester carbon, and their ability to inspire peace, awe, and contemplation are all reasons why our commitment to their protection …