Monthly Free Admission to California Redwoods Parks Starts January 13
San Francisco, CA — Save the Redwoods League, one of America’s first and most respected conservation organizations, is celebrating a century of protecting, restoring and connecting people to the iconic redwoods of California.
Established in 1918, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of majestic redwood forests in California and helped to create 66 redwood parks and preserves. The League has pioneered innovative, science-based forest-restoration techniques and touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people by connecting them to the marvels of nature throughout the redwood forest. More than 31 million people from around the world visit the redwood forest each year.
“One hundred years ago, the ancient redwood forest was disappearing at an extraordinary pace,” says Sam Hodder, president and chief executive officer for Save the Redwoods League. “Thanks to the unwavering commitment of League supporters and partners over the past century, we saved the world’s most iconic forest from elimination."
"But our work is just beginning. Throughout this landmark year, we will be announcing major initiatives, scientific discoveries and our vision for the future of the redwood forest."
To celebrate 100 years of redwoods conservation, the League is launching multiple initiatives that extend current programs and break new ground toward fulfilling the three elements of the organization’s mission: to Protect, Restore and Connect. Centennial initiatives include:
Free Second Saturdays at Redwood State Parks: In collaboration with California State Parks, the League is now offering free day-use admission to more than 40 redwood state parks on the on the second Saturday of every month throughout 2018. The first Free Second Saturday is January 13. With generous support from centennial sponsor Oracle Corporation and Save the Redwoods League members, more than 16,000 free vehicle day-use passes are available in 2018 across more than 40 parks. The passes cover day-use admission and parking fees and must be downloaded in advance from FreeRedwoodsDays.org.
Free Guided Hikes: League staff will also host frequent hikes at select parks, including the second Saturdays of January, February, April and September at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Humboldt County. Passes and details are at FreeRedwoodsDays.org. Space is limited.
All Parks Online Guides: On January 23, the League will launch an online guide to all redwoods parks in California, which includes trip-planning tips to more than 100 parks and places.
Reading the Redwoods Contest: From March 10 through May 10, school children K-5 around the United States are invited to participate in a nationwide reading contest. With author T.A. Barron (The Ancient One and Atlantis and Merlin sagas) as program ambassador, young readers will discover stories of adventure, mystery and friendship, along with weekly prize packages and a grand prize at the end of the contest.
Stand for the Redwoods Reading Program: The California Library Association’s 2018 summer reading program entitled “Reading Takes You Everywhere” will include Stand for the Redwoods-themed materials for libraries around the state to incorporate into their programs and outreach.
State of the Redwoods Conservation Report: The first ever report of its kind will be released in April, cataloging the current state of this vast expanse of forest for both the coast redwoods and the giant sequoia.
Redwoods Climate Change Initiative: Results will be announced in spring. This groundbreaking research project reveals how redwoods are responding to climate change and, in fact, how redwood forests are a critical resource to combat it. Answers will guide the League’s future protection and restoration efforts.
Restoration: A major restoration project, in collaboration with California State Parks and the National Park Service, will be announced in the spring.The League is working with numerous non-profit and public agency partners to heal the redwood forest landscape with the application of innovative treatments that will accelerate the development of old-growth conditions in young, historically clearcut forests.
Fuels reduction projects are being implemented on League-owned properties as models for similar treatments throughout the range that will reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and enable a broad variety of restoration practices.
The ancient coast redwood forest originally stretched over 2.2 million acres across 450 miles from California’s Big Sur Coast to just over the Oregon border. In the wake of the 1849 Gold Rush and California’s demand for lumber, primeval redwood forests that flourished undisturbed along the North American West Coast for more than 100 million years suddenly began to disappear. In just a few generations, they were reduced to just 5 percent of their original range. Similarly, giant sequoia, among the largest and oldest of the planet’s living things, also suffered huge losses, with nearly a third logged or otherwise destroyed.
A hundred years ago, the League’s visionary founders rallied to protect these incomparable trees from extinction by launching the world’s first conservation organization devoted exclusively to the permanent protection of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. Their efforts also launched this country’s land conservation movement. As the League developed the tools of modern land conservation, they inspired a cultural shift in the country: a recognition that the value of redwoods and giant sequoia extends well beyond planks, vineyard stakes and fence posts. Ancient redwoods became emblematic of the American landscape, treasured for their intrinsic ecological value and for the psychological, emotional and spiritual benefits they bring to those who explore these majestic forests.
To learn more about Save the Redwoods League, its Centennial and how to get involved, please visit StandForTheRedwoods.org.
The Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau is a proud sponsor of the league's centennial campaign (#Stand4Redwoods).