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Save the Redwoods League raises $4 million to protect some of the tallest and oldest redwood forests left in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Campaign needs another $4 million by December 31, 2013, to preserve rare old-growth redwood forests and protect wildlife habitat

Save the Redwoods League January 29, 2013
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Save the Redwoods League, the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting redwood forests throughout their natural range, reached its first major milestone by raising half of the $8 million cost to protect some of the tallest and oldest redwood forests left in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. To succeed, the League must raise the remaining $4 million by December 31, 2013, to complete protection of the stunning Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest in San Mateo County and protect Boulder Creek Forest in Santa Cruz County with a conservation agreement.

So far, Save the Redwoods League has received a generous grant of $1.75 million made through the Living Landscape Initiative Challenge Grant program of Resources Legacy Fund, which is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Our project partner, Peninsula Open Space Trust has pledged $1.125 million to the project. League members and the property owners also donated funds.

Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest features 145 acres of jaw-dropping old giants. Here, Peters Creek ripples through deep canyons and past five-finger ferns and carpets of redwood sorrel. This coveted forest would make a spectacular addition to Portola Redwoods State Park in the future and offer easier access to one of the area's most beautiful old-growth redwood groves, access that now entails an arduous day-long hike from the nearest trailhead. Without protection, Peters Creek could be subdivided for development in the near future. 

Boulder Creek Forest, a beautiful 214-acre tract of old-growth redwood forest, features 72 acres of spectacular ancient redwoods. Adjacent to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, this property will be safeguarded by a conservation agreement that prohibits harvesting of its massive redwoods and subdivision of the land.

"This is an urgent situation in which the public and key partners will play a critical role," said Catherine Elliott, land project manager for Save the Redwoods League. "Our Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth campaign will safeguard iconic old-growth forests for all time and make it possible for future generations to experience and enjoy California and the Bay Area's truly unique natural wonders. With less than 5 percent of the ancient redwood forest remaining, we must seize every opportunity and continue to work diligently to protect ancient redwoods and giant sequoias throughout their natural ranges."

"POST is proud to do its part alongside Save the Redwoods League to protect our region's magnificent redwood forests," said POST President Walter T. Moore. "The redwood lands that surround Silicon Valley are among our most extraordinary natural assets—not just locally, but worldwide. They help keep our water clean, provide essential wildlife habitat, absorb greenhouse gases to clean the air we breathe, and inspire and rejuvenate us with their natural beauty just minutes from our doorsteps. These forests face a real and present danger from encroaching development. As the local land trust specializing in this area, POST is committed to creating a vibrant ecosystem in and around Silicon Valley through this and other conservation efforts."

The Peters and Boulder Creek tracts are critical elements of the Living Landscape Initiative, a comprehensive effort by five Bay Area land trusts to protect the natural environment and inspire a renewed connection to the land in the heart of coastal California. In 2011, Save the Redwoods League, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund with critical financial support from the Moore Foundation and Packard Foundation, through Resources Legacy Fund's Bay Area Conservation Initiative, united to implement a shared vision to preserve and protect an environment that supports a high quality of life for communities surrounding Silicon Valley—now and in the future. The Initiative supports clean air and water, landscape preservation, habitat protection, biodiversity, natural beauty and access to recreation. The Peters Creek and Boulder Creek projects are flagship Living Landscape protection protects.

In addition to helping ensure that current and future generations will be able to enjoy these remarkable ancient giants forever, the League's science-based Master Plan identifies the Peters and Boulder Creek tracts as extremely high priorities for protection because of their wildlife habitats and concentration of ancient redwoods. Protecting redwoods in the Peters and Boulder Creek forests will safeguard a wide variety of animals that depend on this complex forest ecosystem for their survival.

"These old-growth groves are magnificent. This project is perfect for what the League does best—permanently protecting our natural treasures for everyone to enjoy," said Steve McCormick, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "These properties have been a top priority of the conservation community for over 20 years. Now success is within reach, and the Living Landscape Initiative is living up to its great promise."

About Save the Redwoods League

Walk through a redwood forest—home of the tallest, largest, and some of the oldest living beings on Earth—and you can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of awe and peace among these magnificent giants. Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has led the effort to protect the coast redwoods and giant sequoias for all to experience and enjoy. To date the League has completed the purchase of more than 190,000 acres of redwood forest and associated land. For more information, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org, or to receive monthly email updates, sign up at SaveTheRedwoods.org/signup.

League contact: Jennifer Benito, Director of Outreach
Tel: (415) 820-5814

Related Link: http://www.savetheredwoods.org/league/press_detail.php?id=474