Coast redwoods and giant sequoia trees are majestic symbols of resilience and hope — “not only windows into our past but doorways into our future,” as Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League has explained. But redwood forests, ancient and resilient as they are, need our help. In the League’s new “State of the Redwoods Conservation Report,” scientists point to the need for concerted forest conservation efforts, and outlines the factors that will be most important for the long-term health and viability of these iconic ecosystems.
“This report is our wake-up call; a reminder of how critical a healthy, resilient redwood forest is to the future of California and beyond. Our centennial comes at an extraordinary moment. In response to the substantial, cumulative challenges facing our redwood forests documented in this report, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to heal and regenerate the old-growth forests of future generations.”
The report details key findings in forest structure, fire readiness and forest edge impacts. It also examines the relationship between redwood forests and climate change, and a vision for the future of California forest conservation.
- Today, the overall conservation status of the coast redwood ecosystem warrants caution.
- Very little old-growth coast redwood forest remains, and these patches of the tallest forest on Earth stand in the midst of an extensively logged and intensively managed forest landscape.
- Only 22 percent of the coast redwood forest is protected against commercial logging, subdivision, and development.
- Nearly 40 percent of the ecosystem suffers from anthropogenic edge effects from roads, residential development, and agriculture across the landscape.
- Owned and managed by a range of public and private entities, the coast redwood forest has endured a multitude of past threats and contemporary challenges that have combined to shape how the ecosystem functions today.
- Changes to the historical pattern of beneficial, naturally occurring wildfires, the prevalence of new pathogens and invasive species, climate change, and human-induced impacts on wildlife are spreading to every corner of the redwood forest.
- It is the combination of stressors across the redwood ecosystem that poses the greatest threat to sustaining coast redwood forests for future generations and requires a variety of conservation and restoration activities to protect the future health of the forest.
At Moore, we are committed to conserving unique and irreplaceable ecological treasures in California because they provide crucial wildlife habitat, enhance our quality of life, and add to the special character of the Bay Area. The foundation supports Save the Redwoods in their work to protect redwood forests — wonders of our natural world that will continue to inspire subsequent generations and demonstrate the adaptability of our shared future.
Read the full report: State of the Redwoods Conservation Report.