Sempervirens Fund Adds 33-Acre Redwood Forest to the Great Park

Collaboration among Living Landscape Initiative Partners protects more redwood forest, adds to the Great Park

Sempervirens Fund and Save the Redwoods League have protected 33 acres of redwood forest in San Mateo County, in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The property, located next to stunning old-growth forests and the scenic Peters Creek loop trail within Portola Redwoods State Park, is a high-priority acquisition because of its substantial redwood trees, recreation potential and adjacency to protected land.

“This purchase completes a very important piece of the Great Park near Portola Redwoods, said Reed Holderman, Executive Director of the Sempervirens Fund. “It will take all of us working together – like our good friends and partners at Save the Redwoods League — to complete the Great Park, and this is another example of how collaboration can get things done quickly.”

The newly acquired property helps protect Pescadero Creek, home of coho salmon and steelhead trout, both of which are considered threatened species. The property provides excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife, including endangered marbled murrelets which nest high in the redwoods. The location of the property, adjacent to protected lands, improves opportunities for wildlife migration, which is especially important as the climate changes.

Sam Hodder, President of Save the Redwoods League, said, “With less than 5 percent of the ancient redwood forest remaining, we and our partners and supporters must seize every opportunity and continue to work diligently to protect ancient redwoods and giant sequoias throughout their natural ranges.”

Because of its proximity to Silicon Valley, this property had the potential to be developed into luxury estate homes. The owner of the property, Patricia Van Kempen, chose to protect the land forever by selling it to a local conservation organization. Ms. Van Kempen also made a generous donation to honor her father, who recently passed away.

So far, the Living Landscape Initiative partners have successfully protected nearly 9,000 acres of redwood forestlands in the Santa Cruz Mountains since the inception of the partnership three years ago.

About the Living Landscape Initiative

The Living Landscape Initiative is a collaborative effort among five land conservation organizations in and around Silicon Valley to create and maintain a vibrant and sustainable living landscape in the heart of coastal California. Through the partners’ expertise and shared focus on a healthy ecosystem, the Living Landscape Initiative exists to protect landscapes and inspire a renewed connection to the land. The Initiative seeks to benefit local communities with an environment that supports a high quality of life through clean air and water, landscape preservation, farms and working landscapes, habitat protection, biodiversity, natural aesthetics, recreational access and economic vibrancy in the region. All project areas are less than an hour’s drive from Silicon Valley — home to nearly 4 million Bay Area residents.

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