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Fall Winter Hikes Santa Cruz Mountains

Fall and Winter Hikes 2021

November 1, 2021

If recent park closures have left you looking for new trails and places to enjoy the change of seasons this fall and winter, you’re in luck! Our staff are revealing their favorite places to go in the Santa Cruz mountains now. Happy trails to you and please recreate responsibly!

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Bats of the Redwoods

October 29, 2021

Love them or hate them, bats are an important part of our ecosystem. They help control insect populations and even pollinate some flowers. And like all of us at Sempervirens Fund, they find solace in and spend a lot of time among the redwoods. Read on to learn what one researcher discovered about bats of the redwoods.

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NEWS: San Vicente Redwoods Marks 10 Years as a “Living Laboratory” for Wildfire Resilience, Wildlife Protection and Ecosystem Restoration

October 27, 2021

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Vicente Redwoods is proving to be a living laboratory of forest management, ecosystem restoration, sustainable timber harvesting and future public access since it was first protected in 2011.

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San Vicente Creek: Restoring a Stronghold

October 20, 2021

Mill Creek had been blocked since early in the last century by a 12-foot-tall, 25-foot-wide dam a quarter mile upstream from its confluence with the main aquatic thoroughfare, San Vicente Creek. In September 2021, that dam was removed, giving Mill Creek another half mile of free flow. The story of removing Mill Creek’s dam is a story about the pieces that fit together to bring life and vitality to an ecosystem.

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San Vicete Mill Creek Dam By Ian Bornarth

NEWS: Mill Creek Dam Removed in Santa Cruz Mountains

October 4, 2021

Sempervirens Fund announced that they have removed a dam on Mill Creek in the San Vicente watershed.

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San Vicente Creek Flow By Ian Bornarth

Mill Creek Dam and the San Vicente Watershed

September 17, 2021

An old dam has denied endangered Coho salmon their critical spawning ground and redwood forests their nutrients for over a century in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is the story of bringing down a dam to restore the southernmost habitat for Coho and coast redwoods.

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Biologist Alex Rinkert sketches a Marbled Murrelet in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. © Frans Lanting /

A Marbled Murrelet Fledges from Big Basin

September 17, 2021

In July 2021, deep in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, a researcher happened upon a marbled murrelet nest. What happened next had never been caught on film before.

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Nature Needs Time to Heal

August 14, 2021

The CZU fire transformed Big Basin Redwoods State Park in a matter of hours. Its effects will linger for hundreds of years. The forest is expected to rebound, eventually, more or less—but when? How long until the forest looks, feels, sounds, and smells like the place we knew?

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CZU Anniversary

August 5, 2021

On August 16, 2020 a climate-fueled-weather event sparked the most catastrophic fire ever recorded in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Over the next month, fire raged through the region impacting lives, communities, parks, and some of the most ancient and beloved remaining coast redwood forests in the world. A year later, we look back at the CZU Fire.

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Big Basin: Honor its Past, Build it to Last

August 4, 2021

If you love Big Basin, please consider this: reimagining Big Basin can pioneer a new model for California’s state parks, just as Big Basin was more than a century ago. We believe that in this moment of transformation, Big Basin can lead the way for the State Parks to enter into a new era of public parks–one that is desperately needed. 

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