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NEWS: Sempervirens Fund Celebrates $15M in Donations for Capital Campaign: Redwoods Now, For All, Forever

The funds will help protect more than 1,000 acres of critical redwood forests including Camp Jones Gulch and the Gateway to the Big Basin

Contact: Blake Case, 601.832.6079, [email protected]

San Mateo, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2022)—Sempervirens Fund, California’s first land trust, announced today it has successfully raised $15.3 million as part of its capital campaign to permanently protect more than 1,000 acres of redwood forests and care for 11,000 acres of redwoods for generations to come.

The funds will enable Sempervirens Fund to protect and preserve key properties, including a $9.6 million conservation agreement with The Y of San Francisco to protect 928-acres of redwoods at Camp Jones Gulch near La Honda. Also protected is the 153 acres of redwood forests located in the Gateway to the Big Basin. Funds raised will also support active management and conservation techniques on these two properties and the other 11,000 acres under Sempervirens Fund’s care.

Announced in May, the pursuit to purchase a conservation easement at Camp Jones Gulch will simultaneously preserve one of the largest unprotected stands of old-growth redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains and outdoor educational opportunities for children in San Mateo County. The purchase of the conservation easement provides Camp Jones Gulch with funds to improve facilities that provide access for youth outdoor education. Sempervirens has also committed to being a partner to The Y in caring for the natural resources featured in their educational programming. In addition to protecting Camp Jones Gulch’s seven distinct ecosystems, including old-growth redwoods, the partnership allows Sempervirens Fund the opportunity to help restore habitat health and enhance forest resilience, especially in the face of climate change and increased threats, such as wildfire.

Earlier in 2022, Sempervirens Fund supporters helped complete the urgent purchase of the Gateway to Big Basin, which was burned over by the 2020 CZU fire. The purchase permanently protected 153 acres of second-growth forests that make up the scenic entrance into Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park.

Monies raised will also advance on-the-ground stewardship work at the Gateway and at Camp Jones Gulch, and will fund and inform enhanced stewardship of the more than two dozen additional properties under Sempervirens Fund’s care in the Santa Cruz mountains, most of which were directly impacted by the 2020 CZU wildfire.

“We are so grateful to the more than 1,300 supporters who answered our call to protect redwood forests,” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director, Sara Barth. “In the face of threats like drought, wildfires, and climate change, it is more important now than ever to ramp up conservation and double down on our efforts to protect these magnificent trees, and we are deeply honored that so many people have placed their faith in our work and vision.”

Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has protected more than 35,000 acres of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains. The health, resiliency, and vibrancy of the Santa Cruz mountain region depends on connected, healthy redwood forests, but less than 5 percent of redwoods remain. As the climate continues to rapidly change, producing more extreme weather and fires, it is more important than ever to protect and preserve ancient redwoods. Redwoods sequester more carbon per volume than any plant species on the planet, have shown incredible resilience against fire and drought, and are a vital tool available to mitigate harmful impacts of the changing climate.

The campaign exceeded its $14 million goal and gifts to the campaign came from 1,312 donors and range in amount from $5 to $2.4 million. Donors and grantors include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Midgley Foundation, Acton Family Giving, the Lipman Family Foundation, Sempervirens Fund’s Board of Directors, and many others.

Funding was also secured through the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board; the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1); and the California State Coastal Conservancy, through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68).

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