Sempervirens Fund has purchased timber rights in Redwoods Meadows Ranch near Bonny Doon, protecting 151 acres of redwoods, including old-growth and second growth redwoods marked for harvest under a pending timber harvest plan (THP).
The property includes the headwaters of Mill Creek, which serves as an alternate source of drinking water for the town of Davenport, and is identified by Sempervirens Fund as a high priority for conservation. Protecting Redwood Meadows Ranch further connects the 8,500-acre CEMEX Redwoods, owned by Sempervirens Fund and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), and the 7,000-acre Coast Dairies owned by The Trust for Public Land. By protecting Redwood Meadows Ranch, Sempervirens Fund continues to reassemble the local redwood landscape and recreate a more vibrant and healthy redwood forest between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean.
“The redwoods here were at imminent risk of being harvested and lost forever,” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Reed Holderman. “Sempervirens Fund has never before purchased timber rights severed from fee title. But there is always a first for everything as we pioneer new.”
Redwood Meadows Ranch was created as a planned unit development in 1984 by Bill Cunningham. Cunningham retained timber rights over the property, and recently filed a THP over much of the redwood lands.
Local residents were eager to protect the redwoods and contacted Sempervirens Fund with a plan to purchase the timber rights. Individual members of the Redwoods Meadows Ranch Homeowner's Association contributed approximately half the funds to complete the $500,000 purchase.
“When we thought about protecting these redwoods, we thought of Sempervirens Fund,” said Homeowner’s Association President Pamela Koch. “We learned that Sempervirens Fund had identified the area as a high priority for protection, and we're both thrilled and grateful that they were able to negotiate a way to save these magnificent redwoods.”
“There were definitely a lot of strong feelings and competing interests involved in this transaction,” said sellers Robin and Bill Cunningham. “But Sempervirens Fund turned it into a win-win situation.”
You can read more in the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: More North Coast land falls under protection.