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A sandy single-track trail disappears into low flowering plants with the tops of pines peeking up in the distance, by Orenda Randuch

Santa Cruz Sandhills

Among redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains you can find a habitat so rare it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world: the Santa Cruz sandhills. Species uniquely adapted to its soil cling to their disappearing habitat long interwoven with redwoods. And you could be their best hope for survival. Explore the ancient rarities of sandhills and redwoods through the lens of photographer Orenda Randuch and learn more about the species and how you can help.

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Silhouetted forest descends to glittering sea out to mountains against a hazy sky tinted by sunset, by Orenda Randuch

Help Rebuild State Parks

Help California State Parks rebuild Big Basin, Butano, and Año Nuevo State Parks and protect the region’s incredible biodiversity devastated by the 2020 CZU Fire. Stay tuned for the next step to ask state leadership to rebuild State Parks and protect priority lands in the Santa Cruz mountains.

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Mushrooms of different sizes, shapes, and colors found at San Vicente Redwoods lie on a white sheet for mycologist Maya Elson to identify, by Orenda Randuch

Fungi of the Forest: Meet the Mushrooms of San Vicente Redwoods

Mycologist and researcher Maya Elson teamed up with photographer Orenda Randuch for a fungi photo essay to help us meet the mushrooms hard at work at San Vicente Redwoods. Learn identification tips to recognize mushrooms above ground, and their critical work underground to help the forest recover from fire, drought, flood, and human impacts in the fight against climate change.

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Looking up a sun-dappled, lush forested slope covered in redwoods, ferns, and mosses at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, by Orenda Randuch

2023 News: What You’ve Made Possible

Without supporters like you, fewer forests would be protected and habitats restored, and they would be less resilient to fires, floods, and the increasing threats from our changing climate. You have made so many amazing things happen this year for redwood forests, and the people, plants, and creatures that need them. Thank you for protecting forests that help protect us all! Here are a few of the moments you made possible in 2023.

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A group of five vertical panoramas shows a healthy old-growth redwood tree pre-fire on April 28, 2017 and as a charred standing snag post-fire from February 18, 2021 as the forest floor and surrounding redwoods recover with green growth through June 3, 2023, by Ian Bornarth

Awakening of the Silent Forest

See the resurgence of forest life after the 2020 CZU Fire through photographer Ian Bornarth’s lens. Over three years, Bornarth visited Santa Cruz mountain redwood forests every few weeks to capture their recovery and has captivated us with documentation of their resilience and signs of new beginnings.

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Amah Mutun Land Trust Native Stewardship Corps members Marcella and Esak wear bright yellow hard hats as they sift soil during cultural landscape research amidst bright green post-fire regrowth several feet high from the ground contrasting starkly with the back drop of blackened tree trunks from the CZU Fire rising above at San Vicente Redwoods, photo by Ian Bornarth

Indigenous Stewardship at San Vicente Redwoods: Past, Present, and Future

After the CZU Fire an opportunity arose to study post-fire effects, survey a baseline of reemerging plants, and help Amah Mutsun Tribal Band members look for eco-archaeological clues to how the Awaswas-speaking peoples lived on and cared for this land. Dive into their research at San Vicente Redwoods as they look into Indigenous Stewardship of the past and help plan for the future.

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Fuel for Fire: Framing Forest Resilience Three Years After the CZU Fire

Three years after the CZU Fire, the resilient land is recovering and fire-adapted species are restoring green to the landscape. But these lush signs of nature’s rebirth after fire can quickly become fuel for the next fire. How can we restore these ecosystems from a damaging past for an uncertain future? Take a look through a trained lens to witness the intersection of natural resilience and cutting-edge stewardship techniques.

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Lupine blossoms, deep royal blue on the bottom and white on top, amidst spring green grasses, fill the frame, by Orenda Randuch

Beyond the Bloom: Superblooms in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Our resident biologist and natural resource manager Beatrix Jiménez-Helsley takes us on a photo essay into the rarer side of the superbloom and why its waning in some habitats and just getting started in others—a phenomenon that just may be the saving grace for redwoods and the species that rely on them as our climate continues to change.

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