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Monitoring Wildlife for Healthy Forests

While the size and majesty of a coast redwood often dominates the landscape, like all ecosystems, there is so much more than meets the eye–a complex, delicate, and intricate web of life comprised of the reciprocity of thousands of life forms from the microorganisms in the soil, fungi and insects, to the plants, trees, and wildlife. What can monitoring wildlife on the land, water, and air tell us about recovery and recreation in the forest? Read on to learn more.

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Redwoods and Climate In Our Hands by Jane Kim, Ink Dwell

Redwoods and Climate Part 3

In the third part of a new series by Julia Busiek about the impacts of climate on redwoods, we explore how human-caused conditions that led to the CZU fire have been building since the beginning of European colonization, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it from happening again.

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Family circles of coast redwood trees, their bark gray from the 2020 CZU fire but covered in the bright green fuzz of new growth, stand tall against a bright blue sky in Big Basin State Park in 2022

Big Basin Returns

In July 2022, Big Basin re-opened its gates, and as we see our way past the two-year anniversary of the CZU fire, people are visiting once more. We talked to staff and interns about their experiences and spoke with our director of conservation about our work at the park and at a newly acquired nearby property that may well have a role in the park’s future.

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End Of Rain DSC03767 By Scott Ordway

The End of Rain

As temperatures soar, droughts become more frequent, and fire seasons lengthen, does it change how we see the land? Scott Ordway, an award-winning composer and multimedia artist, explored those questions and shared his reflections through words, sounds, and images with the hope that art experiences like these can help strengthen connections with nature–the basis for action.

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Land Director Laura McLendon surveys Big Basin State Park with Rangers after the CZU Fire.

Reimagining Big Basin

In August 2021, a year after the CZU fire, California State Parks launched a visioning process for Reimagining Big Basin. A year later, they have a vision for the park’s future. Learn more, connect, and stay involved.

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Camp Jones Gulch Sign By YMCA San Francisco

Camp Jones Gulch: A Partnership for Youth and Nature

Some of the oldest redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains thrive at a YMCA camp with the oldest history of inclusion—Camp Jones Gulch. We sat down with Jamie Bruning-Miles, President and CEO for The Y of San Francisco, to talk about how, together, we are expanding youth access to nature.

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A group of hikers looks up to an unseen redwood canopy in awe

Top 10 Redwood Trails 2022

If you’ve been yearning to reunite with coast redwoods or to see one for the first time, look no further. We’ve gathered trails that feature old-growth redwoods, mature second-growth redwood groves, rare dwarf redwoods, and even rarer ghost redwoods all right here in the Santa Cruz mountains. Here are our Top 10 Redwood Trails for 2022 with the best places to see redwoods now.

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Preserve the Gateway to Big Basin

Join Sempervirens Fund to preserve the Gateway to Big Basin. Together, we have the opportunity to permanently protect 153 acres of redwood forests and preserve a scenic approach into Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Donate by January 31 and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $200,000.

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Fairy Rings Redwood Canopy By Yuval Helfman Dreamstime

Redwood Fairy Rings and the Magic of Science

Do you believe in magic? Some say magic is just something science hasn’t figured out yet. But when it comes to coast redwood trees, the more science reveals about them, the more enchanting they seem. Looking beyond their incredible height and ages, to how they grow shows us the true magic of redwoods and reveals a heartwarming tale of family, interdependence, and awe.

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San Vicente Creek: Restoring a Stronghold

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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