How We Do It

Sempervirens Fund in Action:

How we protect and connect the local redwood forests

Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has permanently protected more than 53 square miles of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains by raising more than $50 million to purchase and protect forest lands. These lands provide critical wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and opportunities for us all to go out and enjoy the incredible local redwood forests.

By pooling funds from donors in the community, Sempervirens Fund can buy land, establish conservation easements and negotiate trail easements.

Because we have been working in the region for more than 100 years, our relationships with local landowners and our conservation partners are deep and strong. With support from our donors and with public matching funds, we act quickly and decisively to permanently protect redwood forests as new opportunities arise.

Here’s how we protect and connect the local redwood forests:

Land Acquisition

We purchase land at fair market value from willing sellers and transfer the land to California State Parks or other local public agencies.

Conservation Easements

We work with private landowners to establish conservation easements that protect the natural and scenic resources on their forest lands, while keeping the properties in private ownership. The conservation easement protects the land’s natural and scenic resources without buying fee title to the property itself. Easements often limit building and other activities on the property, and the landowners receive compensation through a tax deduction or cash payment.

Timber Harvest Rights

Another way we protect the forest while keeping redwood land in private hands is to buy the timber harvest rights – and retire them.

Trail Easements

To open up access to redwood forest lands and connect trails, we purchase access easements on private land. These easements help connect the existing redwood parks and expand hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities.

Gifts of Real Estate

We work with owners of redwood properties in the Santa Cruz Mountains who want to protect their property in perpetuity by donating it to Sempervirens Fund.

Learn more about what we’ve accomplished with your support throughout the years.

Watch a short video about how Sempervirens Fund saves redwood forests.