Recent Land AcquisitionsWhen you drive down 280 or Hwy 1 and look up at the soft, green vastness cloaking the Santa Cruz Mountains you can’t help but feel the enduring pleasure of protecting redwoods. In that moment, you think, “I had a hand in that.” And with this realization comes a deep satisfaction from knowing you’re preserving something so timeless, powerful, and utterly beautiful.
We protect redwoods because of the way these great trees make us feel. Humble, at peace, and in awe. But there’s another reason we defend redwoods. We’re also enchanted by the one-of-kind ecosystems they create. Their home is an otherworldly place of sword ferns and banana slugs, quiet canyons and slithery salamanders, dripping fog, and impossibly clear creeks. There’s nowhere else like it—and these flora and fauna depend on the redwoods for their very survival.
One of the most rewarding parts of our work at Sempervirens Fund is helping people understand the importance of this land by expanding our local state parks. It harkens back to our original role in creating Big Basin State Park in 1900, and our mission of connecting people to the redwoods—these ancient wonders that truly are a unique California treasure.
Big Basin to Get BiggerThis winter, we purchased Jamison Creek: 130 acres of undeveloped and strategically important land located alongside the south-eastern border of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We first became aware of the property more than 10 years ago and were delighted when the landowners Diane and Michael Bigler approached us about buying the land.
The Biglers sold their property to us far below the market price. As longstanding Sempervirens Fund supporters, they know how Jamison Creek and properties like it are rare and fragile. Like many of our supporters, they feel a duty to protect what we have so that future generations can enjoy it.
Most of the property includes healthy second-growth redwoods and hardwoods like oak, madrone, and bay laurel. At higher elevations, the trees thin out and the sun’s rays light up a landscape of maritime chaparral.
Look closely and you’ll find evidence of the original redwood forest that stood here for millennia. Sadly, all that’s left of these once-great redwoods are giant stumps emerging from the sorrel-covered floor. Still showing the telltale notches from the loggers’ springboard, these relics of the past are important, because they motivate us to do all we can for these trees.
A Land Bridge for Countless SpeciesWhat makes the property especially significant is its value to local wildlife. Mountain lions and bobcats have been spotted here. Salamanders, woodrats, and woodpeckers live, breed, and shelter in these hushed forest canyons. Jamison Creek will also act as a wildlife corridor, protecting deer, coyotes, and other species as they move freely and undisturbed between the forests of San Vicente, Big Basin, and beyond. This is the way you help save redwoods. One donation at a time. One supporter at a time. One property at a time. Before our eyes, fragments of forest will grow into a glorious landscape of interconnected forests permanently protected for redwoods, for wildlife, for us all.
- Learn how Sempervirens Fund helps restore creeks and streams for fish
- Read more from this edition of Mountain Echo, our newsletter
- Success stories from our saving local properties