Protecting the Watershed to Protect the Forest
Since Sempervirens Fund helped establish Butano State Park from the 1920’s through 1950’s, it has continued to improve the health of the forest by protecting land in the watershed of Butano Creek—the forest’s life force. The creek provides water for the forest’s plants and wildlife, habitat for wildlife that live in the water and on the shore, and a corridor helping to guide wildlife from habitat to habitat such as the endangered marbled murrelet and Coho salmon.
Here are some of the most recent lands Sempervirens Fund supporters have preserved forever in the Butano Creek Watershed:
The Butano Creek property is 40-acres of redwoods, Douglas fir, creek, and ridges located in Butano Canyon on the North Fork of Butano Creek, about a mile and a half north of Butano State Park. Saved from sale on the open market in 2019, it’s stretch of creek provides potential sheltering habitat for threatened California red-legged frogs and protects water quality for endangered Coho salmon and steelhead trout that live downstream. The canyon provides important nesting habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet.
Camp Butano Creek
The old-growth trees, water resources, and critical habitat for the endangered central coast steelhead and marbled murrelet that can be found in the Girl Scout’s 142-acre Camp Butano Creek, next to Butano State Park, were protected by Sempervirens Fund in 2012. The conservation easement permanently protects the important natural resources on the property and provided much needed income to the Girl Scouts to keep the camp operating—connecting the next generation with the redwoods.
Gazos Creek Redwoods
Gazos Creek Redwoods is 320-acres of large, second-growth forest that includes scattered old-growth trees right next to Butano State Park. Its habitat is critical for the conservation of the endangered marbled murrelet. It sits within Butano Creek’s neighboring Gazos Creek Watershed which is largely undeveloped and provides habitat for anadromous fish like Coho and steelhead.
You can read more about Gazos Creek Redwoods here.