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Jamison Creek

Connecting Land for Countless Species

On Big Basin Redwoods State Park’s south-eastern border, 130 acres of undeveloped and strategically important land known as Jamison Creek were preserved by Sempervirens Fund in 2018. Jamison Creek’s second-growth redwoods, oaks, madrones, bay laurels, and higher elevation maritime chaparral support wildlife including mountain lions, bobcats, salamanders, woodrats, and woodpeckers. Countless other species will be able travel on Jamison Creek between the habitats it connects at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, San Vicente Redwoods and beyond.

In August and September 2020, the CZU Lightening Fire Complex burned more than 86,000 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is one of the many properties that has been affected. We are working to make the property safe, repair damaged infrastructure like roads and culverts, and restore habitat by addressing landslide threats, clearing sediment and debris from streams, removing invasive species, and helping redwoods and other native plants to regrow. You can read more about redwoods recovery and restoration here and throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains.

photo by I. Bornarth.

Preserving Jamison Creek harkens back to Sempervirens Fund’s 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. Sempervirens Fund had noted Jamison Creek’s great potential for connecting and protecting wildlife habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains for more than 10 years when the landowners Diane and Michael Bigler approached us about buying the land. In 2018, the Biglers sold their property to us far below the market price. As longstanding Sempervirens Fund supporters, they understood that Jamison Creek and properties like it are rare and fragile and they wanted to protect it for wildlife and future generations to enjoy.

Long before it was protected, the original redwood forest that stood here for millennia was reduced to stumps. The telltale notches from the loggers’ springboard are important reminders that motivate us to do all we can for these trees. After a century of recovery, Jamison Creek’s healthy second-growth redwood and hardwood forests, namesake creek, and maritime chaparral provide wildlife habitat and something crucial to even more species—connection.

Jamison Creek Redwoods
Bobcat near Jamison Creek by Tom McNeil
Bobcat near Jamison Creek by Tom McNeil

A Land Bridge for Countless Species

What makes Jamison Creek 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. Most importantly, Jamison Creek provides a wildlife corridor, protecting deer, coyotes, and other species as they move freely and undisturbed between the forests of San Vicente Redwoods, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and beyond. Sempervirens Fund will continue to care for Jamison Creek and preserve more land near Big Basin Redwoods State Park to protect the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains for people and wildlife to enjoy for generations to come.

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