photo by I. Bornarth.
Protecting Forest and Mill Creek with Timber Rights
In 1984, Redwood Meadows Ranch was created as a planned unit development in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Bonny Doon by Bill Cunningham. Cunningham retained timber rights over the 151 acre Redwood Meadows Ranch property and filed a Timber Harvest Plan in the 2010’s over much of the redwood lands. The Timber Harvest Plan marked Redwood Meadows Ranch’s old-growth and second growth redwoods for logging. Its thousands of redwoods were at imminent risk of being harvested and lost forever. Local residents eager to protect the redwoods contacted Sempervirens Fund with a plan to purchase the timber rights.
Sempervirens Fund had already identified Redwood Meadows Ranch as a high priority for protection for its natural resources, including old-growth redwoods. Redwood Meadows Ranch includes the headwaters of Mill Creek which effects the entire watershed and serves as an alternate source of drinking water for the town of Davenport. Redwood Meadows Ranch connects the protected 8,500-acre San Vicente Redwoods and the 7,000-acre Coast Dairies National Monument.
In 2013, Sempervirens Fund purchased timber rights in Redwoods Meadows Ranch. It was the first time Sempervirens Fund had ever protected land by purchasing only its timber rights. Individual members of the Redwoods Meadows Ranch Homeowner’s Association contributed approximately half the funds to complete the $500,000 purchase. Working together, Sempervirens Fund, local residents, and the landowner were able to create a win-win solution in which redwoods would be protected for generations to come.
By protecting Redwood Meadows Ranch, Sempervirens Fund continues to reassemble the local redwood landscape and recreate a more vibrant and healthy redwood forest between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean.
You can read more in the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.