The Redwoods of Coast and Sierra
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FOR MANY YEARS after the discovery of the Redwoods, no attempt was made to preserve them. In those early years, we find many appeals such as the following:

"Through all the eventful centuries since Christ's time, and long before that, God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand storms; but He cannot save them from the sawmill; this is left to the American people."—John Muir.

"I appeal to you to save these mighty trees, these wonderful monuments of beauty."—Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1918, a writer in the Saturday Evening Post told of the "last stand of the giants"" in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, California. At that time not a single Redwood tree in those counties was owned by the State.

At present, a number of organizations are at work trying to save these marvelous trees for present and future generations to enjoy. Some of the more important of these organizations are the United States Government, the State of California, the National Geographic Society, and the Save-the-Redwoods League.

The United States Government began the National Park system in 1872, when it set aside Yellowstone National Park for the enjoyment and benefit of the people. In 1890 three National Parks in which Sierra Redwood are preserved were created in California—Sequoia National Park, General Grant National Park, and Yosemite National Park. The National Parks are administered through the Department of the Interior.

The United States Government, through the Department of Agriculture, has also established in California three National Forests in which Sierra Redwood are protected—the Sequoia National Forest, the Sierra National Forest, and the Stanislaus National Forest.

The Government has also set aside Muir Woods National Monument, where a number of Coast Redwood represent the chief value conserved.

The State of California, home of the Redwoods, has set aside, through the State Park Commission, several areas for State Parks, including Calaveras Big Trees State Park, in which are some very fine Sierra Redwoods. The California Redwood State Park, better known as Big Basin, and the Humboldt Redwood State Park along the Redwood Highway preserve excellent examples of Coast Redwood forest, as do also the Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast, and Hiouchi Redwood State Parks.

The National Geographic Society from time to time has bought and donated areas of land containing Redwoods. Two articles on the Redwoods thus preserved have appeared in the National Geographic Magazine: "Our Big Trees Saved" (January, 1917), and "The National Geographic Society Completes Its Gifts of Big Trees"' (July, 1921). This Society is truly a friend of the future.

One of the most active organizations in saving the Redwoods is the Save-the-Redwoods League, guardian of California forests. The League was organized in 1918 "to preserve the oldest trees in the world." Its objects are stated as follows:

(1) To rescue from destruction representative areas of our primeval forest.

(2) To coöperate with the California State Park Commission and other agencies in establishing Redwood parks and other parks and reservations.

(3) To purchase Redwood groves by private subscription.

(4) To coöperate with the California State Highway Commission and other agencies in assuring the preservation of the trees and of the roadside beauty along highways in California.

(5) To support reforestation and conservation of our forest areas.

The League has been instrumental in saving a large number of groves of Redwoods, and is especially interested in the preservation of four important parks along the Redwood Highway—the Bull Creek-Dyerville Park and the Prairie Creek Park, in Humboldt County; and the Del Norte Coast Park and the Hiouchi Redwoods, in Del Norte County.

The reports of the League are of value to all persons interested in saving the forests of Redwoods. Certain recent pamphlets are well worth reading :

Bibliography of the Redwoods, with a foreword by J. D. Grant.
The Movement to Save the Redwoods, by Newton B. Drury.
Redwoods of the Past, by Ralph W. Chaney.
A Living Link in History, by John C. Merriam.
The Story Told by a Fallen Redwood, by Emanuel Fritz.
Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Redwood Region, by W. L. Jepson.

Among the organizations co&oml;perating with the Save-the-Redwoods League are the California Federation of Women's Clubs, the Native Daughters of the Golden West, and the Garden Club of America.


The Redwoods of Coast and Sierra
©1940, University of California Press
shirley/sec13.htm — 02-Feb-2007