Backcountry Fire Restrictions in Effect (Last updated: 9/10/2014)
Due to "Extreme Fire Danger," fires are currently prohibited in backcountry, including established fire rings at designated backcountry campsites and on Redwood Creek gravel bars. Personal camp stoves are allowed. Call 707-465-7335 for updates.
The restoration work is accomplished using large, heavy equipment, primarily bulldozers and excavators. If visiting the Redwood Creek area of the parks, remember to stay well away from work areas due to the danger of heavy equipment and loose slopes.
Click on Watershed Restoration for an 8-page newspaper on the subject in .pdf format.
Placement of large in-stream wood structures, removal and modification of unnatural fish barriers, reestablishment of streamside (riparian) vegetation, and modification of existing flood control levees are also improving fish habitat. Other measures that benefit salmonids are the prioritization of roads slated for removal by risk failure (potential for erosion) and sensitive resources (number of fish species and their population size) and review of timber harvest plans adjacent to the park. Annual surveys in summer and winter are conducted to provide information on the status of salmon and steelhead. Two decades of monitoring juvenile salmonids in summer and fall in the Redwood Creek estuary has verified the prominent role of estuaries in the life cycle of chinook salmon and steelhead and the importance of small coastal estuaries in degraded watersheds. The park is proposing to restore the Redwood Creek estuary to a fully functioning ecosystem benefiting fish, wildlife, and the public.
Living with Fire
During your travels through Redwood National and State Parks, you may notice trees and landscapes (particularly prairies) that have been charred by fire. Some burns happened due to lightning strikes, some from American Indian-ignited fires of the past, and some from park management using prescribed fire.
The American Indian method of managing plant communities with fire contributed to ecosystem health by clearing brush and encouraging new growth. However, management practices by Euro-Americans brought a century of fire suppression and altered landscapes.
Today, park resource managers are returning to the practice of using fire to maintain landscape health. It is the long-term goal for RNSP to restore park lands to the state that existed just prior to Euro-American contact and influence. By using prescribed fire on a regular basis, park managers have set the following goals for prairies and redwood forests.
Objectives for prairies and oak woodlands:
Objectives for Old Growth:
Did You Know?
You can travel by car to Gold Bluffs Beach to hike along a meandering stream through a hidden canyon with 30-foot walls covered by several species of ferns. Follow steps up to James Irvine Trail to a prairie that was once a small mining town above Fern Canyon.