Redwoods Rising - Illustrations Through Time

illustration of redwoods after being logged
Image 1: This scene is typical of redwood logging from the 1940s - 1990s. About ten, old-growth redwood stumps per acre were all that remained after entire hillsides were stripped of trees. Miles of rivers were blocked while building hundreds of miles of logging roads. Logging companies often then dropped millions of seeds (mostly Douglas fir) by helicopter over the hills. This is the kind of degraded habitat the Parks then acquired as our boundaries expanded in the 1970s-2000s.

Gary Bloomfield and Save the Redwoods League.

illustration of crowded, skinny trees
Image 2: This scene is typical of what grew back fifty year after the old-growth redwoods were logged. It is what two-thirds of the Parks' forests looked like in 2019. In each acre thousands of skinny trees (mostly Douglas fir) fight for light and space. Redwood saplings sprout from redwood stumps, fish are unable to swim or spawn in the blocked rivers, hillsides erode because of failing logging roads. There are almost no other plants, ferns, or wildlife in this habitat.

Gary Bloomfield and Save the Redwoods League.

illustration of a habitat being restored
Image 3: In 2019, we began Redwoods Rising work in our second-growth habitats. Heavy machinery is carefully used to remove legacy logging roads and to remove old road crossings that blocked streams. To give fish calm water needed to rest and spawn, "large wood" and tree trunks are carefully placed back into the streams. Suitable trees are planted along stream banks. Many young Douglas fir trees are removed. More light and open space is then created for the redwood saplings to grow wide and tall.

Gary Bloomfield and Save the Redwoods League

illustration of trees and a river
Image 4: Ten years after Redwoods Rising habitat restoration work is complete, the second-growth forest will have taller and wider redwoods because of less crowding of trees. Rivers and streams will support salmon again, and there will be a healthier understory with ferns and flowers. This diversity of plants will also support large animals being back in the habitat.

Gary Bloomfield and Save the Redwoods League.

Illustration of a complex and healthy river and forest
Image 5: 100 years after restoration, the once degraded second-growth forest is well on it's way to becoming a resilient redwood forest. The redwood saplings have grown and are now storing large amounts of carbon. The overall habitat is full with diverse species that lived there before logging occurred. The pockets of original old-growth redwood forest across the Parks have been connected by 70,000 acres of restored forests. This benefits all the visitors in the future.

Gary Bloomfield and Save the Redwoods Leage

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Last updated: April 8, 2022

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