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Save the Redwoods logo

The Save the Redwoods League is an organization dedicated to the protection of the remaining Coast Redwood trees in the U.S. state of California. It was founded in 1918 by Frederick Russell Burnham,[1] Madison Grant, John C. Merriam, and Henry Fairfield Osborn.

It relies on private donations and funding from the state and other partners to buy land, and has protected more than 181,000 acres (730 km2) of forestland. Over 60% of the redwoods in California's state redwood parks have been protected by the organization, in particular Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and the Redwood National and State Parks.[2]

The League also supports redwood education, and gives small grants to other organizations involved in ecological conservation. Save the Redwoods League maintains and updates a website which offers information, photos, and progress reports.


Master plan

Arborist next to Del Norte Titan at the Grove of Titans. Del Norte Titan, Lost Monarch or Iluvatar, exemplify coastal redwoods.

The "Master Plan for the Redwoods" attempts to provide a science-based conservation strategy for the remaining Coast Redwood ecosystem. All conservation decisions made by the League and its partners are guided by the Master Plan's strategies. The Master Plan helps to set priorities for land acquisitions, stewardship, and restoration initiatives. It also helps planning integration with partner organizations.[3]

Forest restoration

With less than five percent of the ancient redwood forest remaining, the League is leading efforts to restore old-forest characteristics to young redwood forest stands. In partnership with California State Parks it is working to restore the 25,000 acres (100 km2) Mill Creek property in Del Norte County.

Science and research

The League has an active scientific research program that seeks to expand the understanding of the coast redwood and giant sequoia forests and ecosystems of which they are a key component. Over the last 10 years it has awarded more than 25 research grants to leading scientists.

Memorial groves

Frederick Russell Burnham, a League founder, at his 5,000-acre (20 kmĀ²) La Cuesta cattle ranch, Three Rivers, California, near the entrance to Sequoia Park. 1908.

Since 1921, the League has established more than 1000 redwood memorial groves, in thirty of California's redwood parks. One grove is named after Newton B. Drury, who served as executive director of the league as well as serving as the fourth director of the National Park Service. He served in the league's leadership during most of the period from 1919 to 1978. Another grove is named after Drury and his brother Aubrey. [4]

Additionally, in return for a donation, a grove can be renamed to provide a memorial to an individual, family, or organization. Each grove provides an everlasting memorial to an individual, family or organization. Funds raised through this program are an important part of the League's income.


Founders Grove

In 1931, Major Burnham commissioned a survey near bull flat creek in Humbolt County, a spot where Grant believe the world tallest tree might be found. When the tree was found, a 364 foot Redwood, the California State Park Commission dedicated the tree to the founders of the Save the Redwoods League on September 13, 1931: "As a living monument symbolizing eternal life and duration of our gratitude." Burnham lead the main address in which he declared: "It is an ancient and racial urge that has brought us together today in the shade of this far Western forest like the druids of old." The Founders Tree immediately became and remains the most visited spot in the Redwoods region and the focus of many ceremonies.[5]

Conservation and parks

The League also provides gifts to establish preserves and parks, many of which are open to the public. For example, the League established the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve which is part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MPROSD) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since it was established, the League has protected over 177,000 acres (720 km2) of ancient redwoods. Land purchased by the League is generally donated to state or national parks for public enjoyment and education, as well as permanent protection of the redwoods.

Use of LIDAR

The Save-the-Redwoods League is now using LIDAR to aid in measuring tree height. The League feels this can be useful in reforestation efforts, and also in finding trees that may surpass the Hyperion in height. Their use of LIDAR was made possible by a grant from Kenneth Fisher.[6]


  1. ^ Coates, Peter A. (2007). American Perceptions of Immigrant and Invasive Species: Strangers on the Land. Berkely: University of California Press. ISBN 0520249305.  
  2. ^ Save the Redwoods League
  3. ^ Save the Redwoods League
  4. ^ Pugsley Medal biography of Newton B. Drury
  5. ^ Spiro, Jonathan (2008). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Vermont: Vermont. ISBN 1584657154.  
  6. ^

External links


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