Travel | August 28, 2020 9:03 am

Seven Ways You Can Help Save and Restore the Redwoods

As wildfires rage throughout California, one of the nation’s greatest treasures is under threat

help save redwoods
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Crescent City
Caryle Barton/Unsplash

There are myriad reasons for sorrow this summer, but few are as nauseating as the sight of redwood groves on fire. 

Beloved of anyone who’s ever seen them, redwoods have long been the target of hustlers and thieves — vulnerable to those who’d steal their wood or land:  “One of the finest in the grove, more than three hundred feet high, was skinned alive to a height of one hundred and sixteen feet from the ground and the bark sent to London to show how fine and big that Calaveras tree was — as sensible a scheme as skinning our great men would be to prove their greatness,” wrote John Muir in the January 1920 edition of the Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Nothing matters more to the future of the redwoods than votes for pro-environment candidates come November 3, especially in red states (call your parents!). In the meantime, let’s do what we can. 

1. Save the Redwoods League

The original protector of the redwoods, this 102-year-old organization is now focusing on emergency rehabilitation efforts at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest state park in the state. If you ever stopped by the historic visitor’s center, it’s now entirely in ashes. Donate to the Big Basin Recovery Fund here.

2. Sempervirens Fund

Sempervirens has worked to protect the South Bay’s redwood forests for 120 years and played a leading role in the creation of Big Basins. They’re now evaluating the health of 11,000 acres of redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and working to preserve them both via the Big Basin Recovery Fund and the Santa Cruz Forest Recovery  Fund

3. Turtle Island Restoration Network

If you also love sea turtles and endangered marine wildlife, you can help support their efforts by joining the Turtle Island Restoration Network in planting 10,000 redwoods in Northern California — a worthy effort in the larger battle against climate change. You can adopt a redwood for $100 — or, preferably, adopt a grove of 10 trees for $1,000. 

Redwoods at Muir Woods
Muir Woods National Monument.
Josh Felise/Unsplash

4. Sierra Club

No one loved the redwoods quite like Muir — and supporting the Sierra Club’s battle against climate change is in part helping create a hospitable home for them. Donate here.

5. Redwood Parks Conservancy

The Redwood Parks Conservancy supports initiatives in and around the coastal redwood parks, including initiatives to protect endangered butterflies and to hire indigenous people as guides and interpreters. Donate here.

6. Pacific Forest Trust

The Pacific Forest Trust works to conserve privately owned and “working” forest lands. Donate here.

7. Stewards of the Coasts and Redwoods

This group works hand-in-hand with local state parks — including Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Austin Creek State Recreation Area and Sonoma Coast State Park — in funding volunteer programs, visitor centers and more. Armstrong and Austin Creek have both been affected by wildfires. Donate here.