Science | March 2, 2020 6:02 am

Conservation Group Purchases Massive Sequoia Grove

Alder Creek is now in the hands of preservationists

Stagg Tree
A significant sequoia grove is moving from private ownership into the hands of a conservation group.
Bradluke22/Creative Commons

Sequoias are some of the largest trees on the planet — and some of the oldest. They’ve also played a large role in the history of the conservation movement: Theodore Roosevelt spoke highly of them, and the deaths of two massive sequoias led to the creation of the National Park Service.

This year, the preservation of sequoias reached another historic achievement. At Mother Nature Network, Russell McLendon has the details of a particularly significant maneuver which should keep more of these trees safe. Up until recently, Alder Creek was the largest sequoia grove in private hands. It occupies 530 acres, and it’s home to the Stagg Tree, one of the largest in the world.

And now it’s in the hands of conservationists. The Rouch family has owned the grove for over 70 years, and for the last 20 or so, the Save the Redwoods League has worked to purchase Alder Creek. At the end of last year, the two came to an agreement over the sale of the grove — and the Save the Redwoods League began fundraising.

According to McLendon’s article, the Save the Redwoods League plans to hand over control of the grove to the U.S. Forest Service, though that won’t be instantaneous.

… SRL expects to hold the property for five to 10 years. That’s partly because this kind of public-acquisition process moves slowly, Hodder says, but also because SRL wants time to study the grove and implement a plan for good stewardship, making sure the trees are healthy and ready before handing them over to the public.

For now, though, the grove is in safe hands — and will be preserved for future generations.

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