Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Conservation Group to Buy World’s Largest Privately Held Sequoia Forest for $15M

Business
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.


The San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League negotiated for the past 20 years for the purchase of Alder Creek, a 530-acre hillside grove that houses 483 trees with a trunk diameter of more than six feet, including the 3,000-year-old Stagg Tree — the world's fifth largest tree, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Alder Creek is about 200 miles from Los Angeles and surrounded by the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

"This is probably the most-coveted sequoia conservation opportunity in a generation," said Sam Hodder, president of Save the Redwoods League, to the Mercury News in San Jose. "This is an alpine landscape covered with iconic, breathtaking, cinnamon-barked trees that are surrounded by pastures. It is such a superlative representation of nature. This is the prize. This is the best of what's left. It's a very special place."

Now the Save the Redwoods League needs to raise the requisite money for the purchase by the end of the year.

"Alder Creek is the most consequential giant sequoia conservation project of our lifetime. It's the largest remaining giant sequoia property in private ownership, and a globally unique and extraordinarily beautiful landscape," said Hodder in a press release. "To fully protect this remarkable grove forever, we will need the public's help in raising the required funds by December 31, 2019. I am pleased to announce that we have a challenge grant in place to help us achieve that goal."

Save the Redwoods announced that an anonymous donor pledged a dollar-to-dollar match for every donation made before Dec. 31, up to $500,000. Interested donors can pledge here.

The Rouch family has owned Alder Creek Grove since the 1940s. Although it is privately owned, it has remained publicly accessible.

Claude Albert Rouch initially bought the land for its logging potential. The family cut down pine, fir and other trees for lumber, but left the sequoia's fairly unscathed, said his grandson, Mike Rouch, to the Mercury News.

"Less than a dozen were ever taken," said Rouch. "I'm 62, and there's never been one cut down in my lifetime. They could have gotten fence posts or roof shakes out of them. But I think my dad deep down recognized how beautiful they were and he didn't want to take them."

While there was significant logging, the grove still contains mature red fir, white fir, ponderosa pine, and sugar pine, as well as meadows and wetlands, which makes conservation of the grove a top priority for the Save the Redwoods League.

"This is perhaps the most significant sequoia conservation opportunity in the last 65 years," said Becky Bremser, the director of land protection for Save the Redwoods League in a press release. "By protecting this property, we will safeguard the biological richness and ecological resilience of a forest unlike any other on Earth — with giant sequoia trees that are thousands of years old, and nearly 500 with diameters six feet or larger. We also will create the opportunity for this extraordinary mountain forest to inspire the public in a truly special way."

Alder Creek is roughly the same size as the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park. The mismanagement of the Mariposa Grove in the 1860s helped spur the establishment of the National Park System, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last year, the Save the Redwoods League purchased Red Hill, a 160-acre property in the Sierra Nevada's that is one of the two largest unprotected giant sequoia forests in the world, after raising $4 million, as CNN reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations. Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm

By Kaya Bulbul

The ocean is our lifeline - we rely on it for the food we eat, the air we breathe, as well as for millions for jobs worldwide.

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations, many of which unidentified or insufficiently supported.

Read More Show Less
The coronavirus adds a new wrinkle to the debate over the practice of eminent domain as companies continue to work through the pandemic, vexing landowners. Patrick J. Endres / Getty Images

By Jeremy Deaton

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home.

Read More Show Less
Weeds dying in a soybean field impacted by dicamba spraying. JJ Gouin / iStock / Getty Images

A federal court overturned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approval of dicamba Wednesday, meaning the controversial herbicide can no longer be sprayed in the U.S.

Read More Show Less
Smoke rises from a cement factory in Castleton in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England. john finney photography / Moment / Getty Images

Human activity has pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide to higher levels today than they have been at any other point in the last 23-million-years, potentially posing unprecedented disruptions in ecosystems across the planet, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
People march along Hiawatha Avenue on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to protest the killing of George Floyd. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, James Bruggers

When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.

Read More Show Less
A helicopter view of a diesel fuel spill in Siberia on June 2, 2020. Andrei Marmyshev\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Arctic Circle.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The sun shines over the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. Rebecca Yale / Moment / Getty Images Plus

Atmospheric researchers have pinpointed the spot on Earth with the cleanest air. It's not in the midst of a remote jungle, nor on a deserted tropical island. Instead, the cleanest air in the world is in the air above the frigid Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less