Quantcast

World’s Fifth-Largest Tree Now Safe From Loggers in an 'Inspiring Outpouring of Generosity'

Popular

The world's largest privately-owned giant sequoia grove — home to the fifth largest tree on Earth — is now safe from development.


Alder Creek, a 530-acre property 200 miles from Los Angeles, was protected thanks to a successful fundraising campaign organized by conservation group Save the Redwoods League, the group announced in a press release Wednesday. The organization raised enough to purchase the $15.65 million property thanks to more than 8,500 donors from all 50 states and 30 countries.

"It really was an extraordinary and inspiring outpouring of generosity," the league's President and CEO Sam Hodder told The San Francisco Chronicle. "This is the best of what's left. This is a truly magical place, and it comes at a time when people needed some good news — something that protects the beauty of the world."

The sale was finalized in late December but announced on social media this week.

The property includes 483 giant sequoias that are six feet or more in diameter. One of them is the Stagg Tree, the fifth largest tree in the world. The tree is 34.7 feet in diameter and 3,000 years old.

The group has been negotiating to purchase the property for 20 years. But it earned more than half of the money used to purchase the grove since September, when it launched a fundraising campaign, The Los Angeles Times reported. The total amount is the most the league has raised from private donors for a single project in its history.

"It was incredible," Becky Bremser, the league's director of land protection, told The Los Angeles Times. "We are so thrilled. And so proud."

Crowdfunding has emerged as a promising conservation strategy. In September 2019, the Canadian charity BC Parks Foundation raised enough to save nearly 2,000 acres of wilderness from logging.

The protection of Alder Creek means that more than 98 percent of California's giant sequoias are now kept safe on either tribal, government or league-owned land, according to the press release.

But the property's conservation value extends beyond the iconic sequoias: It also includes mature red fir, white fir, ponderosa pine, sugar pine and meadow and wetland ecosystems.

The league purchased the land from the Rouch family, who had owned it since 1946, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

The group plans to spend up to a decade thinning younger trees and shrubs to prevent wildfires and then sell the property to the U.S. Forest Service to incorporate into Giant Sequoia National Monument, Bay Nature reported. At that point, the public might have a chance to wander through the grove.

"I've been working in land conservation for 20 years," Bremser told Bay Nature. "I've gotten to see some pretty spectacular properties, but this one still moved me. You stand there in this space of massive, massive trees, and you're just like, 'What are your stories!'"

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

U.S. Secretary of the Treasure Steven Mnuchin arrives for a welcome dinner at the Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 22, 2020 during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting. FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP via Getty Images

Finance ministers from the 20 largest economies agreed to add a scant mention of the climate crisis in its final communiqué in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, but they stopped short of calling it a major economic risk, as Reuters reported. It was the first time the G20 has mentioned the climate crisis in its final communiqué since Donald Trump became president in 2017.

Read More
Aerial view of Parque da Cachoeira, which suffered the January 2019 dam collapse, in Brumadinho, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil — one of the country's worst industrial accidents that left 270 people dead. Millions of tons of toxic mining waste engulfed houses, farms and waterways, devastating the mineral-rich region. DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP / Getty Images

By Christopher Sergeant, Julian D. Olden

Scars from large mining operations are permanently etched across the landscapes of the world. The environmental damage and human health hazards that these activities create may be both severe and irreversible.

Read More
Sponsored
Participants of the climate demonstration Fridays for Future walk through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020. Axel Heimken / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

U.S.-based youth climate activists on Friday drew attention to the climate protest in Hamburg, Germany, where organizers said roughly 60,000 people took part, and hoped that Americans took inspiration from their European counterparts.

Read More
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) surfacing, showing the remains of a blow and its mottled appearance near South Georgia Island in the Polar Regions. Mick Baines & Maren / Getty Images

The largest animal on Earth is proving that wildlife protections work.

Read More
A pipeline that ruptured in Mississippi Saturday, forcing hundreds to evacuate. Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency

More than 300 people were forced to evacuate and 46 were sent to the hospital after a gas pipeline ruptured in Mississippi Saturday.

Read More