World’s Fifth-Largest Tree Now Safe From Loggers in an 'Inspiring Outpouring of Generosity'
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.
We did it! https://t.co/J42DqpVhZU— savetheredwoods (@savetheredwoods)1578500135.0
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."
We do this thing when we close a big land protection deal — we ring a gong and celebrate. This one’s for Alder Cree… https://t.co/9hta7TqkVj— savetheredwoods (@savetheredwoods)1578530017.0
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!'"
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>