Big grove of old-growth Santa Cruz redwoods saved

Blue marks remain on several trees sitting among a tangle of forest litter and towering redwoods in Cascade Creek canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains — an indication that they were once the target of loggers.

The paint, along with numerous, weathered springboard notches cut by lumberjacks into what are now stumps, are reminders of how vulnerable the redwood forests in the Bay Area and California have been over the past 150 years. But they are also symbols of how much things have changed.

“We got here just in time,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, gesturing toward the paint marks — at least two decades old — as he stood in the middle of 564-acre Cascade Creek, nestled between Big Basin Redwoods and Año Nuevo state parks.

The San Francisco conservation group reached an agreement Thursday to buy the picturesque canyon, a sprawling lush forest oasis with 100 acres of ancient redwood trees that have never felt the blade of a saw, the kind conservationists reverently refer to as “old-growth.”

The league has so far raised $8.6 million of the $9.6 million needed to complete the transaction, which is expected to close May 30. The deal, once finalized, will create a continuous corridor of protected redwood habitat stretching from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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