John Vibes, Truth Theory
A conservation group from San Francisco named “Save the Redwoods League” recently agreed on a deal to purchase the largest privately-owned sequoia forest in the world. However, they don’t actually have the $15.6 million that will be needed to seal the deal yet.
The area is known as Alder Creek and it is located in the southern Sierra Nevada in eastern central California, surrounded by the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Alder creek is 530 acres in total size and contains 483 trees that have a trunk diameter of over six feet. There are also some famous trees on the land, including the Stag Tree, which is 3,000-years-old and the world’s fifth-largest tree.
Sam Hodder, president of Save the Redwoods League says that it is very important to protect this area.
“This is probably the most-coveted sequoia conservation opportunity in a generation. 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,” Hodder told Mercury News.
The Stagg Tree is just an absolute monster, stunning. Fifth largest tree in the world. We’re trying to protect it and hundreds of other ancient giant sequoia on Alder Creek. Learn more: https://t.co/Hvcx3pFwjQ pic.twitter.com/n5ZyiTxlp2
— savetheredwoods (@savetheredwoods) September 18, 2019
The Alder Creek region has been owned by a wealthy Rouch family since the 1940s. The family did cut down some trees on the property for their lumber business, but they said that they did they best to avoid the sequoia’s, and they still left the area open to the public as well.
Mike Rouch said that less than a dozen of those trees were taken from the forest since his grandfather bought the land.
“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,” Rouch said.
In a press release, Save the Redwoods League asked its supporters for help raising the money, saying that they had until December 31, 2019, to secure the funding.
Luckily, they will have some help getting started, as an anonymous donor has promised to match every dollar donated for the first $500,000.
It is also important to note that this organization has been able to raise large sums of money from their supporters in the past, although this would be their largest fundraising effort thus far.
Last year, the group purchased a 160-acre property called Red Hill, also located in the Sierra Nevada’s giant sequoia forests. For that purchase, Save the Redwoods League was able to raise $4 million, which is quite an accomplishment, but still a long way from the $15.6 million needed for this property.