San Francisco, CA, January 8, 2020 ‒ People the world over united to help Save the Redwoods League protect Alder Creek, the largest remaining privately owned giant sequoia property in the world. The purchase of Alder Creek, which was finalized on December 31, 2019, was made possible thanks to more than 8,500 donors from all 50 states and around the world who made gifts to acquire the property for $15.65 million. More than 98 percent of California’s giant sequoia groves are now protected in public, tribal or League ownership.
The 530-acre Alder Creek property contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoia, 483 of which have a diameter of 6 feet or larger, including the Stagg Tree, the fifth-largest tree known in the world. In addition to giant sequoia, Alder Creek also contains robust stands of mature red fir, white fir, ponderosa pine and sugar pine, as well as several other habitats, including meadows, wetlands and riparian woodlands. Each sustains its unique suite of associated species; together, they form a vital and resilient ecosystem emblematic of the southern Sierra Nevada and California. Alder Creek is located 200 miles from Los Angeles and is surrounded by Giant Sequoia National Monument.
“This is a historic moment! Giant sequoia are among the largest and oldest living things and grow nowhere else in the world outside of the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada. With the purchase of Alder Creek, we have protected the best of what’s left,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. “We are amazed by and grateful for the generosity of people from all over the world who stepped up to help save this special forest. At a moment when good news is hard to find, we are thrilled to begin the new year celebrating the generosity and sense of stewardship reflected in this successful effort.”
Launched publicly in September 2019, the League’s fundraising campaign for Alder Creek secured 9,500 contributions from more than 8,500 individuals and foundations from across the United States and 30 other countries. Significant gifts from Ralph Eschenbach and Carol Provan and John Woollam, were instrumental in the success of the campaign, and a $250,000 challenge grant issued by the Bently Foundation in the final weeks of the campaign inspired online giving up to midnight on December 31, 2019.
Ongoing Protection and Future Stewardship
The League intends to own and manage the property for five to 10 years, during which time the League will continue fundraising to support restoration, stewardship and public access planning and implementation. Ultimately, the League intends to transfer the property to the U.S. Forest Service for inclusion in Giant Sequoia National Monument, ensuring its future management in accordance with the monument’s long-term restoration, resource protection and public access program.
The restoration goal is to bring back a balance of native forest species that have been altered by historical logging and to reduce fuel loads to assure fire resilience and long-term protection.
Considering the limited public access to giant sequoia groves in Giant Sequoia National Monument, the acquisition by Save the Redwoods League offers a unique opportunity to plan for and ultimately provide new public access to a truly extraordinary scenic and recreational resource. Alder Creek is one of the most beautiful places in California, and the League hopes to establish a plan that both inspires visitors with the beauty and power of nature and ensures the health and resilience of this rare forest ecosystem.
One of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, Save the Redwoods League has been protecting and restoring redwood forests since 1918, connecting generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. Our 24,000 supporters have enabled the League to protect more than 216,000 acres of irreplaceable forest in 66 state, national and local parks and reserves. For more information, go to SaveTheRedwoods.org.