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rens). If we journey southward through the warm interior valley of California, on our left hand tower the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. These bear in their high altitudes on the seaward slopes the big trees. They are heroic in size. Mixed with other conifers in open groves, they stand massive and battered like ruins from an age when life was measured not by single revolutions of the earth around. the sun but by thousands and tens of thousands. Fortunately, this species of Sequoia is protected by its very inaccessibility, from five to eight thousand feet up the mountain slopes.1

On the right hand as we journey southward through California is the low verdant Coast Range (one thousand to two thousand feet elevation); and over its seaward slopes and in its wide moist valleys are the remnants of the forests of the redwoods. But a very few years ago they reached from north of the California and Oregon boundary line southward in an unbroken belt of forty miles maximum width, to the southern boundary of Mendocino. County, California, then on farther south in isolated small forests as far as the Bay of Monterey-a total distance of nearly five hundred miles, twice the north and south lap of the big trees in the Sierras.

These redwoods show striking adaptation to the depth of soil and amount of moisture. On the steep slopes where the soil is shallow, they do not attain a height of more than 225 feet, with greatest diameter of trunk ten feet, and here they grow in open stands

This is the Sequoia that has been made world famous by the eloquence of John Muir, whose main work was in the Sierra Nevada Mountains; and it is the great scenic feature of Sequoia National Park- one of the first of our national parks, instituted in 1890, the same year as Yosemite, and the first to be instituted after the Yellowstone in 1872. The greater number of the remaining big tree groves are now under the protection of the National Park Service. On the other hand, the big tree, although it has received so much more attention and protection, is not as great an economic asset for the future as the redwood, particularly because it reproduces only by the slow method of seeding and that with great uncertainty, especially in the northern part of its range.


more or less mixed with other trees (especially red fir). At increasingly low altitudes and consequent greater depth and moisture of soil the redwoods increase in size and predominate the forest more and more until they form close, crowded stands unmixed with other trees. On flats and in the bottoms of valleys where rivers cut their way through the Coast Range to the Pacific, they make giant redwood fastnesses, many of the trees reaching well above three hundred feet, frequently with a diameter of trunk from sixteen to eighteen feet.

Many of us have entered these greatest forests of the world, in our own northern California. "Architecturally" they consist of long curving aisles between the giant columns of the trees, sometimes with spacious vistas opening to the sea; and the ground and the dark fluted trunks are patterned with shifting mosaics of sun and shadow. For long ages they have stood here in the face of the winter rains that sweep down from the northwest. They have been wrapped about by the moistureladen summer fog that drifts in from the sea and dips low among the green spires. So great is the moisture among the redwoods of the bottom lands that not only are the trees themselves wonders of growth and verdure, but they are draped with mosses and the ground at their feet is bedded with ferns.

It has been said that this tree, from the standpoint of its timber, is "too good to live," and certainly history has proved it so since the white man discovered its home along the Pacific. The wood has all the qualities to recommend it for the uses of commerce: it is rich in color and takes a beautiful polish, the grain is even and fine, it is firm yet soft and easy to work, it is

2 This refers especially to the redwoods of the bottom lands. The trees of the slopes are likely to have wood less valuable, more "flinty" in character. The "soft" redwood tree is the type which has been so disastrously cut and burned over the coastal flats, until today it represents but a small proportion of the whole redwood area.



almost fireproof-and in addition to all these good qualities, it is incomparably durable. It is said that trees which have lain five hundred years on the damp ground in the forest have been carried to the mill and made into good lumber.1

Do we need to ask if our redwood forests are economically worthy of preservation? Or can we question that they should be removed from individual and corporation interests which must perforce look to an immediate gain in order to realize on investments? Under the ownership of state and national governments, experts in forestry can keep them forests while still making them yield a product of timber.2

Hundreds of thousands of acres of redwoods have been cut during the last sixty years. San Francisco is largely built of redwood. The whole state is a land of redwood bungalows, paneled and beamed with the choicest grains of the wood,-which is good, except that on an average one half of a tree has been wasted for every one half used, and all the young trees which grew near the mature trees cut have been killed. Especially during the last thirty years, since improved equipment came in, redwood lumbering has proceeded with disastrous speed, and the wood has been used not only for construction and finishing, for shingles and grape stakes, but also for a multitude of other things, among them telegraph and electric light poles, paving

'Bureau of Forestry, Bulletin No. 38, "A Study of the Redwood." 1903.

2 That this can be done is largely owing to the fact that the redwood is an active dominant type of tree although of such ancient lineage. It sprouts vigorously from the stumps when cut, soon forming great circles of tall young trees. Circles of mature trees with the central stump no longer in existence are found in the primeval forest, indicating that this has been the method of growth. It is probable that, if the redwood lands can come under government ownership, such second-growth forest with proper management can be made to supply a large part of the demand for redwood timber, and the primeval forests be left undisturbed, except as certain trees may need to be removed for the health of the others.

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blocks, and water tanks. And now recently, because of a scarcity of available timber brought about by the war, the United States Railroad Administration authorized the use of redwood for railroad ties. This, coupled with the building of the roads of the new California State Highway through some of the best of the remaining northern redwoods, started an army of small contractors into lumbering operations, with resulting destruction and waste.

Such was the condition in the early summer of 1919 when Colonel Graves, chief of the United States Bureau of Forestry, and Secretary Houston, of the Department of Agriculture, visited Humboldt and Del Norte counties and impressed upon the people the irreparable loss they were sustaining. It was still the situation in July, 1919, when the "Save the Redwoods League" was organized at San Francisco under the spur of interest of various publicspirited men (see page 605).

The Redwoods League National in Scope

The Redwoods League has the support of the national and state governments, and is national in scope.3 Although its Council is made up mainly of influential men from California, it includes also prominent representatives from the East.

One of the first steps of the League was to call the attention of the United States Railroad Administration to the injury to the California State Highway by the cutting of railroad ties along its margin. At once the Administration issued an order that no ties should be purchased from areas which would come within the proposed reservations, or

The story of the work and aims of the Redwoods League and of the survey of the northern redwoods which was made under its auspices is told by Mr. Madison Grant, a member of the Council of the League, in the September issue of the Zoological Society Bulletin of New York-an article which carries the interest and conviction of authoritative knowledge.

Many of the facts in the accompanying statement of the situation of the various groves and forests and of the plans for their conservation are taken from the typewritten Official Report of the Survey made under Mr. Stephen Tyng Mather, director of National Parks, and from Mr. Grant's article.

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Compiled from the 1916 geological map of the Cali fornia State Mining Bureau, the 1911 forest map of the California State Board of Forestry, and from data regarding the state highway and approximate eastern limit of redwoods, ceived in December, 1919, from Mr. M. B. Pratt, State Forester of California.. It is unfor tunate that a 1919 forest map has not been is sued by the California Board, because the eight years since 1911 have seen appalling destruction of redwoods, especially bordering the sea

All the best redwoods remaining (and they are all owned by lumber companies) are north of San Francisco in the coastal counties of CaliforniaSonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte. The best trees grow on the bottom lands along the rivers, and those especially adapted for preservation in national or state parks are the Bull Creek and Dyerville stands (owned mainly by the Pacific Lumber Company) in Humboldt County, and in Del Norte County the Redwood Creek (owned by the A. B. Hammond and Sage Lumber Companies), Klamath River, and Smith River stands. The best of the Mendocino and Sonoma redwoods have been cut, some very recently; it is hoped that the various groves left, especially along the motor highway, will be set aside by these counties. Marin County has no redwoods left, except "Muir Woods," on Mount Tamalpais, near San Francisco.

If we travel northward on the State Highway from San Rafael, we find the first redwoods just above Ukiah-the small "Montgomery grove," which it is hoped Mendocino County will purchase. Between Ukiah and Bull Creek there are altogether about 10,000 acres of redwoods, scattered in groves of a few acres with occasional larger stands of a few hundred acres, most of them badly devastated by lumbering and fire but all worth saving for the sake of the attractiveness of the highway. For instance, there are 5 acres at Phillipsville and about 500 acres near Miranda.

Along the South Fork of the Eel River the mo tor highway runs through some extremely fine redwoods which were rapidly being cut for grape stakes and railroad ties until the influence of the "Save the Redwoods League" was recently brought to bear, and which are still threatened along very many miles of the highway. In fact, between Garberville and Eureka, lumbering operations are more or less in full swing, and the nation's loss from waste and fire in the forests which are being cut about equals the loss from legitimate uses of the timber. The right bank of the Eel River below its junction with the South Fork resembles devastated France, and the devastation is complete everywhere on the left bank also except for one fine stand just beyond Bull Creek, which belongs to the Pacific Lumber Company.



There is need for immediate action if the last of these most ancient and heroic trees are to be saved. Who will dedicate a redwood grove to the health and happiness of the American people? The lumber companies offer every coöperation in selling for such purpose


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within four hundred feet of any state highway. This is the federal coöperation we should expect and explains that the situation was not previously understood.

Situation of the Redwood Forests

A survey of the northern redwoods was at once inaugurated by the League, especially with reference to the selection of a suitable area for a national park.

The survey (August 5 to August 10) was made by Mr. Stephen Tyng Mather, director of National Parks, and Mr. Madison Grant, accompanied by Mr. Charles Punchard, landscape engineer of the National Park Service. On the way northward from Ukiah to the junction of the South Fork of the Eel River with its tributary Bull Creek and with the main Eel River, the surveying party passed about ten thousand acres of redwoods (see map). These are in groves of a few acres


Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior


Past President of the Sierra Club

Officers of the Save the Redwoods League are as follows:


Publisher, The Timberman, Portland, Oregon

President, FRANKLIN K. LANE, Secretary of the Department of the Interior
Secretary and Treasurer, ROBERT G. SPROUL


President of the Alumni Association, and Regent, University of California


Regent of the University of California, Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences


Director, Museum of History, Science and Art, Los Angeles, California


Trustee of Leland Stanford Junior University, Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences MADISON GRANT

Chairman, New York Zoological Society


Forester, Forest Service, Washington, D. C.


each with occasional larger stands of a few hundred acres,1 many of them badly devastated by lumbering, most of them pitiful remnants of the original forests, but all of vast importance from the standpoint of the attractiveness of the highway.

Professor of Dendrology, University of


Northward beyond these scattered groves are more nearly solid stands grouped naturally by the drainage of the region into great forests. Prominent are the Bull Creek and Dyerville flats, culminating the northward stretch of the South Fork groves, Bull Creek at the west in the triangle between the South Fork and its tributary Bull Creek, the Dyerville forest at the east in the triangle

1 It must be understood that one acre of forest even on the most crowded bottom lands means only about three dozen redwoods, 20 inches and more in diameter (known as merchantable timber), with about a dozen additional trees less than 20 inches in diameter. In the mixed forests on the slopes the number of redwoods to the acre may run below 25, inclusive of all sizes.


Donor of Muir Woods, California


Director of National Parks



President, Pacific Division, American Associa tion for the Advancement of Science


Comptroller, University of California


Professor of Forestry, University of California


President, American Museum of Natural

History, New York


State Superintendent of Banks, San Francisco, California


President Emeritus, University of California


President, Leland Stanford Junior University CHARLES B. WING

Acting Chairman, State Redwood Park Commission of California

The immediate purposes of the League are stated as follows:

1. To purchase redwood groves by private subscriptions and by county bond issues.

2. To secure a state bond issue to buy the finest redwood groves along state highways.

3. To establish through federal aid a National Redwoods Park.

4. To obtain through state and county aid the protection of timber along the scenic highways now in course of construction throughout California.

5. To encourage the state to purchase cut-over redwood areas for reforestation by natural means, or by replanting where repeated fires have made sprout reproduction impossible.

The fee for annual membership in the League is two dollars. "Membership is an expression of desire to support the plans proposed. It is hoped that through the coöperation of all organizations and individuals definitely giving their interest to this project the purposes of the movement may be realized while it is still possible to secure those ancient groves which now invite protection.' Professor John C. Merriam is chairman of the Executive Committee.

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