Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
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6.09.2011 - 9 comments 

The next step in my "bucket list" knock off just happened to be the Redwood National (and State Parks) that are located along the coast of northern California. They are really not too far from our visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park and the path that led us through the City of Redding, California.

There are several areas that comprise Redwood National Park and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 133,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres.

I am not sure if any of you saw the program that National Geographic Magazine did on these Redwood Trees in this area or not but if you get a chance to see it, it is definitely a must see for me. You can even stream it on NetFlix if you have it. It relates two different stories about the Redwoods. One is about trying to photograph them and the other is about tow people who try and find the most southern and northern groves of Redwoods. It was a quest that they did on foot and it took almost a full year and they traveled about 1,500 miles.

These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In fact they are said to be the largest living thing on the planet. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, and 37 miles of pristine coastline.

In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast. The northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco and other places on the West Coast.

After many decades of unobstructed clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began. By the 1920s the work of the Save-the-Redwoods League, founded in 1918 to preserve remaining old-growth redwoods, resulted in the establishment of Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks among others.

Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged. The National Park Service (NPS) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) administratively combined Redwood National Park with the three abutting Redwood State Parks in 1994 for the purpose of cooperative forest management and stabilization of forests and watersheds as a single unit.

The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened animal species such as the Brown Pelican, Tidewater Goby, Bald Eagle, Chinook Salmon, Northern Spotted Owl, and Steller's Sea Lion. In recognition of the rare ecosystem and cultural history found in the parks, the United Nations designated them a World Heritage Site on September 5, 1980 and an International Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983.

The Park was spectacular and even though there is no way (short of using the National Geographic Magazine's photographer) to even try to get the huge perspective and enormity of these trees, I have tried to capture at least some of the magnificent size of these giant trees and the beauty of this National Park for you to enjoy.

"Our redwood trees are treasures that need to be protected and preserved. By adding more than 25,000 acres to Redwood National Park , this legislation would help conserve the redwood forest, provide watershed protection, and protect wildlife habitats." ~ Diane Feinstein