Mendocino County, located about 3 hours north of San Francisco, has some of the most rugged and untouched coastline available, and it’s been given a rare chance to be preserved permanently.
Save the Redwoods League, a large nonprofit devoted to preserving and restoring natural land in California, has negotiated an agreement to purchase the Lost Coast Redwoods property, which currently belongs to the Soper timber company. The property contains about five miles of undeveloped land in Mendocino County and is home to a sprawling 2,250-acre forest of second-growth coast redwoods, as well as ancient Douglas fir and grand fir trees.
Here’s the pickle: In order for Save the Redwoods League to secure the land and save it from future logging, they must raise at least $36.9 million by December 31, for a later total of $43.4 million, in order to fund the purchase and stewardship of the property. Every donation made before the end of December will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $1 million.
“The Lost Coast Redwoods property is the largest privately owned California coastline in the coast redwood range and the League’s highest priority land acquisition,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. “The property’s expansive redwood forest, spanning 5 miles of spectacular California coastline, was under direct threat of accelerated harvesting or development. We must act quickly to ensure these mature second-growth redwoods continue on a path to becoming an old-growth redwood forest for future generations.”
The Lost Coast Redwoods property has been under the Soper Company’s ownership since 1963, and much of the land has been logged. The company has worked diligently to practice ethical logging and sustainable management, leading the timber industry in healthy redwood growth and ethical practices.
“This sale represents a unique opportunity to purchase more than 5 miles of California coastline inclusive of beaches, trails, open space, streams and a high concentration of quality timber,” said Aric Starck, executive chairman of Soper Company. “We are pleased to partner on this acquisition with Save the Redwoods League.”
Save the Redwoods League is celebrating this rare opportunity to save a large piece of natural California coastline, which otherwise would be under immediate threat of accelerated logging. If the purchase succeeds, the land will be an essential protected habitat for imperiled species and important waterways. They also hope to expand public access to the area by improving trails and providing people with more opportunities to enjoy the redwoods.
The League has secured over $10 million for the project in private donations, and they continue to pursue financing in order to meet the December 31st deadline. If you’re interested in donating to Save the Redwoods League, you can learn more on their donation page.
Featured image: Courtesy of Save the Redwoods League