Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative
We simply must accelerate the rate of learning.

Recent advances enable Save the Redwoods League and a team of pioneering scientists to unlock the record of environmental changes stored in redwood tree rings. From individual trees to whole forests, we will study redwood growth, vulnerabilities, early indicators of stress and how these trees might respond to predicted climate changes.

Save the Redwoods League has united leading scientists Stephen C. Sillett and Robert Van Pelt of Humboldt State University and Todd Dawson and Anthony Ambrose of the University of California, Berkeley, to launch the Initiative. Their studies will yield results that quantify redwoods’ vulnerabilities to climatic changes and their capacities to mitigate these changes via photosynthesis, fog interception, wood production and carbon sequestration. They are uniquely qualified, in part, because they have developed many of the methods to obtain the study’s data.

The scientists are:

  • studying whole-tree and whole-forest rates of annual wood production back 1,000 years in forest plots throughout the redwood ranges. These measurements will help the team predict tree and forest growth in response to changing climates
  • reconstructing past climates to learn how redwoods responded to environmental conditions
  • assessing how redwoods are responding to current conditions
  • planning to manipulate temperature, carbon dioxide and water in greenhouse experiments to examine how redwood seedlings and saplings from different parts of the ranges might react to climatic changes

Go Meet the Core Science Team

Strategies for Survival

Possible ways the Initiative findings could help redwoods survive in the future include

  • Protecting cooler and moister habitats so the trees will have a place to grow if their current range becomes too warm or dry
  • Guiding economic incentives for sustainable logging practices
  • Developing more sophisticated water and buffer management in the forecasted redwood range, in partnership with redwood forest landowners
  • Informing new public policy

Outcomes of the Initiative

  • Gain the critical data necessary to develop strategies for helping redwoods adapt to rapid environmental changes, thereby protecting the diverse ecosystems they define
  • Understand how restoration techniques can utilize carbon storage potential in the redwoods
  • Focus our conservation work in the places that need it most
  • Preserve watersheds to benefit redwood ecosystems, wildlife and people
  • Restore forests for the future
  • Gather data to inform sound public policy and conservation management strategies
  • Create a model for studying and protecting other forest ecosystems in California, the Pacific Northwest and the world
  • Inspire renewed hope for future generations to experience the wonder of ancient redwood forests

Integrity, Power & Passion

The Integrity of the Initiative lies in the integrated nature of the collaboration. The best redwood scientists in the world will develop and use established protocols and cutting-edge technology, linking ground based data, watershed plots and airplane based LiDAR data to scale up the findings.

The Power of the Initiative is that the data will inform models to understand the past, analyze impacts of current environmental changes, and help develop adaptive strategies for the future.

The Passion for the Initiative is reflected in the League’s more than 90-year history of success in protecting the redwoods. We must protect the existing redwood forests and work to ensure the future of the species.

With your help, the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative will succeed!

Sunlit canopy

Photo by Phil Schermeister.

Save the Redwoods League

For more than 90 years, Save the Redwoods League has been dedicated to protecting the ancient redwood forests so all generations can experience the inspiration and majesty of redwoods. In 1850, there were nearly 2 million acres of ancient coast redwood forests in California. Today, less than 5 percent remains and faces threats from unsustainable logging practices, poorly planned development and global climate change. Since its founding in 1918, the League has completed the purchase of more than 190,000 acres of land.

Save the Redwoods League
114 Sansome Street, Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: 415-362-2352