San Francisco redwood conservationists fundraising to protect 1,000-year-old California sequoias

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The San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League announced on Thursday that it has negotiated an agreement to purchase and protect the 160-acre Red Hill property, one of the two largest unprotected giant sequoia properties in the world.

The Tulare County property, on the southern fork of the Tule River 200 miles from Los Angeles, is home to 110 ancient giant sequoia and provides a critical habitat for a rainbow of imperiled species including the Pacific fisher, Sierra marten and California spotted owl. 

“Giant sequoia are the largest and among the oldest living things in the world, standing in scattered groves along the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada,” said Sam Hodder, League president and chief executive officer. “Ninety-eight percent of those acres are protected in public ownership. The Red Hill Grove is a substantial part of that last 2 percent. With this acquisition, we have a rare chance to permanently protect a truly ancient forest with trees over 1,000 years old.”  

The League is now seeking to raise $4 million from private sources by June 25, and will eventually transfer the property to the U.S. Forest Service for permanent protection as part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. In the meantime, an anonymous donor has agreed to match all gifts dollar-for-dollar by the deadline up to $2 million.

The League signed an agreement to buy the property from the Nicholas family, of Porterville, who has owned the land since 1970. 

“My mother bought Red Hill almost 50 years ago and our family has cared for this forest ever since," said Michael Nicholas. "There is no other property like it in the world. ”  

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