Russian River Watershed
Protecting a Redwood Forest
John Steinbeck once described redwoods as “not like any trees we know; they are ambassadors from another time.”
The giant and ancient redwoods of California have captivated humans as long as we have lived here. As Steinbeck writes, they are like ambassadors from another time, almost primordial in their existence with a lifespan averaging 2,000 years or more. According to Save the Redwoods League, only five percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest endures, leaving most of the remaining redwood acreage across the state comprised of second- and third-growth trees. With our redwood forests both younger and dwindling, it is vital to protect their ecosystems where we can.
In 1992, we purchased an 89-acre property near Duncans Mills, now named Freezeout Redwoods, to protect valuable redwood and riparian habitat. Located along the Russian River, this property was sold to the Land Trust with the intention of sparing this unique piece of land from future logging, subdivision or development. The purchase was made possible thanks to longtime philanthropist and environmentalist Iva Warner, who donated her Santa Rosa home to Sonoma Land Trust in 1989, allowing us to use the proceeds to then purchase Freezeout Redwoods.
In addition to protecting the second-growth redwoods and Douglas fir, the native streamside trees and shrubs here will forever provide cover for songbirds, raptors, terrestrial animals and aquatic wildlife.