Save the Redwoods League

Prairie Creek
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Since its founding in 1918, Save the Redwoods League members have saved countless old-growth and second-growth coast redwoods and giant sequoias from destruction. Through fundraising, the League has purchased forests—creating and expanding more than 60 parks and reserves that are now part of our California State Parks and the National Parks systems.

The League’s mission is to protect and restore redwood forests and connect people with their peace and beauty, so these wonders of the natural world flourish. For those who have had the chance to stand in a redwood grove, few life experiences compare. This belief motivated its founders to establish the League.

In 1917, the head of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather, persuaded the League’s founders—prominent conservationists John C. Merriam, Madison Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn—to investigate the state of the redwood forests in Northern California. They heard that construction of the new Redwood Highway would open up the area to more logging and tourism, threatening the ancient trees.

SRL Redwood Highway
Building the Redwood Highway

Along the Mendocino County coast, the founders passed logging operations. Farther north, along the Eel River, they saw practically undisturbed forests. Farther north, they reached the Bull Creek-Dyerville Flat area in Humboldt County, an area dense with gigantic redwoods.

The forest’s awe-inspiring beauty compelled League founders to remove their hats and speak only in whispers. That evening, they agreed that a park was needed to save a part of that forest for future generations.

Thanks to its loyal members, the League has achieved much to realize their founders' vision. The work, however, is not done.

Humboldt Redwoods
Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Today the work needed to protect redwood forests is more difficult. Ancient redwoods slated for cutting need to be protected. Redwood forests protected in state and national parks face such threats as devastating government budget cuts. These cuts reduce the numbers of personnel to protect redwoods from threats such as illegal logging and pollution. Some of these lands are still struggling to recover from years of damage.

Save the Redwoods League’s ongoing work includes purchasing redwood forests and the surrounding landscapes that nurture them; restoring logged lands where protected redwood forests need to thrive; inspiring people to support the League’s work; studying the forests to understand how to best protect them; and partnering with a range of organizations to ensure that these forests receive the care to secure their survival.

California State Parks could never have accomplished its mission without the League, and we are proud to continue our long partnership. To learn more about Save the Redwoods League, visit