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California Group Raises $7.5M to Save Redwoods

March 25, 2011 | San Francisco Chronicle | CA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peter Fimrite
Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
pfimrite@sfchronicle.com

 

426-Acre Swath of the Noyo River Canyon Conserved

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- A San Francisco nonprofit raised $7.5 million to buy up a 426-acre swath of the Noyo River Canyon and save the land's ancient redwoods from being torn down by a private company.


Save the Redwoods League beat an April 1 deadline set by Willits Redwood Co., the company that owns the land and was threatening to log the trees. The sale will allow the group to give the land -- the largest privately owned old-growth forest on the West Coast -- to a conservation organization.


"We've had remarkable success raising money in a tough economy, and now we get to purchase that land and ensure that the trees won't be harvested," said executive director Ruskin Hartley. "People up in Mendocino County have been fighting to preserve this grove for 30 years and we're just following their lead."


The redwoods, the oldest of which have been around for more than 1,500 years, cover 123 acres. The land also provides a habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including the northern spotted owl, the bald eagle and the Pacific fisher. The Noyo Canyon also provides a breeding ground for several salmon species and hosts rare species like the northern red-legged frog and the southern torrent salamander.


Had the sale not been completed, Willits Redwood was planning to log the old trees, which can draw more than 10 times as much for their wood than younger redwoods.

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