Supporters from every U.S. state helped Save the Redwoods League acquire a 394-acre redwood forest in Sonoma County, named Russian River Redwoods, from the RMB Revocable Family Trust. Save the Redwoods League secured $6.5 million to purchase Russian River Redwoods, including a $2 million bridge loan from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, a $500,000 matching gift from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and donations from more than 2,000 supporters. Donations will also support the nonprofit’s project costs and stewardship of the forest until it can be transferred to Sonoma County for long-term protection.
The purchase of Russian River Redwoods is the next step toward safeguarding the Clar Tree, one of the county’s oldest and tallest coast redwoods, and 1 mile of Russian River frontage near Guerneville.
“The Clar Tree is beloved in this community, and so many people have come together to help us protect this beautiful forest,” said Jeff Stump, senior manager of land protection for Save the Redwoods League. “Thanks to the generosity of more than 2,000 individuals and several significant contributions, including a challenge grant from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, we have purchased the Russian River Redwoods property. We are setting the stage for nearly 400 acres of redwood forest to heal and become old again, so future generations can experience what was lost so long ago.”
Nearly all the old-growth redwood trees at Russian River Redwoods were cut down more than 100 years ago—all except the Clar Tree. This ancient giant is 16 feet in diameter and stands 278 feet tall after the intense winter storms of 2023 sheared roughly 30 feet off the top. As part of the sale of Russian River Redwoods, the RMB Revocable Family Trust donated the Clar Tree to Save the Redwoods League.
The Clar Tree is surrounded by younger redwoods that are regrowing from the roots of the ancient giants. There are dozens of mature trees throughout the property, many of them a century old.
This coast redwood forest is in the traditional lands of the Pomo people. The Russian River is home to steelhead trout and coho and Chinook salmon. Russian River Redwoods includes a half-mile section of Mays Canyon Creek, a well-known stream for steelhead. The site also connects a contiguous habitat corridor of more than 4,000 acres of protected lands, home to northern spotted owls, bobcats, gray foxes and red tree voles.
The League plans to transfer the land to Sonoma County within a year for ongoing stewardship and restoration to improve wildfire resilience and advance the forest toward old-growth form and function. Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District will support and help fund the transfer, and it will receive a conservation easement and recreational covenant over the property to ensure permanent protection and to create an opportunity for future access.
* * *
To access hi-res images and b-roll, visit the League’s online newsroom.
Save the Redwoods League
One of the nation’s longest-running conservation organizations, Save the Redwoods League has been protecting and restoring redwood forests since 1918. The League has connected generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. The nonprofit’s 26,000 supporters have enabled the organization to protect more than 216,000 acres of irreplaceable forest in 66 state, national and local parks and reserves. For information, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org.
View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/save-the-redwoods-league-buys-394-acre-redwood-forest-in-sonoma-including-one-of-the-countys-tallest-trees-165851978