Thu Jan 26, 2012, 08:45 PM
PufPuf23 (5,527 posts)
Wrong - The largest patch of old growth redwood forest remaining in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Ca
The Getty Photo is wrong in except for one tree that looks like 3rd growth and on corporate, most likely former Pacific Lumber lands by Scotia and not Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
That looks like one old growth (pre-European) coast redwood that was topped and limbed and used as a spar tree for railroad and steam donkey logging. Most of picture and the immediate trees are most 3rd and and some 4th growth coppice redwood forest.
The largest contiguous original growth, about 10,000 acres is the Rockefeller Forest that is part of Humboldt Redwoods State Park and located farther south.
There is close to 40,000 acres of pre-European old growth in Redwood National Park and co-managed older State Parks in northern Humboldt and southern Del Norte counties but more fragmented. My guess is that Prairie Creek Redwoods and adjacent Federal National Parks lands are the 2nd largest. Prairie Creek and Jeramiah Johnson State Park along the lower Smith River in Del Norte county are awesome as is the Redwood Creek trail to the Tall Tree Grove within Redwood National Park and the Redwood National Park expansion (about 42,000 acres post WWII clearcut or oak grassland and 6,000 acres uncut pre-european primeval forest) in the late 1970s.
There were about 2,000,000 acres of coast redwood forest. Not all was the lower elevation forests on alluvial flats that one typically sees in photos but mixed transitional zone forests on steeper slopes where redwood grew along Douglas-fir, grand fir, and other species. Lady Bird Johnson Grove in Redwood National Park provides a good example of the mixed redwood forest specifically if one gets off the nature trail and views the steeper slopes in the eastern portions of the "grove".
The Headwaters Forest was a portion of the Pacific Lumber / Maxxam ownership where old growth redwood and recently cutover lands were sold to the Feds circa 1999. Preservation of the Headwaters is the result of the demonstrations and tree sits referred to as "Redwood Summer". While focus was on the Headwaters, Maxxum concentrated on clearcutting never logged Mixed Evergreen (Doug fir-Tanoak-Madrone) on the fringes of their 230,000 acre ownership and removing residual old growth from stands that had been cutover in the booming post WWII days where California still had an ad valorum tax on timber (since 1976? yield tax on harvest) and cutting 70% of standing volume removed a parcel from taxation for 30 years prior to the 1976 changes in the CA Forest Practice Act. Simpson Timber, a private WA State corporation that is the largest owner of commercial redwood timberland and owns more of the Yurok Reservation than does the Yurok Tribe) cut most of the remainder of their own old growth and the old growth purchased from Arcata Redwood circa 1990, located in northern Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Temperate zone rain forests are rare globally. The three largest are in order the Pacific Coast for Alaska to Northern California; southern Chile, and parts of southern Australia and Tasmania.
Australia is the home of the largest Eucalypts as noted above. The tallest and heaviest stand of hardwood (broad leaf dicots as compared to coniferous monocot species) in North America is the introduced species eucalyptus grove on the UC Berkeley campus.
In southern Chile the Alerce is another large and ancient tree of the rare temperate rainforest and largest native tree of South America.
One should also mention the Giant Sequoia of the southern Sierra Nevada of California. Individual Giant Sequoias are the largest trees in mass but cannot match the coast redwood (and some Eucalypts in height nor stand volume).
IMO the harvesting of pre-european examples and intact ecosystems of these unusual species, reminders of the last pre-ice age vegetation communities, is immoral, unenlightened, and impedes science. Science today is looking at last chance observations and preservation of DNA diversity of dominant pre-ice age mega-flora.
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