Category Archives: News

Lonely Planet names Redwood Coast “best US destination”

Lonely Planet, the travel-guidebook company, has selected California’s Redwood Coast as its number 1 US destination for 2018. Located four hours north of San Francisco, the wooded region spans 175 miles of coastline in Humboldt County and is home to the Avenue of the Giants, and trees that appear in blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park.

The travel company described the Redwood Coast as “an often overlooked region — even within California — but a vast and varied experience every traveler should have.”

The region, which includes Redwood National Park, is a perfect place to “lose all track of time.” It combines unique natural beauty with old-fashioned Americana and kitsch.

LA Times Adds the Avenue to Its California Bucket List

The Los Angeles times has just added the Avenue of the Giants to their California Bucket List.

As the article says, “This stretch of Humboldt County highway is a journey to the heart of redwood country, the largest remaining expanse of old-growth redwoods in the world.”

It goes on to mention several of the most notable trails and sites along the Avenue.

You’ll find many other interesting things to see and do in California while checking out the Bucket List.  Their are also tags to find Family-Friendly destinations, or attractions within a particular region.

 

 

New Lawsuit to Stop Richardson Grove Project

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) has filed a new lawsuit against California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)  to stop the proposed expansion of US Highway 101 through the Richardson Grove.

The section of highway is just a few miles south of the Avenue of the Giants, and passes through one of the most significant remaining stands of California Coast Redwoods.

CalTrans proposed the project in 2007, claiming that  it is necessary to accommodate larger commercial trucks. However, the project would damage or destroy more than 100 redwoods, many of them 1,000 to 2,000 years old.

The lawsuit was filed on June 23rd by EPIC and allied citizens and environmental groups. Three previous legal challenges blocked construction and forced Caltrans to rescind all project approvals in 2014.

The courts have repeatedly found that Caltrans used faulty and inadequate environmental reviews.  In the most recent decision, the judge found that Caltrans had been “arbitrary and capricious” in its use of what the court called “faulty data.”

The latest Caltrans proposal fails to address objections raised in previous suits.

Learn more about the Richardson Grove project and the lawsuit on the EPIC website.

 

Scientists Climb Redwoods to Study How Trees Resist Drought

Scientists Anthony Ambrose and Wendy Baxter, from UC Berkeley, are placing equipment in the crowns of five Redwood trees in a small grove at Bug Sur, California.  They plan to return to the grove regularly in the coming months to study how the trees are affected by climate conditions.

The equipment they have placed in the trees will monitor light, fog, humidity, temperature, and even the mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere around the trees. In addition, it will allow them to track how much water the trees are using, and how the water flows through the trunk.

Redwoods have the unusual capability to absorb water from fog, which helps to sustain the trees during rain-free months.  One goal of the study is to understand how much of the trees’ water needs are absorbed from fog, versus drawn from the ground.  This is important to predicting how the trees will be affected by climate changes.

 

Park Service Reminds Visitors: Stay on the Trails!

 

stay-on-trail-sign

As more and more people visit the redwoods, the impact of walking off trail is affecting the health of the forest.  In addition to trampling plants, visitors can actually damage the roots of the redwoods, which grow near the surface.

The Park Service will sometimes build wooden walkways near some of the most famous trees (like the Giant Tree on the Bull Creek Flats trail), so visitors can get close without harming the trees or the plant life.

 

Drones Monitor the Health of the Redwoods

Llafranc, Spain. May 29, 2016. Parrot Bebop 2 Drone flying over the mountain in front of a coast city in costa brava, Spain

In order to protect the redwoods from future climate change, scientists must understand many things, including how the giant trees use and respond to water and sunlight.  This often requires laboriously surveying hundreds of acres of forest and surrounding land.

In a new study, Dr. Todd Dawson (a professor of integrative biology and environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley) is using drones to quickly construct detailed resource maps from the air.

By quickly and inexpensively gathering data, the drones free up scientists to focus on more complex research tasks.

The pilot project is partially sponsored by Parrot, a manufacturer of drones for both personal and commercial use.

 

‘Albino’ Redwoods may Act as Natural Filters for Toxins

albino-redwoodWhile hiking in the redwoods, you may sometimes see a small white, or albino, redwood tree. These rare trees are unable to generate chlorophyl, and so they tap into the root systems of surrounding trees in order to survive.

Researchers now theorize that albino redwoods may actually play a useful role in the forest ecosystem.  Zane Moore, a doctoral student at UC Davis, has found that the white trees contain unusually high concentrations of toxic metals such as nickel, copper and cadmium.  He believes that the trees may be acting as filters to remove toxins from the soil, just as the liver and kidneys filter toxins from the human body.

Moore presented his research at the Coast Redwood Science Symposium in Eureka, CA.

 

Avenue of the Giants featured on American Pickers

AmericanPickersA few months ago, the crew of the popular History Channel TV program America Pickers filmed an episode in Humboldt county.

In the episode, hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are seen driving along the Avenue of the Giants.

Among the treasures picked by the guys is a vintage Trees of Mystery sign.  (The Trees of Mystery is about two hours North of the Avenue, on the coast highway.)

For more information, visit the Lost Coast Outpost website.

Some Facts About the Redwoods

redwoodsIn honor of California’s Arbor Day, we’d like to share some fun facts about the Coast Redwoods, courtesy of our friends at the Save the Redwoods League:

  • The Coast Redwoods grow only in a small coastal range from Southern Oregon, to the Big Sur coastline in Northern California.
  • The tallest redwood, Hyperion, is 379 feet tall – the height of a 37 story building!  It is estimated to be 700 to 800 years old.
  • The widest redwood is 27 feet across at its base – equivalent to two VW bugs parked bumper-to-bumper.
  • The oldest Coast Redwoods are over 2,000 years old.  Some of the redwoods alive today sprouted in the days of the Roman Empire.

Rand McNally atlas features Avenue of the Giants on cover

rand-mcnallyThe 2016 Rand McNally Best of the Road Atlas & Guide features a full-page photo of the Avenue of the Giants on the front cover.

Rand McNally spokesperson Rebecca Boykin said, “Our designers sift through hundreds, if not thousands of photos looking for just the right image to capture the magic of various destinations across the U.S. and Canada.”

The 11×14 spiral bound guide includes maps, suggested driving itineraries, mileage and driving charts, and hundreds of photos.

The guide is available from major booksellers, including Amazon.com:

Rand McNally 2016 Best of the Road Atlas & Guide NEW!