Near the California/Oregon border, near Crescent City, is Redwood National Park. Within this beautiful park (which I have not personally visited), there is a small grove of giant redwoods, discovered in the 1990s, nicknamed the “Grove of Titans”. The biggest two are the fourth and fifth largest known coastal redwoods in the world, and they are surely magnificent.
There was a story in today’s paper about the grove, talking about how secret it used to be, but how popular it now is, which is dangerous for the very trees that people are trekking in to see. Redwood trees have very shallow roots, and are sensitive to people walking on the ground in their area (I never knew this…). So as more and more visitors are making their way, blazing trails, the trees are becoming stressed, as is the underbrush around them. It could become fatal to the trees.
There is a solution, however, which is to build elevated walkways and viewing platforms, like they have at Muir Woods. Some of the underbrush would suffer, but the roots would be saved, and thus, hopefully, the trees. The problem is that the estimated cost to build such walkways and platforms would be over $1.4 million. There is a crowdfunding site where you can donate, if you’re so inclined, which has thus far raised about $15,000.
The park has put up signs warning people not to encroach, and there are cameras to capture footage of people trespassing, but I suspect that few people who have hiked all that way to see these mighty trees are willing to be the ones to turn around without getting close. The truth is, every person who goes to the grove (including, I assume, the photographer who took the pictures above) is causing damage. The park says the walkways will be built, but it is going to take time. Probably a lot of time, there is little to no state funding for the project.
Just in time for Giving Tuesday, if you are able and inclined, you can donate towards the construction of walkways and viewing platforms to save these mighty trees, here.