The following is a press release issued by the Save the Redwoods League:
Save the Redwoods League today announced that it has purchased the 3,181-acre Lost Coast Redwoods property in Mendocino County from timberland owner Soper Company for $36.9 million.
After negotiating the rare opportunity to protect 5 miles of privately owned coastline in November 2021, the League raised $19 million in private donations from 4,884 individuals and foundations from across the United States and 10 other countries. Raising this much funding in less than two months is a record for the nonprofit organization. Loans and other financing enabled the League to finalize the purchase in the seller’s required timeframe.
The League will continue fundraising in 2022, seeking public and private funding to repay the loans and support the permanent protection, restoration and stewardship of the property. Leading that effort is a new challenge grant that will match new donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million through March 31 from The Goodman Family Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund.
“Adding 5 miles of spectacular shoreline and thousands of acres of redwood forest to California’s protected coast is an extraordinary investment in our future,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. “With people from around the world offering their generous support, it’s clear that the public cares deeply about the beauty and wildness of California’s coastline and redwood forests.”
“Now that we have removed the immediate threat of timber harvesting and development,” Hodder continued, “the work begins to complete the conservation vision, secure full funding and work with our tribal, state and federal partners to add this land to the protected mosaic of California’s Lost Coast.”
With the purchase of the property, the League can now begin to restore the former timberland, explore opportunities to expand public access to the famed Lost Coast and identify a permanent steward.
About Lost Coast Redwoods
The 3,181-acre Lost Coast Redwoods property includes 5 miles of shoreline and an expansive 2,250-acre forest. Though most of the property had been aggressively logged in prior decades, second-growth coast redwoods, Douglas-fir and grand fir ranging in age from 80 to 100 years make up a significant portion of the forest, with large old-growth trees scattered throughout.
The property supports abundant habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout, culturally and ecologically important species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act. This property is also home to Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer and mountain lions.
Offshore, the recently designated Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area buffers this sensitive coastline and protects sea lions and other marine life along the undeveloped shoreline. The islands offshore, including Vizcaino Rock, support more than 11,500 nesting seabirds.
Potential Future Public Access Along the Lost Coast
Protection of Lost Coast Redwoods and its 5 miles of iconic California coastline at the southern gateway to the 57-mile-long undeveloped Lost Coast is a critical investment in California’s biodiversity, climate resilience and equitable access to nature.
Lost Coast Redwoods is adjacent to the League’s Shady Dell property and within a quarter-mile of its Cape Vizcaino property. This connectivity offers the potential for the League and its partners to expand public access in the area and extend the famed Lost Coast Trail southward from Shady Dell.