Redwood National Park is Growing

Redwood National ParkThe biggest trees in the nation now have more room to grow. Nearly 26,000 acres have been added to the in northern California (map). That addition is an area nearly as large as the entire city of San Francisco. If you've never visited this park before, you might be surprised that it's actually on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, the park holds 37 miles of coastline. It is among the more picturesque locations along a 1000 mile stretch of Highway 101, which crawls along the coast from in the the state of Washington all the way down to outside of San Francisco, California.

The history of the Redwood National Park is somewhat interesting. Old growth Redwood trees are a very valuable commodity. The state of California didn't really want to lock them away in a . In fact, in opposition to the creation of the park, as governor is famously quoted as saying "A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?" But, a report called "The Redwoods" given to President Johnson outlined 5 important reasons for a the preservation of the area:
  1. The redwoods are a significant part of our heritage and they need preservation
  2. There is an urgent need to preserve additional acreage of virgin growth in a major redwoods park.
  3. It is essential to do this to offset continuing attrition and encroachments and to provide opportunity for future generations to see and enjoy these magnificent forests.
  4. Of the original redwoods forest comprising some 1,941,000 acres, about 750,000 acres of old growth redwoods remain. About 300,000 acres are essentially untouched virgin growth of which approximately 50,000 acres or 2-1/2 percent of the original redwood forests are protected in California State Parks.
  5. At the present annual rate of redwoods harvesting, about nine hundred million board feet, all old growth redwoods not protected in parks will be gone by the year 2000, and probably in 20 to 30 years.

In October of 1968, Congress agreed with the President that this area was worthy of protection, and created the Act which created the park. The First Lady flew to California to dedicate the new park.
[The creation of Redwood National Park] is the crowing moment of a crusade which has lasted two generations. ... Now the dream of nature lovers and conservationists is a reality. ... This is my first visit here, except in my imagination. I've been waiting to come here all my life.
~ Lady Bird Johnson

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