In 2011, we partnered with  Sempervirens FundSave the Redwoods League, The Nature Conservancy and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to acquire the 8,532-acre San Vicente Redwoods property near Davenport and protect it in perpetuity. In 2019, we protected an adjacent 320 acres. Preserving this landscape was a significant step in our work to enhance and restore this vital redwood forest.

We know that managing this landscape matters. After all, San Vicente Redwoods is one of the Santa Cruz Mountains’ largest continuous protected forest areas. As such, it significantly impacts the health of our entire region. It provides clean air, clean water, a place for wildlife and carbon sequestration. In addition, a portion of the property offers a place to recreate for all who live and visit here.

Redwoods Program POST
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In August 2020, the CZU Lightning Complex fire burned through much of this forest. It was one of the largest and most destructive fires the Santa Cruz Mountains has experienced in recorded history. The impacts of this fire and our work to mitigate the fire’s severity are still being assessed, and will take years to understand fully. But it’s clear this forest will keep transforming as it recovers from this fire and our climate continues to change.

Our adaptive management of this forest landscape — a continual evaluation and refinement process — is an essential approach to large-scale conservation. We see San Vicente Redwoods as a “living laboratory” where we can learn from the forest’s response to the fire and our restoration efforts. Studying what we previously did and how the forest reacted post-fire is crucial. It serves as a baseline for trying innovative science-based approaches to improve forest health. These approaches can help achieve nature-based climate solutions such as carbon sequestration in the forest. For me, it’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of California’s forest restoration and to be playing an important role in our fight against climate change.

In December 2022, San Vicente Redwoods opened 7.3 miles of trails to the public. To scope out this awe-inspiring landscape, you must first register for passes. These initial trails are only the beginning of what you will one day be able to explore. We envision that the future will bring a 38-mile multi-use trail system, with construction and public access management led by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

San Vicente Redwoods is a large, complex landscape that takes time to fully comprehend. If you are interested in joining us on that journey and learning more about our work at San Vicente Redwoods, check out these stories:

Fire practitioners stand beside an engine while monitoring a controlled burn

Bringing Good Fire Back to Local Lands

January 9, 2022

Learn more about planning and executing prescribed burns, from the perspective of POST’s resident good fire practitioner. Find the full story here.

Staff walk among burned redwood trees evaluating the forest's health.

Preparing the Forest for Fire: Shaded Fuel Breaks

July 2, 2022

Removing dense vegetation from forest floors prevents mega fires. Creating these shaded fuel breaks prepares San Vicente Redwoods for wildfire season. Find the full story here.

These Cute Wildlife Photos Have a Serious Purpose

May 30, 2023

How can we create new trail systems that better balance the needs of both creatures and people? That’s what we’re learning from an ongoing study. Find the full story here.

What to Expect Along San Vicente Redwoods’ New Trails

November 28, 2022

In late 2022, San Vicente Redwoods opened its trails to the public. Here’s what to expect when you visit this magnificent and fascinating landscape. Find the full story here.

Forest Management 101: Preparing for a Healthier Future

August 3, 2022
Learn more about sustainable forest management with this primer — replete with a glossary of terms —  for anyone who’s eager to brush up on the basics. Find the full story here.

SVR Forest Manager plants a redwood sapling.

23,000 Redwood Trees Planted in San Vicente Redwoods

February 18, 2022
With the help of our partners in the field, a new generation of redwood trees is taking root at POST-protected San Vicente Redwoods in the aftermath of the CZU Fire. Find the full story here.

Young redwoods in a burn area in San Vicente Redwoods

Learnings from the CZU Fire: Now Is the Time to Act

August 4, 2021
After a year of reflection, good conversations and careful research, here’s what we’ve learned from the CZU Fire and where we go from here. Find the full story here.

Tree seedling - POST

From the Ashes, A New Forest Rises

February 26, 2021
The CZU Lightning Complex Fire that burned most of San Vicente Redwoods in the summer of 2020 presented a unique opportunity to restore redwood and Douglas Fir within Deadman Gulch and we’re making the most of it. Find the full story here

A Look at San Vicente Redwoods After the Fire

November 9, 2020
Dr. Peter Cowan, POST’s Director of Conservation Science, reports back on his visit to this property after the fires and explores the next steps for managing this vital landscape. Find the story here.

Fire fighter carrying a torch through the brush of San Vicente Redwoods.

Fighting Fire with Fire

April 2, 2020
As the climate continues to change, out of control, destructive wildfires will become a great threat to this forest’s health and nearby communities. We’re combatting that threat with proactive management, including using low-intensity fires to reduce fuel loads. Find the story here.

Stewardship crew moves wood in dense forest.

A Tribal Band Reconnects with Ancestral Lands

March 3, 2020
Through projects at San Vicente Redwoods, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust are healing more than the forest, they’re also healing their connection to the land. Find the story here.

The Houseplant That Tried to Take Over San Vicente Creek

October 23, 2018
Clematis vitabla, a highly invasive plant, was taking over a 30-acre portion of San Vicente Creek. Left unchecked, it could have slowly taken over the entire creek and its important vegetation. But, with the help of our partners, we put a stop to this voracious plant. Find the story here.

Making of Giants - POST

The Making of Giants

June 5, 2018
Much of the forest that has grown back at San Vicente Redwoods is overcrowded and not healthy. With too much competition for available resource, the forest is struggling to recover. To help, we are selectively thinning parts of the forest to accelerate its recovery — allowing the biggest trees to grow bigger. Find the full story here.

Logs crossing a stream, slowing its current.

Fighting for Coho Salmon in San Vicente Creek

April 4, 2018
Coho salmon still return to the fresh waters of San Vicente Creek, but their numbers are hovering on the brink of extinction. Through careful restoration of the creek’s habitat, we hope to save this species — a critical member and link in the local ecosystem. Find the story here.

Amah Mutsun ignite ceremonial fire by hand.

Bring Back Fire to the Land

October 21, 2016
In the fall of 2016, we supported the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s first ceremonial fire on ancestral land in over 200 years. Find the full story here.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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