In 2011, we partnered with Sempervirens Fund, Save 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.
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:
May 30, 2023
November 28, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 86,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more