Garcia River Forest Fact Sheet
Garcia River Forest. Photo by Chris Kelly/The Conservation Fund.
- The 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest is in the heart of the Redwood region of California’s North Coast, just 100 miles from San Francisco in Mendocino County. The forest comprises one-third of the watershed of Garcia River and contains a magnificent expanse of redwoods and Douglas firs.
- Garcia River is recognized by the California Department of Fish and Game as a high priority for protection and recovery of the state—and federal—listed coho salmon and steelhead trout. The property also supports Northern spotted owl and numerous other rare plants and animals.
- The purchase of Garcia River Forest in 2004 established the first large nonprofit-owned working forest in California. Today, we continue to sustainably manage this working forest. The Nature Conservancy scientists, who assisted in developing the forest’s management plan, conduct forest-carbon research and monitor biodiversity conservation on the property.
- The redwood forest type that dominates Garcia River is remarkably resilient and productive: Redwood trees sprout from stumps, there are few pests or diseases and the forest can produce lumber that is uniquely beautiful, durable and valuable.
- Like most large timbered properties, Garcia River Forest was owned by a succession of timber companies. This history of intensive industrial timber management left a legacy of depleted inventories of merchantable timber, a network of fragile roads on steep slopes of eroding soils and miles of spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead clogged with sediments.
- In February 2008, the Garcia River Forest became one of the first forests—and the largest—to receive verification as a source of greenhouse gas reductions under the protocols of the Climate Action Reserve.