Usal Redwood Forest
Usal Forest. Photo by Richard Geigner.
Almost twice the size of San Francisco, the 50,000-acre Usal Redwood Forest, in Mendocino County, is a classic sweep of California coastline. Here, stands of redwood and Douglas fir trees mix with more varied forests, oak woodlands and streams. Beneath the canopy, you’ll find spotted owls, swifts, coastal frogs, salamanders and other wildlife—and we are making sure it stays that way.
In October 2011, we completed a landmark preservation agreement to protect this “working forest,” which provides timber and community jobs. According to the agreement, the nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation, which owns the Usal Forest, will sustainably harvest the land in a way that prohibits development or fragmentation; restores and maintains a healthy balance of trees; improves water quality; and more. In exchange for contractually committing to this sustainable style of forest management, the Redwood Forest Foundation gains needed public financing to support these efforts.
To save this community forest, we led a complex, collaborative team that negotiated the preservation agreement and secured the financing to help the Redwood Forest Foundation achieve its conservation goals. Our partners included the Wildlife Conservation Board, the Save the Redwoods League and the California Coastal Conservancy.