Cali-Roots: For those just learning about RFFI, can you explain your mission as an organization?
RFFI: Sure! The Redwood Forest Foundation is a grass-roots, non-profit organization that acquires, protects, restores and manages forestlands and other related resources in the Redwood Region for the long-term benefit of the communities located there.
Quite a mouthful, I know! RFFI was created by local residents who worked together to transcend the bitter strife known as the “Timber Wars.” In 1997, after years of working to move beyond the rancor and sometimes violent conflict to establish common ground, a group of stakeholders with widely divergent perspectives formed the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI). In 2007, RFFI bought the Usal Redwood Forest, a 50,000 acre redwood forest. These once-warring stakeholders now work together to sustainably manage the forest in order to revitalize the ecology, economy and social equity of the redwood region. We have a number of other projects that you can read about at www.rffi.org.
Cali-Roots: What is a Community Forest and why are they so important?
Coastal redwood seedling will be planted this winter; photo by Andrea Horvath
RFFI: First of all, preserving forests of all kind is very important. More than 14 million acres of virgin forest is lost or subdivided each year with alarming results. “Community Forest” means different things to different people. RFFI sees it as a wonderful ecological and economic resource, a forest where local residents play an active role in the management of their natural resources. It is important because a forest of this size benefits the planet and the wildlife, fish and people who live in it and nearby. The RFFI perspective on community forests is founded on the integration of social, economic and environmental values.
Cali-Roots: This partnership is very exciting!
RFFI: We agree! We are very excited about this partnership with like-minded folks – Cali-Roots like RFFI is a grass-roots organization that is demonstrating that economic and ecological goals can be achieved simultaneously with enjoyment and social engagement. We love the symbolism of the Redwood Pass. It offers us an opportunity to partner throughout the redwood region from the Oregon border to Monterey county, the only place in the world where coastal redwood forests grow naturally.
Cali-Roots: Over 800 trees will be planted because of this partnership. What type of carbon offset and benefits will come from planting those trees?
RFFI: Recent university studies confirm that redwood forests remove and store more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forest on the planet. We all try to reduce our own carbon footprint. Planting redwoods, redwood reforestation, takes it one step further; it actually removes some of the carbon dioxide that is changing our climate. These redwoods convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and water and store the carbon for thousands of years. In time, other redwoods will be planted at this spot; together they will also provide wildlife habitat and other benefits.
Cali-Roots: Where will the trees dedicated to the Redwood Passholders be planted?
RFFI: We will provide 800 redwood seedlings that were carefully nurtured from locally gathered seeds. They will be planted this winter in honor of Cali-Roots and the Redwood Passholders in Point Arena, CA, on land owned by our partner – “This Will Take Time” (TWTT). It is part of a larger reforestation project that this non-profit organization has underway at the TWTT site. Once the trees are in the ground you will be able to view them online at www.rffi.org.
This Will Take Time, located in Point Arena, CA; photo by Tara Shi
Cali-Roots: Will Redwood passholders be able to actually visit these trees?
RFFI: For sure! “This Will Take Time” and RFFI will hold two events a year to celebrate and make the trees available to Cali-Roots Redwood Passholders. In addition, visits can be made by prior appointment at other times. Please ask your Redwood Passholders to contact Lin Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org for the details.
Cali-Roots: For those wanting to get involved, what can they do?
RFFI: We thrive on community involvement.
First, Volunteer! We need all kinds of help. We have local volunteers and those who help us from a distance.
Secondly, Donate! Online donations are easy to make. A fun way to donate is through our Plant a Redwood Now program. Donors can make a donation and have redwoods planted in honor of family, friends and loved ones. This is a great gift for any occasion.
Finally, Spread the word! Sign-up for our newsletter and periodic eBlasts. And visit us on social media. Like them! Share them with friends and family