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San Vicente Redwoods: A Proforestation Effort To Sustain Hope And Combat Climate Change

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Filmed on-location in Santa Cruz, California at the San Vicente Redwoods in a press preview of the new trail system which will be open to the public on Saturday, 12/3/2022. Listen on your favorite platform, or watch on YouTube here:

Notable quotes kick off the episode:

We’re talking about 8,800 acres right here in the Santa Cruz mountains. That is part of a 1.6 million acre redwood forest ecosystem going from Big Sur all the way up to the Oregon border, most of which is young recovering second and third growth forest. 95% of it is young recovering second growth forest, and in that latent forest ecosystem is a fire resilient landscape that we can restore together if we learn from the lessons of this project.” — Sam Hodder, CEO, Save The Redwoods League

“What’s unusual in this time is the intensity in the crown fires and these absolutely. Gigantic catastrophic wildfires that really destroy entire communities. And so the communities should hear about it and they should hear about the value of that work.” — Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director, The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

For more information on the opening of this trail system this Saturday, 12/3/2022, visit the following website page: https://www.landtrustsantacruz.org/svr/

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San Vicente Redwoods: A Proforestation Effort To Sustain Hope And Combat Climate Change

San Vicente Redwoods Trail Map, Located at: 12001 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz, CA

Corinna Bellizzi: Hello fellow do-gooders and friends. I’m your host, Corinna Bellizzi, and today I’m thrilled to share with you my first on location coverage as I previewed the San Vicente. Redwood Forest Trail System in Santa Cruz, California earlier this month. Now, if you listen to last week’s episode, you got a snapshot of what to expect today, but that snapshot pales in comparison to hearing directly from the four companies without whom this trail system would not have been possible. You’ll learn how the land trust of Santa Cruz County, that’s L T S C C, and the three conservation partners who own and manage the nearly 9,000 acre San Vicente Redwoods property will open the first phase of an envisioned 38 mile multi-use trail system this December 3rd, that’s this coming Saturday.

The other partners are Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, and Save the Redwoods League. Because each clip was recorded on location, you’ll probably hear some background noise now and then some twig breaks and even some background conversation along with the wind, the call of the Red-Tailed Hawk, and the occasional construction vehicle or car passing by on Empire grade. As you listen to each clip or watch it on YouTube, I invite you to think about two things.

This forest project almost came to a screeching halt, and that almost happened many times. First, they had to secure $30 million in funds to set the land aside. Then another $1 million or so to construct the trail system, access road, parking lot, educational signs, hitching posts for the horses, and indeed a bathroom.

Then the CZU Fire Complex nearly prevented the project from being completed. Because that fire destroyed so very much of the redwood forest that exists in our local community.

But as you’ll also learn, the work that these four teams completed may have actually served in certain spots as a fire break and fire abatement. It could have been so much worse than it was, and some homes may even have been saved through their effort.

As we get started, you’ll first meet Sarah Newkirk, who is the executive director of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

 She kicks the conversation off talking about the 2000 or so people, including myself, who have already registered for trail passes to visit the park.

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: I think that a lot of those 2000 people who have registered for trail passes are saying it’s about time. Because it did, it took 10 years to plan and build these trails. And when you think about, again, really the sort of multiple uses of this site by humans and non-humans alike,

The amazing thing is, It occurred in 10 years.

It’s kind of amazing to me that we were able to do it. So we again, planned the trails with a lot of community input, with the help and support of our partners. And in our sort of foursome of groups here, we planned these trails, to avoid conflicts with the threaten and endangered species that are at this property, to avoid conflicts with the other resource uses that are at this property, to avoid interacting with some of the more dangerous characteristics of this property. And so we had to be very careful and very intentional about how we routed them.

We needed to respond to science, and we needed to keep the conservation values of the property p rimary in what we were doing in terms of, routing the trails. To the question earlier about sort of is, is it still the vision that we continue to build future phases? That will really depend on how this experiment plays out.

We have planned very carefully, invested a lot of time and, and sweat in making these trails a reality. We don’t know the extent to which these trails will interact with the natural resources on the property, but we will be ready and able to respond if we find that that’s what’s happening./

We hired the Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Stewardship to build the trails, and again, they did an extraordinary job here . So given all that, even if there hadn’t been a fire that burned, what, 9,000 acres in this area, even if there hadn’t been a fire, it would’ve been a miracle that we were able to bring this to the public in 10 years and given that there was a fire, it really is just an extraordinary thing and we’re really excited to bring the public out here and show them, show them what we’ve done.

Corinna Bellizzi: Now we’ll hear from Walter Moore, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, also known as Post.

Walter Moore, President, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST): And I’m,

 I’m gonna try to address the question of the why and how this opportunity, uh, came to us today. And that is because in 2011, these four groups brought, came together and put together 30 million to buy this 8,600 acre property with support from the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Coastal Conservancy that allowed us to be standing on privately, but protected lands.

When things like the CZU Lightning Complex Fire and opportunities like this incredible trail system that the Land Trust has helped plan and and implement, this group has been able to pull together over 14 million in funding in order to make all of this happen from trails to restoration, to response to the fire to work we did before the fire.

Hopefully lessen some of the impacts and I think from the neighbor’s perspective, help save some of their homes on the other side. Uh, from here, and you’ll see that contrast today along with other restoration work, it has literally become a living laboratory for how we do restoration work, we provide resilient forests.

We have trail quarters in areas where we are being very conscious and sensitive to wildlife habitat and have done a lot of documentation to make sure that that was addressed. So these wonderful opportunities come together in a very divisive time because we’re all working together, and I would say it’s an honor to be here with the other three groups because this would not have happened without of us all working together.

Sarah Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirons Fund: I’m Sarah Barth with Sempervirens Fund, and I agree. Without collaboration, we would not be here. And it’s a model that we’re not seeing replicated elsewhere in the country right now in terms of our leadership. So it seems very timely. I’m here to provide a little bit broader context, and I think it’s important as we go through these trails, you’re gonna see this ecologically rich, spectacular property, but your A, you’re not gonna see all of it.

And B, what you may not see is it’s been heavily impacted for over a century by, resource exploitation and humans behaving in ways on this property that weren’t particularly thoughtful about the natural resources. And, since Sempervirens Fund and Post purchased this property a decade ago and began this four way partnership.

We’ve really embarked on a process of restoration, and I would say our efforts here have been guided by a vision, not only of restoration ecologically, but really restoration in a multifaceted way. And that has led to a series of reconnections, that we would not have anticipated. So when I say restoration, you will see the evidence of and hear about work we’ve done to thin these forests.

Remove invasive species that are crowding out the native species return, burning in the form of prescribed fire to the property. We’ve worked at length to restore the streams, to recreate a habitat that’s conducive to fish, and other aquatic species. It’s been a decade’s long worth of work, to restore the property and it will be ongoing even after these trails are open.

We are mid-project and it will continue on, I suspect, for a very long time. And what we could not have anticipated is the reconnection that has resulted in response to that restoration work. And when I say reconnection, I mean, return of Coho salmon to these streams that had not been here in in recent decades.

Rediscovery of native plants that have emerged on this property even since the fire that haven’t been seen in this county for over a century. Return of the indigenous people whose ancestors were forced off this land and who are now back here reconnecting with the land, working on the stewardship projects and restoring not only themselves and their actual presence, but bringing back some of their cultural practices, again, indigenous, ceremonies that haven’t been seen on this property in over a century. So it’s really a pretty magnificent, broader story of restoration reconnection. And so, the arrival of people to come on these public trails is really also reconnecting the broader public back to this landscape in a way that is appreciating nature, part of nature rather than the previous history of exploitation of nature. So we’re so excited to be part of it and eager to have the public experience this amazing place.

Sam Hodder, CEO, Save the Redwoods: I’m Sam Hodder President and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. We’ve been around for 104 years with the mission of protecting and restoring the redwood forest and connecting people to their peace and beauty.

 Um, I’m gonna talk a little bit about, what these trails mean in the context of, the Bay Area region.

I came to my love of the outdoors on a trail. Every single one of us and each of our staffs, each of our members, everyone in this community found their love of nature and their sense of stewardship on a trail. And through that gateway to a lifelong relationship with the outdoors, trails really are the central nervous system of our connection with nature.

And here we are, maybe 15 miles as the hawk flies from, the 7 million people of the Bay Area. And there aren’t many places, not many opportunities to open a new 8,800 acre park with miles of trails that are brand new for the people to enjoy. And we’ve all, especially these last few years through the pandemic, been to ourour parks and seen how, we kind of emptied out of our isolation to enjoy the outdoors together as a community and how our parks are strained. Given our growing population and our increasing need to get outdoors, to be able to do this collaboratively together, um, in a place that is so representative of both the history, the culture.

And the natural beauty of our, our broader community, it’s really special. So we’re proud to be part of this partnership. We welcome the opportunity, uh, to welcome the public. We are so appreciative for the work of the Land Trust and the broader partnership in getting us to this place. But I also wanted to acknowledge the voters of California who, who understand that good parks make good communities.

They make healthy families and healthier lives. And they bring us together. And so they brought forward programs like the funding for the Wildlife Conservation Board, the Coastal Conservancy, and the millions of dollars that have been invested in this and broader landscape, to protect places for nature and for people.

I will also say that I got to explore the trails this morning and wrote a review on All Trails. It might be the first all trails review, even though it’s not technically open yet,

But, uh, it is really beautiful and, um, gonna be an asset for generations to come.

And that’s it. We’re gonna go for a hike now, I believe. Is that right?

Corinna Bellizzi: At this point in the press interview, we paused. There were two red tailed hawks just circling above, landing in the branches of the trees, a seeming omen of their approval. They called to one another and we all laughed. Now, this park is something special. I call it a park, but it’s a trail system. It’s also something that’s built with all people in mind.

There’s ample handicap parking. There are hitching posts for horses. There are trails dedicated to bicycles, a pet area, and even of course, the standard trails for all of us. I find myself picturing my own children, my youngest son on his strider and my older on a bicycle enjoying the trails with me. I can picture it so well that I’m ready for this Saturday.

The whole feel of this space is community. Here’s Sarah Barth. She’s the executive director of SEPA Veterans Fund. She’s speaking on the parks preparation. Again, almost ready.

Sarah Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirons Fund: From soils to vistas to, you know, erosion concerns. And so to the credit of the land trust, uh, they stopped and reassess the trails based on this new reality on the ground. And I think that is a model of what land management should be and how you think about trails and visiting a landscape when a fire comes through or some other dramatic change to the landscape.

Corinna Bellizzi: For those of you that have listened to this podcast for a while, you’ve heard me talk about the CZU Fire Complex, the devastation of the fire to this community, how many forests burned, how many of my friends lost their homes, and the reality of an evacuation that spanned weeks for many and 10 days for me, even though I was right here by the Highway 17 freeway.

The reality is the devastation is also noticeable here. Here, the access director, Carrie Thompson, steps in for a comment. While she doesn’t love being on camera or in the spotlight, what she shares takes my breath away. So very much work went into this project.

Carie Thompson, Access Director, The Land Trust Of Santa Cruz County: In the big picture, we also had to look at the trails individually. We had to literally assess every single tree that could impact this trail network, which is over 10,000 trees we looked at and we took over a thousand trees down that were hazardous.

One of the great things about this living laboratory is, you know, we had a severe fire that came through here and we’re, we’re seeing the resilience of the trees. There were some trees, we had some, we had some questions about, they might have looked kind of dead as long as they weren’t hazardous to our crews and our future trail users we’re giving them the opportunity to come back and we’ve seen that happen a lot.

We’ve seen this particularly with the redwoods, but also with some of the oaks that we’ll see along the trails today. We’ve seen them be really resilient and come back.

Corinna Bellizzi: We continue on to our next waypoint. I hope you enjoy the on location feel that this provides as much as I do, the crunch of branches underfoot, the jovial nature of these four collaborating companies and all of their contributors. The press that’s there. This is their victory lap.

It’s a celebration, and I, for one, am proud of what they have accomplished together. This effort, the culmination of blood, sweat, tears, and 10 years of work. Here’s Sam Hodder CEO of Save the Redwoods League. Again, for those of you watching on YouTube, you’ll get to see the sign that we are talking about as well.

Sam Hodder, CEO, Save the Redwoods: A sign here about the resiliency of Redwoods, that might be a good spot there. Sure. Well, lemme just quickly read it. So

can you find the redwoods here? The, the Redwoods that in this part are probably there. There you go. Little ones. Yeah. Oh no. Hi. You nozzle it.

Okay. So I, I’m, I’m the part of the tour where we talk about, uh, at least a component of fire resilience and what we can see as we walk these trails. Um, and how visitors to this property can remember that this is a fire resilient landscape. Forest ecosystem has evolved with fire across thousands of years.

Um, what they’re not used to is the level of intensity that we’ve been seeing in recent fires, nor are they used to responding to fire after a hundred years of mismanagement if I could be so bold or extraction. Um, so the, the balance of the forest ecosystem and our efforts collaboratively to restore it is part of bringing resilience back.

And, and kind of hitching our wagon to the natural fire resilience of a mature coast Redwood forest.

Anything else? Anything I forgot. , I could also just turn around and read this cool interpretive panel. .

Sarah Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirons Fund: Well, I think one thing to add, Sam, is our organizations did a lot of work on the landscape before the CZU wildfire thinning, removal of invasives prescribed burning, done with our Ahma muon partner.

And we saw when the big fire came through that those areas did better where we had done that kind of restorative work. And so it’s also a chance, I think, to educate the public about how that kind of active forest management can diminish the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires going forward.

Sam Hodder, CEO, Save the Redwoods: Yep, absolutely. And I think it’s a microcosm more a lesson for the stewardship of the broader redwood forest. We’re, we’re talking about 8,800 acres right here in the Santa Cruz mountains. That is part of a 1.6 million acre redwood forest ecosystem going from Big Sur all the way up to the Oregon border, most of which is young recovering second and third growth forest.

95% of it is young recovering second growth forest, and in that latent forest ecosystem is a fire resilient landscape that we can restore together if we learn from the lessons of this project.

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: What’s unusual in this time is the intensity in the crown fires and these absolutely. Gigantic catastrophic wildfires that really destroy entire communities.

And so the communities should hear about it and they should hear about the value of that work,

uh, to their homes.

Corinna Bellizzi: We moved on to an overlook at the crest of the trail, and we could see from the mountains to the sea. Everyone takes a moment to settle and figure out where they want to stand, where they should be looking and who they’re talking to. Myself included. Sarah Barth kicks us off connecting our present reality to one of a future in which this very trail system connects to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument. You’ll then briefly hear from Carrie Thompson again and Sarah Newkirk, both from the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County as they discuss future expansion and the impact of these properties on wildlife, including our beloved mountain lion.

Sarah Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirons Fund: How’s that? Perfect. Um, do you want me to look at you? No, no. Ignore me. I’m not sure who I should look at. Yeah.

So this property is a large conservation unit. It would be, uh, valuable as a standalone state park, just to give you a sense of context of how big it really is. But what makes it exceptionally important from a conservation standpoint and from a recreation standpoint, is that it lies within a larger tapestry of protected land.

So directly adjacent to this property is the Cogoni-Coast Dairy’s National Monument, owned and operated by the Bureau of Land Management. And there are a variety of other protected lands in this area. So that combined, you have this very significant unit of, of conservation lands here in the region. So we manage the property with that in mind.

And I think one of the things that’s been particularly innovative is the use of this property as an anchor to facilitate discussions with some of the surrounding landowners around things like forest management. So it’s really become a hub for larger level, landscape level, uh, stewardship and forest restoration, and that’s incredibly important.

It’s, it’s a catalyst to broader, uh, benefits across the landscape. And similarly, we’re really excited about the possibility that trails here will eventually connect to trails at the Cotoni-Coast Coast Dairies national monument. And the vision is one in which you’ll eventually be able to start, um, at the hilltop or mountaintop here at San Vicente and hike bike, or ride your horse all the way down through the Cotoni-Coast Dairies, national monument to the coast, and.

That’s a spectacular recreational experience that I would say is probably unparalleled elsewhere in the region. And the skyline to the Sea Trail basin burned. Exactly, exactly. And although this landscape burned, it did not burn as severely or as intensively as big basin. And so opening this property now to the public, uh, replaces, I think, and supplements some of the recreational opportunities that were lost when Big Basin, and some of our other surrounding recreational areas were closed because of the fire.

Carie Thompson, Access Director, The Land Trust Of Santa Cruz County: We do wanna make sure that we aren’t promising to open the trails anytime soon. So that just has to be clear to people. It’s not, this is a process. We need to be evaluating constantly whether our trails are impacting the conservation values of the property. If we find that the wildlife is doing just fine and we find that the people aren’t trespassing into dangerous areas or places that are vulnerable, then we will be able to move forward with building the phased trail system, which is two more phases of trails that will eventually connect to to Cotoni-Coast Dairies.

Sarah, do you wanna say a few words about the wildlife connectivity?

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: Yeah, I think that this, um, this beautiful interpretive sign, uh, makes reference to, uh, the connectivity, uh, sort of the landscape linkage in which this property sort of represents a terminus. Wildlife require space to roam, right? The mountain lions, move around to establish territory, to find mates, to find food.

Each adult mountain lion requires a fairly substantial territory, and they’re on the move, and those territories are shifting as a result of demographics and climate change. Um, and so this property is part of a larger effort that the Land Trust and our partners are working together again on, to find, you know, to establish that, um, sort of that pipeline.

So ensure the ability of wildlife to move, from the Santa Cruz mountains here, down through to the Gavalon range in the south, where there’s sort of a more expansive landscape for them to occupy. And, um, sort of another exciting, uh, piece of work that the Land Trust has been involved with regarding that is, creating connectivity across major human highways to facilitate this wildlife highway that really should be connecting the two mountain ranges.

We’re just on the edge of opening up a wildlife tunnel under the notoriously dangerous route 17. That should keep both wildlife and people safer, avoiding those wildlife, human interractions on the highway. And if you haven’t seen that, it’s extraordinary to see it work. When the Land Trust got involved in that, it wasn’t at all clear that just by acquiring land on both sides of the highway, we would be able to compel Caltrans to then invest in a wildlife tunnel. Not only we were we able to do that with the help of our elected representatives and the voters in Santa Cruz.

We’ve been able to help translate that work into a piece of state law that will facilitate other wildlife crossings, including one that we hope to, create, uh, across the 1 0 1, uh, to our, um, what we hope to soon be our property at Rocks Ranch in San Benito County.

Sarah Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirons Fund: Well, and there’s an interesting analog in terms of connectivity from the ocean in.

With the aquatic species that are coming from, you know, an aous fish that are coming from the oceans and connecting up through the streams and rivers that are, uh, downstream going through Cotoni-Coast Dairies, coming up onto San Vicente.

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: That’s so exciting. It’s so exciting to see that happen. Yeah.

Corinna Bellizzi: Walter Moore of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, also known as Post, brings it home to the topic of climate change. He’ll also hear me jump in with a couple of perhaps selfish questions with hope that they would connect more trail systems that have horseback riding access points. Carie Thompson and Sarah Newkirk again, John, jump in to answer these questions.

Walter Moore, President, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST): It’s important to remember we are on a peninsula and a peninsula is a bottleneck, and so as the peninsula opens space trust, and that’s the heart of our area.

We’re very concerned about the loss of biodiversity through, uh, critters not being able to travel in the way that the Sarah’s talked about across the landscape and in response to, and a needed to climate change. And so this not only provides a resting and habitat point on the way through, but as you can see from the Rock Ranch Project, the Land Trust has.

The work that Post has done in the Coyote Valley. We are trying to make additional connections out of the bottleneck of the peninsula down into the South Bay, over to the Diablo range and down to the Gavalon range. So just an additional point on top of their points. Marty, do you have any other things we should talk about?

Corinna Bellizzi: I’m personally curious about the horse trail portion because, well, I have horses. Oh, great. But you said it was roughly only one and a half miles or something?

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: Two, 2.3.

Carie Thompson, Access Director, The Land Trust Of Santa Cruz County: So yes, this is our phase one trail. As we, we wanted to separate the mountain bikers and the horses.

So it is a small amount of trail. Um, we do plan to build more horse trails, so hopefully there. More horse trails here? Yeah. In the future, will it connect up to Henry Cow any spots? It will not, no. It’s not our plan to do that at this, at this time. There’s no actual connection to Henry Cow. We could potentially build a connection to Fall Creek at some point, but it’s not in our trails plan right now.

Okay. Very good. Thank you.

Walter Moore, President, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST): Is this last talking point? Yeah, I think so. So I just want to pay, pay particular credit as Sarah did already to the land trust of Santa Cruz County for the work they’ve done on this trail. Uh, they held hundreds of hours and staff time and hundreds of hours in getting community input.

And if you think about it, just planning a trail for recreation is incredibly hard to get everybody’s community input, get their needs met and respond to that. Then you layer on top of. The largest wildfire we’ve had in this area for generations, 86,000 acres burned. This property was 10% of that. They then adapted to that.

And as if that all wasn’t enough, all throughout the entire time, they took the studies that were done, such as the Santa Cruz Mountains, Puma Project Collaring of, uh, mountain Lions and layered in the areas that are incredibly sensitive for wildlife habitat. So one of the great challenges in conservation work today is how do you connect people to the.

In recreation in a way that also doesn’t decimate what you’re trying to connect them to. And I think they’ve just done a brilliant job on every level and incorporating all those, uh, aspects has just been remarkable. Thank you. Mm-hmm. . Great. Thank you. And I, I wanna recognize my, my team that’s been out here working basically seven days a.

And our access team will be here on the property literally seven days a week when we open it up to the public to make sure that there’s interpretive help, uh, safety resources. And, uh, they work incredibly hard and they’ve always got a smile on their face, and I’m super proud of them.

Corinna Bellizzi: This may have felt like the perfect stopping point, but there was yet one more topic that hadn’t been covered. What about so-called sustainable wood harvesting? This is a topic on the tips of so many tongues. If you listen to last week’s episode, you know that often forest management systems means that the oldest growth trees are often eliminated.

How will this forest be thinned with time? Will it? Sam Hodder of Save the Redwoods league jumped in.

Sam Hodder, CEO, Save the Redwoods: From a forest management standpoint, the property has three critical components to it.

One, A reserve, really a healthy forest where we’re just letting it grow where, uh, very light treatment, if any, it really is growing to be the old growth of the future. Then a restoration portion of the property where the design is to actively encourage that trajectory towards the old growth of the future where there’s thinning that needs to be done in some cases planting, where we’re trying to restore and set a trajectory towards the old growth of the future. And then a sustainably managed commercial forest component of the property where we’re partnering with, uh, local forestry operations to provide sustainable wood product to the marketplace here in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Managing that forest to the highest level of sustainability to demonstrate that stewardship of this landscape and the both the climate and habitat resources can be sustained through that balance. So as we think about public access, as we think about recreation and the complexity of navigating those different goals and those different uses, uh, that’s just, another complexity that, um, that is both a challenge from advancing the trails plan, but also a real educational opportunity for the public that will be visiting here.

And certainly from, say, the Redwoods League that has a perspective across the coast Redwood Range, that combination of reserve restoration and sustainable commercial forest management is critical to the conservation vision. across the coast redwood range. So seeing it, how effectively it works here on this landscape, from the mountains to the sea and from the south to the north, is a really critical learning environment. And a great example of conservation at its best.

Corinna Bellizzi: Perhaps anticipating a question I had planned to ask about the reputability of that lumber company. Sarah Newkirk of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County jumped right in.

Sarah Newkirk, Executive Director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: In the vein of Santa Cruz being small but mighty, uh, the founders of the Big Creek Lumber company that we’re, we’re partnering with, Uh, we’ll be taking the logs that are sustainably harvest from this property.

Um, basically invented sustainable forestry before it was a thing, you know, they went to, uh, Cal fire and said, your rules are not stringent enough and here’s what you should tell us to do. Um, and they have been a fixture in this community for a long time. They’re our partners because they know what they, what they’re doing, right?

They know how to do this in a way that’s consistent with those natural resource values and the many other values that we’re trying to, uh, protect and manage for in this property.

Corinna Bellizzi: While, I have yet to really fully investigate Big Creek Lumber. I can see their logo in my mind’s eye. The reality is I’ve been local here to Santa Cruz County for more than 20 years. And I know the brand, I know the company. I know I’ve seen it around, but I don’t know about their commitments to sustainability and whether they’re taking old growth trees or even second growth trees if they’re really working with sustainability in mind.

So I’ll have to come back to the subject. For now. I’m going to trust the land trust of Santa Cruz County and their judgment here. They certainly have dug more deeply into this than I could have the time to. We really do need to think about these things deeply, but we need to first preserve, set aside these natural habitats.

We need to protect forests from the development dreams of would be tech moguls that live in Silicon Valley coming into our space to enjoy it and taking advantage of the fact that they can now zoom in to their day jobs and not have to live so close in commuter distance. For now,

I’m going to hit those trail. We will be among the first to enjoy the paths of the San Ente Redwood Forest. Wow. I think we did it. Thank you for joining me today on this journey. I plan to bring you more on location stories here and there. I even have one planned for this Thursday, which you’ll likely see in a couple of weeks.

As I continue to explore topics of sustainability of trail and forest reforestation of projects that impact our lives in a better way and of course of climate activism. I hope you found today’s episode informative and inspiring, and perhaps one day we’ll meet on a trail head when you visit San Vicente Redwoods in Santa Cruz, California.

Thank you for being a part of this pod and this community because together we really can do so much more. We can care more, and we can be better. We can even preserve more land. Let it go a little wild and enjoy the great outdoors together. Thank you.

Guest

  • Corinna Bellizzi

    Corinna is a natural products industry executive who has earned a reputation for leading the development and growth of responsible brands (e.g. Nordic Naturals, iwi, NutriGold). In her professional life, she champions social benefit programs to enhance company impact while preserving and protecting our home planet. She’s presently working tirelessly on the development of a new pre-market that seeks to achieve a carbon-negative impact. In January 2021 she launched her show, Care More, Be Better: A Social Impact + Sustainability Podcast to amplify the efforts of inspired individuals and conscious companies. Through Care More Be Better, she shares their stories in an effort to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big impact. As part of her lifelong education journey, she earned her MBA from Santa Clara University, graduating at the top of her class with a triple focus in Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Marketing in June 2021.

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