David Milarch is on a quest to save California’s coast redwoods, some of the world’s oldest and largest living things; he may be saving the planet along the way.
There is nothing like a coast redwood. Sequoia sempervirens is the planet’s tallest tree, soaring to heights of more than 320 feet into the sky. They have trunks of more than 27 feet wide and can live for over 2,000 years. Some of the arboreal gentle giants living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire. Before the mid-19th century, coast redwoods spread throughout a range of some 2 million acres along the California coast, starting at Big Sur and stretching all the way into southern Oregon. People had been peacefully co-existing with the forests forever. But with the gold rush came the logging; today only 5 percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains along a 450-mile strip of coast. And as the planet warms up, the specific conditions required by the redwoods change; their future doesn’t look so great. Animals can migrate north to escape the south’s warming temperatures and consequential habitat change; trees, not so much. But with David Milarch […]