Redwood Forests also called Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) , located in California are protected by the Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP). The park is protecting 45% of all remaining Coastal Redwood totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km2) and preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, and 37 miles (60 km) of pristine coastline.
Redwoods have existed along the coast of northern California for at least 20 million years and are related to tree species that existed 160 million years ago.It is estimated that old-growth redwood forest once covered close to 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of coastal northern California. Unfortunatelly 96% of all old-growth redwoods have been logged. For many years, the redwoods and their relatives, the giant sequoias, thrived in peace on this relatively isolated coast. Miraculously fire-resistant, the trees could withstand most nature forces but can’t defend against human .
Weather in the Redwood Forests is greatly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Coastal temperatures generally range between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (4–15 °C) all year round, while further from the coast summers are hotter and drier, and winters are colder. Redwoods mostly grow a mile or two (1.5–3 km) from the coast and receives moisture from both heavy winter rains and persistent summer fog. Climate change threatens to upset the ecological balance in the temperate rainforest environment where giant redwoods have thrived for millennia.
Flora & fauna
Here we can find huckleberry, blackberry, and salmonberry that provides food for many animal species. The California rhododendron and azalea are flowering shrubs common in the Redwood Forests. Plants such as the sword fern are prolific, particularly near ample water sources.
The ecosystems of RNSP preserve a number of rare animal species such as the Brown Pelican , Tidewater Goby or The Bald Eagle that are federally listed endangered species. The Chinook Salmon, Northern Spotted Owl, and Steller’s Sea Lion are other species that are threatened.
40 species of mammals have been documented to live in Redwood , including the black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, beaver, river otter, black-tailed deer, elk, and coyote.Currently, there are over 200 exotic species known to live in Redwood National and State Parks. Of these 30 have been identified as invasive species, from which 10 are considered threats to local species and ecosystems.
Redwood National and State Parks has three visitor centers, where guided nature walks and general information are available, along with two additional information points. There are many picnic areas, which are all easily accessed by vehicle.
Four developed campgrounds three in the Redwood Forest and one on the coast offer unparalleled camping opportunities for groups, families, and individuals. Each campground offers campfire talks during the summer months as well as guided tours. These spectacular settings are popular with campers form all over the world and reservations may be required.
Here are the most popular activities in RNSP :
- Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular but are only allowed on certain trails.
- Kayaking is popular along the seacoast and in the various rivers and streams. Kayakers and canoeists frequently travel the Smith River, which is the longest undammed river remaining in California.
- Fishing for salmon and steelhead is best in the Smith and Klamath rivers. A California sport fishing license is required to fish any of the rivers and streams.