In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Save the Redwoods League, we are proud to be representing The Once and Future Forest: California’s Iconic Redwoods (Heyday, October 2018), a stunning book that showcases both the grandeur of the redwood ecosystems that sustain California and the deep love they have engendered in scientists, writers, artists and the general public.
At the heart of this celebration are five new essays by Gary Ferguson, David Harris, Meg Lowman, Greg Sarris and David Rains Wallace. These pieces discuss a multitude of topics, including the fascinating science of redwoods, the League’s history of redwoods conservation and the big trees’ significance to indigenous cultures.
What unites the essays, aside from their theme, is their sense of awe.
“When mature and well stocked with four-hundred-year-olds,” writes Harris, “Redwood groves are typically canopied, casting the forest floor in perpetual shade and capturing an airy, cathedral emptiness between the bottom and the top. That enormous space—with patches of light filtering through its ceiling and drifting earthward like leaves on a stream—explains why a visit to an old-growth redwood grove, even in a park, is often considered a spiritual experience of the first order.”
The essays and accompanying extraordinary photographs will inspire readers to protect these majestic beings and to look for a more ecologically informed future.
“In 1850, California was host to more than two million acres of full-fledged old-growth primeval sempervirens forest, including hundred-year-old juveniles, four-hundred-year-old adults, and thousand-year-old elders who had sprouted around the time the New Testament was being written,” Harris continues. “Then commenced some hundred and fifty years of cutting, sawing, and felling old-growth coast redwood. Today, a little more than a hundred thousand acres of virgin forest remains, merely 5 percent of old-growth sempervirens, and we are left––lining up at Muir Woods, Redwood Creek, Rockefeller Forest, and the Avenue of the Giants—to try to recognize and account for that which is now irretrievably diminished or lost to us, and to all our children from here on, or for at least a thousand years.”
While today, under the direction of president and CEO Sam Hodder, Save the Redwoods League remains thoroughly committed to conservation, its work has blossomed to include the critical restoration of the extraordinary forests we have lost and the protection of the resilient landscape that has fostered these giants across millennia.
“With the past at heart and our vision for the future of these forests in mind, we know that one hundred years is just the beginning of the League’s work to save the redwoods,” says Hodder. “The captivating essays gathered in this collection draw on history, science, inspiration, and identity to convey the remarkable story of redwoods in California, to offer a glimpse into their future, and to reflect the urgency of our vision to heal these forests and keep them on a path toward recovery and resilience.”
Steve Wasserman, publisher and executive director of Heyday added, “Heyday is honored to act as midwife to the birth of this remarkable book, a paean to the hundred-year effort by the Save the Redwoods League to preserve, cherish, and understand a sublime species whose palpable astonishments have bedazzled generations before us–and, we trust, generations to come.”
The Once and Future Forest is a luxurious objet d’art: protected by a foil-embossed slipcase, this oversized clothbound hardcover is constructed of premium materials and features over 175 full-color images. A percentage of its sales will go to support the League’s protection of the redwoods.
As California natives who grew up alongside the Coastal redwood forests, we are thrilled to be promoting this extraordinary book and its worthy cause.
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