Big Basin to get $540K to help precious redwood forest recover from devastating wildfire

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  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park was hit by a wildfire in August that burned roughly 97% of the park’s 18,224 acres. Gabe McKenna, a State Parks safety officer and ranger, said, “The initial assessment … showed that a large amount of trees will fall across Highway 236 in the near future if not removed.” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
  • Redwood trees catch fire as the CZU Lightning Complex Fire advances Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Boulder Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • Fire burns in the hollow of an old-growth redwood tree in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park on Aug. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • Gabe McKenna, a state parks safety officer and ranger at Big Basin Redwoods State Park walks along Highway 236 in this undated photo. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
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Big Basin Redwoods State Park is getting more than $540,000 to help it recover from a wildfire that tore through the park’s ancient redwood forest last summer, thanks to donations from two long-standing nonprofits.

Sempervirens Fund and Save the Redwoods League, which have supported the park since its foundation in 1902, are contributing the money to begin a years-long rebuilding effort at California’s oldest state park.

The first installment, about $200,000, was distributed Wednesday to help remove fallen or damaged trees that could present a hazard to other parts of the charred forest in the upcoming winter storms, according to a news release. The first round of work will affect less than 1% of the park’s trees.

“This initial funding will allow us to access the backcountry, inventory damages, continue hazard mitigation and take the first steps toward recovery,” Chris Spohrer, Santa Cruz district superintendent for California State Parks, said in a statement.

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