Sempervirens Fund and Green Foothills

Redwood forest with ferns. Photo Credit: Dan Quinn

Conservation organizations are stronger when we work together. That’s why Sempervirens Fund and Green Foothills have been stalwart partners for many years. As a land trust, Sempervirens Fund raises money to acquire and steward redwood forests and to make them available for the public to enjoy. Green Foothills is an advocacy organization that focuses on protecting the environment by galvanizing elected officials and the public. Green Foothills’ advocacy creates a groundswell of support for local nature, which results in more opportunities for Sempervirens Fund to acquire land.

We are honored that Sara Barth, Executive Director of Sempervirens Fund, will be speaking at Green Foothills’ Nature’s Inspiration event at Sanborn County Park on September 24, 2023. Learn more about Nature’s Inspiration and get tickets or become a sponsor here.

One example of the successful partnership between Sempervirens Fund and Green Foothills is Camp Jones Gulch, which is now permanently protected after a 16-year battle. This 920-acre YMCA property near La Honda had been proposed as a site for commercial timber harvesting. The property contains 39 acres of old growth redwood forest and 668 acres of younger, second growth trees. After Green Foothills rallied hundreds of people to object to the proposal, the YMCA withdrew the plan and collaborated with Sempervirens Fund to create a conservation easement that permanently protects the property.

“None of that would have happened without Green Foothills,” notes Sara Barth. “Green Foothills advocate Lennie Roberts was the first savior of those trees. Because of Green Foothills’ advocacy, Sempervirens Fund had the opportunity to acquire the land, protect it and restore it.”

Sempervirens now owns the timber and other development rights, and is working with the YMCA and agency partners to launch a long-term stewardship plan to restore the forest, reduce fire risk, and improve wildlife habitats. Sempervirens has established a $422,000 stewardship fund to support ecological restoration work that will improve the health and resilience of the forest, creeks, ponds, and other habitats throughout the property. They are also planning bird surveys for marbled murrelet and corvids, as well as the removal of invasive species.

In addition to saving the trees, the agreement will benefit the 23,000 children who attend Camp Jones Gulch each year. With funds earned from selling the conservation easement, the YMCA has begun to upgrade the camp cabins and other facilities.

This heart-warming outcome is a shining example of what partnerships can accomplish. We hope you’ll join us at Nature’s Inspiration on September 24 to learn more and support Green Foothills.

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