Usal Redwood Forest Restoration
by Richard Gienger, RFFI Board and
NOAA "Environmental Hero of the Year"
Our commitment to restoring the essential relationships, values and qualities that
characterize healthy forestlands and watersheds is a keystone for both RFFI and the
Usal Redwood Forest.
The Redwood Region in general and the Usal Redwood
Forest specifically have had a tragic history of damage - some irreparable, and
some that will take many decades or even centuries to repair. RFFI is addressing
the difficult legacy problems and taking steps to correct what's correctible. Our
plans are always guided by the long-term big picture, but the aim of our implementation
schedule is to get restoration measures underway as soon as possible.
Usal map (below) shows current restoration efforts and those that have
been underway for the last seven years, beginning with the Standley Creek restoration.
This project sprang from a partnership of Hawthorne, Campbell Timberland
Management, Inc., the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Watershed Associates
and Trout Unlimited. The general approach of watershed evaluation followed
by restoration prescriptions is being incrementally applied to the whole of the Usal
Redwood Forest. Initially focused on adverse road impacts, the evaluation is now
being expanded to include riparian and other interconnected landscape and wildlife
attributes. This is an intensive and very expensive effort; e.g., the Standley
Creek watershed restoration, now about half completed, has already cost over two
million dollars. Please visit RFFI's
2013 restoration report
for photos and descriptions of ongoing and future projects.
contributions to RFFI
and the Usal Redwood Forest are essential to support a
robust and comprehensive restoration effort. It is acutely needed for the recovery
of the social, economic, and environmental fabric so vital to the future.
Anderson Creek: The very large Chinook salmon redd from the center to
the lower right hand corner of the photo contains more than 3,000 eggs.
Hundreds of salmon and steelhead spawn each year in this stream in the
South Fork Eel River watershed. This spot is about a mile upstream from an enormous
logjam that blocked fish passage prior to removal / modification by hand. See RFFI's
2013 restoration report
for before and after photos.
RFFI Founder, Supporter and Leader Donald S. Kemp Encourages Others to Help Sustain RFFI
"To me, the RFFI model holds the potential to have a transformative impact
throughout the Redwood region and far beyond. Everyone in the Redwood
region recognizes that the practice of forestry must change. The financial
pressures on property owners push them into practices that cannot be sustained.
The RFFI model offers an alternative; one in which all of the forest's
products, not just its timber, are valued and managed in ways that are more
sustainable. Figuring out the best ways to implement these new forest practices
will take time and patience as new approaches are tried and given time
to prove or disprove themselves.
This is why I want to find ways to support
RFFI over time - to help them develop the capacity to keep up their work
over time. A recurring donation program permits me to do this. I can set up
a modest donation that does not impose a burden on me and that I can sustain
over time. If RFFI can develop large numbers of these modest regular
donations, it will have the dependable cash flow that they need to carry out
their important mission over time."
RFFI has recently initiated an online option
for making recurring donations. Please visit our
to set up a recurring donation.
Don Kemp is a long-term supporter of
RFFI and other organizations on the coast.
Mr. Kemp has served as a past President of
the Board and Executive Director of RFFI.
He and his father, Edgar B Kemp, Jr., were
honored as RFFI Founders at the
in June 2013.
A Charitable IRA Rollover Is A Great Way to Give to RFFI
by Lin Barrett, an ongoing supporter of RFFI and other community projects
I donate to RFFI every year because I believe in their work and want
to support an effort whose impact and scale are significant and enduring.
This year, I decided that a Charitable IRA Rollover was the
best way for me to support RFFI. A Charitable IRA Rollover permits
donors who are over 70 ½ years to transfer their required minimum
distribution to a non-profit organization (501(c)3). While I cannot
claim a tax deduction for this donation, I can use it to reduce my
adjusted gross income, which lowers my income taxes more than a
deduction would. Charitable IRA Rollover gifts must be sent directly
to RFFI from the administrator of your IRA plan, or a check made
out to RFFI from the IRA plan can be sent to you to deliver to RFFI.
This method of making a donation is not suitable for everyone. But
it can be a mutually beneficial way for some folks to support their
favorite organizations. This method is allowable by the IRS this
year. Individuals can make direct charitable contributions in
amounts of up to $100,000 per year to organizations like RFFI from
a traditional or Roth IRA. RFFI encourages you to discuss this option
with your attorney or financial consultant. To learn more about
how to make such a transfer to RFFI, please visit email
email@example.com or call (707) 937-4808.
President & CEO Report
Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) has an opportunity
to do something special
and influence the way forestry
is practiced across the
President & CEO
RFFI was founded in 1997
with the mission of acquiring,
and managing community
redwood forests to restore
forest health and bring the
long-term benefits back to local communities. Our first major
acquisition was the 50,000 acre Usal Forest, purchased in
2007 and protected in 2011 from over-harvesting, subdivision
and development by a
Now, RFFI stands at a crossroads. As a small nonprofit with a
large debt, we face difficult decisions: should we pay our
debt by employing even-aged forestry practices, aggressively
harvesting conifers while applying herbicides to fight back
hardwoods that currently dominate our precious young redwoods?
This traditional method is cheap, easy and profitable.
We at the Redwood Forest Foundation, however, are dedicated
to sustainable forest management, moving as quickly
as possible to uneven-aged forestry and reducing or eliminating
the use of herbicides while restoring habitat for
threatened species. That's why RFFI's board agreed in 2013
to a three-year moratorium on the use of herbicides while
we experiment with
alternative vegetation management.
In 2014, we will pilot a
biochar demonstration project
to help establish marketable uses for excess biomass, apply for
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and submit
eleven timber harvest plans. RFFI will continue stream restoration
with our partners on Usal Creek and the tributaries of
the South Fork of the Eel River. We will also work with federal
agencies on Safe Harbor Agreements for the protection
of threatened Northern Spotted Owls and Steelhead and
How quickly we can move down this sustainable road depends
largely on you. Community support now is essential
for RFFI to take the financial pressure off the land and experiment
with new forestry practices.
We are at a critical juncture - please
contribute to RFFI today.
Every gift hastens the day when we will be able to return
benefits from our thriving redwood forest to our communities.
RFFI Volunteer of the Year
Warren DeSmidt said,
"I never thought
that I would see this kind of progressive action, around our forests,
in my lifetime.. we have a chance to do business and treat
our forests and livelihoods in a different way, one that respects
people and the environment."
RFFI Volunteer of the Year
a consultant who heads RFFI's biochar project, said,
"The Redwood Forest Foundation has created a
model of community-based forestry that truly integrates
environment, economy and equity in a way that creates
community excitement and a desire to help make their
vision a reality."
who is a neighbor to the Usal Forest,
reports that for the first time since 1978 he has heard
Spotted Owl hooting in the McCoy creek tract.
RFFI Volunteer of the Year
RFFI Says Thank You To:
- The Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation for their continuing support;
- Cathryn Heart Living Trust for a legacy gift;
- Our Challenge Grant Donors and all whose gifts helped us meet the Challenge;
- You, our many donors and volunteers, whose generosity helps us keep Working Community Forests.
RFFI Awarded $75,000 Grant
RFFI is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a two year,
$75,000 Conservation Innovation Grant from the National
Resource Conservation Services (California) to expand the
Biochar Demonstration Project
and to provide information and training to
NRCS contacts and other landowners.
Plant a Redwood Now
A Green Gift for any Occasion
RFFI will plant young redwood trees in
honor of a friend or loved one in a redwood
forest in northern California. The
Honoree receives an attractive 8" x 11"
certificate suitable for framing with a
customized message acknowledging
you as the donor. These enduring gifts
are suitable for any occasion.
Plant a Redwood Now.
Working Community Forests
Thank you for your past support! Check out the map below. Your support has leveraged
resources to allow RFFI to conserve and restore the Usal Redwood Forest.
RFFI needs your support to continue to practice a high level of forest
stewardship. You can help us restore the forest and its watersheds.
Please be a part of keeping this Working Community Forest working.
or mail your gift to:|
PO Box 12
Mendocino, CA 95460
Click to enlarge
Usal Redwood Forest 2013 restoration project map
Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc.
Board of Directors
- Kathy Moxon, Chair
- Candace Skarlatos, Treasurer
- John Rogers, Secretary
- Mike Balok
- Richard Gienger
- Greg Giusti, ex officio
- Heidi Knott Gundling
- Kendall Smith
RFFI Board & staff and Campbell staff at Founders Grove
Credits: Front Cover Photo:
Usal Forest Map: Karen Youngblood CTM, LLC.
Other Photos: John Birchard, Mitzi Rider, Richard Gienger.