The Redwood Forests—properly called the “Redwood National and State Parks”—are a series of parks along the Northern California coast. Although the area was officially established as “Redwood National Park” in 1968, the redwood forests have been in the United States for thousands of years and were inhabited by Native American long before Europeans arrived. The parks contain over 133,000 acres of land in total and there are actually four separate parks in the same area. Together, these four redwood parks protect 45% of all the remaining coastal redwood trees! Redwood trees are particularly famous became they are so large. In fact, they are among the tallest and most massive tree species on earth! Every year over 400,000 people visit the park. Hiking is encouraged and camping (in designated locations) is permitted as long as the campers know how to prevent forest fires and do not litter.
Below is a list of facts about the Redwood State Parks:
• Although the parks are most famous for protecting the redwood trees they also preserve indigenous flora, fauna, prairies, rivers and streams. Additionally, over 37 miles of coastline is within the jurisdiction of the parks.
• In the late 1850s, many failed-gold miners turned to working as lumberjacks and this greatly diminished the number of redwood trees. By the 1920s, serious conservation efforts were put in place and today the redwoods are thriving once more.
• The Redwood National Parks are also home to many threatened animal species such as the Brown Pelican, the Chinook Salmon, the Northern Spotted Owl and Steller’s Sea Lion. These animals are protected throughout the Redwood National Parks.
• In September of 1980, the United Nations designated the parks a “World Heritage Site” and in June of 1983 the parks were awarded status of “International Biosphere Reserve.” These titles were given in honor of the rare ecosystem and cultural history found within the parks.