Â Save the Redwoods League announced the purchase ofÂ Andersonia West, a 523-acre property between Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the Usal Forest in Mendocino County, in the remote Northern California area known as â€œthe Lost Coast.â€ The League acquired Andersonia West for $3.55 million, protecting old coast redwoods throughout the property, including a 183-acre old-growth stand. This critical habitat corridor includes a portion of Anderson Creek.
The acquisition of this forest also improves ecosystem connectivity across adjacent protected lands and the coast, a goal identified in the Leagueâ€™s 2018Â Centennial Vision for Redwoods Conservation. The League will retain ownership of the property for up to one year until it can be transferred to a permanent steward, with the League holding a conservation easement.
â€œIn the few generations since the gold rush of the mid-1800s we have lost 95 percent of the ancient redwood forest. The Andersonia West property, which is in Sinkyone Tribal territory, is a window into the forest that once was, and a doorway into the forests of our future,â€ said Save the Redwoods League President and CEO Sam Hodder. â€œThis is an acquisition that has been a long time coming for the League. Protecting this forest both saves some of the last unprotected old-growth redwoods and demonstrates, through its vital second-growth stands, the power, resilience and astounding potential of the young redwood forest recovering across the redwood range.â€
In this coastal conifer forest, old-growth redwoods tower among Douglas fir, tanoaks and madrones over a lush understory of huckleberry, manzanita and ceanothus. One-and-a-half miles of Anderson Creek, which feeds the South Fork Eel River, will also be protected, preventing habitat loss and fragmentation. This vibrant habitat corridor supports coho salmon, steelhead trout, marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, all listed under the Endangered Species Act.
â€œThe idea to protect Andersonia started in 1980. It became evident to me and the owners that this place should be protected for its biodiversity, fish and wildlife habitat and historical and cultural resources,â€ said Hap Anderson, who represented his family in the negotiation. â€œMy family was happy to make a land value donation of $510,000 to help protect the property forever.â€
The purchase of Andersonia West was fully funded by Pacific Gas & Electric Companyâ€™s (PG&E) Compensatory Mitigation Program related to its Multiple Region Habitat Conservation Plan (MRHCP) to meet the companyâ€™s 30-year conservation goal for northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.