Since 1940, The Rouch Family had been proud owners of the 530-acre of land that is home to about 483 trees and goes by the name of Alder Creek. The place is the largest remaining forest of the Sequoia trees in the world. And although Alder Creek was the private property of the Rouch’s, the family had always kept it openly accessible for the public.
Recently, Save the Redwoods League was able to score the deal of buying as well as protecting the privately owned forest for a whopping $15.6 million. The mentioned conservation group, that is based in San Francisco, had been negotiating for 20 years to buy Alder Creek. And they were finally able to do it. The only thing left to do now is to actually raise the money.
Speaking of its location, Alder Creek is just 200 miles away from LA and has the Giant Sequoia National Monument itself in its neighbor. The 483 trees that are spread across its entire land, almost all of them has a truck whose diameter is at least more than 6 feet. And among those 483 trees, is none other than the Stagg Tree that has been on this earth for the last 3,000 years and also holds the title of “World’s Fifth Largest Tree”.
“This is probably the most-coveted sequoia conservation opportunity in a generation,” said Sam Hodder, president of Save the Redwoods League, to the Mercury News in San Jose. “This is an alpine landscape covered with iconic, breathtaking, cinnamon-barked trees that are surrounded by pastures. It is such a superlative representation of nature. This is the prize. This is the best of what’s left. It’s a very special place.”
The Save the Redwoods League only has till the end of the year to raise the money to purchase the Alder Creek. While talking in a press release, Hodder openly asked the public to help them collect the money for the purchase. He also announced that, fortunately, an anonymous donor has pledged to donate a dollar-to-dollar match of every donation that is below $500,000 and is made before December, 31st.
According to the Rouch Family, Claude Albert Rouch intentions, when he initially bought the property back in 1940, was to use it for logging purposes. And although a large number of trees like pine and fir were cut down, but the sequoia’s remained unscathed.
“Less than a dozen were ever taken,” said Mike Rouch, the grandson of Claude Rouch. “I’m 62, and there’s never been one cut down in my lifetime. They could have gotten fence posts or roof shakes out of them. But I think my dad deep down recognized how beautiful they were and he didn’t want to take them.”
In the press release, Becky Bremser, who is the director if the land protection department in Save the Redwoods League, said;
“By protecting this property, we will safeguard the biological richness and ecological resilience of a forest unlike any other on Earth — with giant sequoia trees that are thousands of years old, and nearly 500 with diameters six feet or larger. We also will create the opportunity for this extraordinary mountain forest to inspire the public in a truly special way.”