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Dillonwood Grove added to Sequoia National Park

Save the Redwoods League Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2001 

For Information Contact: Nancy Dunn: 415-362-2352

Save-the-Redwoods League makes 1,540 acre gift to National Park
Service League's gift adds Dillonwood Grove to Sequoia National Park


1,540 acres of wild, remote forest rich in wildlife, giant sequoias, and
scenic vistas were added to Sequoia National Park today when
Save-the-Redwoods League, a San Francisco based non-profit organization,
finalized the purchase of the land for $10.3 million.  The property,
known as Dillonwood Grove, will extend the southern boundaries of
Sequoia National Park in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, located
92 miles southeast of Fresno.

Prior to the sale, the Dillonwood Grove was the largest grove of giant
sequoia trees in private ownership, comprising 70% of the remaining
privately owned sequoia forestland. Dillonwood's inclusion in the park
re-unites the grove with the bordering Garfield Grove, separated until
now in name only. The two combined groves, botanically a single grove,
and one of the five largest sequoia groves in existence, will now be
managed as a single unit. "Save-the-Redwoods League took a real
leadership role in securing the permanent protection of the
Dillonwood-Garfield grove and the park is honored to be its steward,"
commented Dick Martin, Superintendent of Kings Canyon and Sequoia
National Parks.

Dillonwood's forests include a unique variety of giant sequoia, not
found elsewhere in the National Park, according to League Executive
Director Kate Anderton. "In this beautiful forest you find the ancient,
giant Sequoias, more than 2000 years old, towering over second growth
trees 150 years old and younger," Anderton said. "This creates an
unusual and rich opportunity for a forest laboratory, where we can
actually study the progression in the life of these magnificent trees."
When naturalist John Muir walked through these forests in the 1870's, he
was especially moved by the beauty of these sequoias: "The entire upper
portion of the Tule basin is magnificently forested with sequoia, the
finest portion being on the north fork.  This, indeed is, I think, the
noblest block of sequoia in the entire belt, surpassing the giant forest
of the Kaweah."

Dillonwood's acceptance by the National Park Service required expansion
of the southern boundary of Sequoia National Park to include the
property.  Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA) and Senator Barbara
Boxer (D-CA) introduced legislation to formally expand the park's
boundary.  Moments before adjourning the last session of the 106th
Congress, in December, 2000, HR 4020 was passed by the Senate and the
House of Representatives to expand the boundary of Sequoia National Park
to include Dillonwood Grove.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) secured a $5 million appropriation for
Dillonwood's purchase. Save-the-Redwoods League raised the remainder of
the funds necessary for the purchase from foundations, individual
donors, and the State of California.

Save-the-Redwoods League Executive Director Kate Anderton, remarking on
the partnership nature of the transaction, which combined funding
sources from federal, state, and private sources, noted, "The widespread
support has been very gratifying, coming from individuals in all 50
states, and even including an especially touching gift of an 8-year
old's allowance money."

The League also acknowledges the Goldman Foundation, the Packard
Foundation, Oracle Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, and the
Wildlife Conservation Board for their generous support.

Wild and remote,  Dillonwood is populated by bear, mountain lion,
California spotted owl, pileated woodpecker, and goshawk. It is suitable
habitat for the Pacific fisher, a species of special concern, and the
wolverine. California condors were seen as recently as the 1960's. In
addition, the pure waters of the Tule Rivers' North Fork are home to a
number of native aquatic species. The property is also rich in cultural
resources. Remains of a high-elevation seasonal Native American
encampment, a significant archaeological site estimated to be 1800 years
old, have been found on the property.  A 19th- century sawmill has also
been located.

The headwaters of the North Fork of the Tule River originate at
Dillonwood.  The integrity of this healthy riparian corridor and the
pure waters flowing from there are of significance to the overall value
and importance of this gift.  Representatives of local land agencies
refer to the League's purchase as a key component of the watershed
protection strategy for the Tule River.  The recent and former owners,
Dave Reed, of Quincy, California, and his sister Susan Matthews of
Agoura Hills, offered to sell Dillonwood to the League in 1999. Reed,
whose family owned and managed Dillonwood for forty years, has spent
most of his life on the property.  He and his wife Nancy lived there for
over 10 years, in a small cabin with no electricity. "That was my little
paradise," Reed remembered. While parting ways with the land is
difficult, Reed said he and his family "feel that Sequoia National Park
will be the next best steward of Dillonwood."

Tentative plans for a June, 2002 dedication celebration are underway.


For more information: Contact Save the Redwoods League at
info@savetheredwoods.org Save-the-Redwoods League 114 Sansome Street,
Room 1200 San Francisco, CA 94104-3823 telephone: (415) 362-2352 fax:
(415) 362-7017





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