California’s oldest state park and home to some of the coast’s most famous redwoods appears to be gone.
“We are sorry to announce that Big Basin National Park, as we know it, which we have loved and loved for generations, is gone,” wrote the Sempervirens Fund, an organization dedicated to the protection Thursday afternoon. redwoods.
According to a press release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the CZU Lightning Fire, a combination of several fires in recent days in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, has “damaged the park headquarters, the historic center and camping grounds “.
The Big Basin was California’s first state park, acquired by the state in 1902.
While the park offers over 80 miles of trails and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, its real stars are the 50 foot tall ancient coastal sequoias. They are estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,800 years old and would predate the Roman Empire. Lori Loughlin, her husband ready
Big Basin State Park
Photo credit Eric Brooks / KCBS Radio
The fate of the oldest trees in the park is not yet known.
Conditions at Big Basin remain too dangerous for anyone to assess the damage to the trees, according to the New York Times.
So, let’s wait.
“We feel like we have lost an old friend,” explained the Fund’s moving letter.
“We imagine many of you will feel the same. For millions of people, Big Basin is where they first experienced the majesty of the Redwoods, where they were humbled and inspired by standing in the middle. a grove of towering trees that have stood steadfast for thousands of years. These memories will live on. ”
The group’s ties to the park run deep.
The Sempervirens Fund was born in the late 1800s when locals took action to stop logging on 300 square miles of ancient redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This land eventually became Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
They admit it’s a transformational time for California redwood conservation.
“This is a turning point for the coastal redwoods, the mountain habitats, the communities that live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the people who benefit from it and for our own organization. The lands we know so well – and that we have walked and saved and sweated with many of you – you transform. ”
By the end of Thursday, the CZU lightning fire had burned over 40,000 acres and is 0% contained.