The Largest Trees on Earth - California’s Disappearing Redwoods
When gold was discovered in north-western California in 1850, thousands crowded the remote redwood region in search of riches and new lives. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco and other places on the West Coast. These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. The size of the huge trees made them prized timber, as redwood became known for its durability and workability. By 1853, nine sawmills were at work in Eureka, a gold boom town established three years prior due to the gold boom. At that period of time, redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast.
After many decades of unobstructed clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began. In 1918, the Save-the-Redwoods League was founded to preserve remaining old-growth redwoods. By the time Redwood National Park was created in 1968, nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged. Today there are only 133,000 acres of redwood forest left.