Battle for the Redwoods

The answer to saving the quickly disappearing Redwood Forest has never been an easy one. Saving the forest meant a devastating loss of jobs and income in the lumber industry. But, not protecting the forest meant losing one of the greatest wonders in the world. The battle was often brutal and did not always consist of only two sides. Frequently, activist groups could not agree on which tracts of redwood were the most important to save. Was it more vital to keep the longest stretch of trees, the grove which held the tallest ones, or both? Lumber industries attempted to rationalize keeping the tracts of land that provided the best recreational use for those who would enjoy the park.

This exhibit does not seek to give an extensive overview of the narrative of saving the Redwoods; that narrative is long and extensive. Rather, this exhibit seeks to point out some thought-provoking moments that showcase some of the issues present during this complicated part of California history. Preference is given to those instances which happened in Humboldt County, although the scope is wider than that in many respects.