The Coastal Redwoods
- In: Audubon Outdoors
- Updated 02 May 2016
By: Ron Dodson
As a wildlife biologist, conservation planner and for over 30 years as an executive with one Audubon organization or another, I have been very fortunate to travel around the globe. During all of those years I have had many life changing experiences in nature.
One of those spectacular places that I spent an all to short amount of time visiting was the California Coastal Redwood region. If you have never visited this land of giant trees, I hope you will put it on your bucket list and figure out how to go see and spend time among the redwoods. It is a fantastic thing to spend time in an area that makes a person feel very small and insignificant. We humans often feel and act as if we are the “be all and end all” of nature and that it is our destiny to simply “control” natural systems for our own benefit. Let me tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth. We are not even smart enough to fully understand natural systems, let alone “control” them.
Recently I watched the public television series about the American National Parks, by film maker Ken Burns. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend that you take the time to watch the entire series. While watching the series I kept thinking about all of the National Parks that I have visited over the years, but also how many magnificent parks and vistas of nature that I have yet to see. I also reminisced about a few family vacations that we took several decades ago so that our three sons could experience a little bit of this grandeur also. I bet that all three of them still remember vividly at least a few of these trips, with at least one trip to explore the west through Rocky Mountain National Park being most vivid in their memories.
I also thought about how many people have never, and will never have the opportunity to see and experience these spectacles of nature. I wondered how society in the future will feel about the importance of our National Parks, or even for nature in general if they have had no experiences of this sort.
While our advancing technologies are impressive and certainly make many work related tasks much easier to accomplish, I also think that society is moving way to fast and that we are spending way too much time looking down at our telephones, and typing messages with our thumbs.
Now, my three sons have families of their own and I hope that they can all find ways to take those grandkids of mine on some trips into nature. For them and for you that can start with short trips to a local park or nature preserve, but with proper planning they too can make those long, life changing experience trips to far off places and build memories that will last a life time.
In the meantime, below is a “technology” based experience about the redwoods that I hope you will watch, enjoy and become more motivated to go experience this fantastic region of our country.