Background - A Call to Action
The 2,000 mile redwood forest trek made by Michael Fay and Lindsey Holm on behalf of National Geographic Society is doing more than rekindling the world's fascination and intrigue with the tallest trees on earth. The journey has ignited a new initiative within the region, a collaborative effort to restore redwood forests and rebuild sustainable, resource-based economies.
Redwood Futures is a call to action - a gauntlet thrown down - challenging diverse interests and perspectives to come together to craft a strategy for action that will restore the health of forest ecosystems, protect species and legacy stands, sustain viable working forest landscapes and rebuild the social and economic well-being of communities located throughout the region. This is the beginning of a journey that can lift up the redwood region as a global example of successful resource management characterized by a synergistic relationship between the land and the people of a uniquely special place.
Vision: Redwood Futures has mobilized an unlikely coalition of foresters, planners, environmentalists, loggers, Native Americans, public agencies, biologists and all manner of others who see promise as well as peril in the current predicament of our redwood forests. The vision:
- A region with a shared identity and shared sense of ownership for its activities and a shared commitment to creating a future together.
- A place that mobilizes and focuses its resources toward the future through sustainable practices and simultaneously takes into consideration the ecological, economic and social equity issues as they relate to forests and communities.
- Managed forests with increasing habitat and conservation values across the landscape.
- A vibrant natural resources economy providing a broad range of employment and business opportunities for residents.
- Forests that have mature forest characteristics providing high quality wood, diversity of species and fire resiliency.
- Craft a clear statement of the elements of a shared vision for the future of our redwood forests though an open and collaborative regional process
- Support the creation of an integrated set of working groups focused on developing specific actionable ideas into effective regional strategies.
- Articulate specific policies, mechanisms, product development and market strategies to support the implementation of the shared vision and draw capital and resources to sustainable forest management and restoration operations.
This work will not be easy. The region has many watersheds with different characteristics. There are very large and very small land owners, cities and vast stretches of open space, tracts managed intensively for lumber production and protected wilderness areas. Principles that guide conversation, planning and action are critical to overcoming these challenges and attaining our larger vision:
- Our strategies simultaneously consider the changing economic, environmental and social equity needs of our region.
- We utilize our relationships at all levels to actively engage and connect people with divergent ideas and utilize a way of communicating through our differences that is based on strong relationships, shared values and operating on common ground.
- We build trust needed to create lasting coalitions by being respectful of different views and transparent about the needs and positions of our respective constituencies.
- We make decisions from the perspective of our long-term vision and plan.
- We build a strong internal coalition through 'glue people' to weave our region together.
- Our decisions and strategies are based on the best available science and he intimate knowledge of people who live and work on the land.
- We assess and evaluate progress in fulfilling our principles and report this information to our stakeholders.
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