Forever Redwood: Restoration Forestry
Forests can be restored back to Old-Growth Again. We are doing it.
Old-Growth Again Restoration Forestry (OGA) is the parent company of Forever Redwood. OGA is a "hands-on" organization restoring logged forestlands back to their ancient form. Restoration forestry works with the forest to grow large and old trees over time and maintain them in perpetuity.
Forests of large trees sequester enormous quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. Consistently increasing and permanent carbon sequestration adds to climactic stability and global cooling. Equally important, forest management that works with the forest to bring back ancient trees in perpetuity helps reverse biological diversity declines by recreating old-growth habitat conditions. It takes time, money and a lot of physical work, but dramatic changes occur in a relatively short time. Come visit and see what we've accomplished since 1995.
Your Forever Redwood furniture purchase funds the restoration work entirely. Thank you for your support. We hope to restore nearby forests in the coming years. There is no lack of overly harvested forestland anywhere in the world.
We are often asked: How can you save forestlands if you cut trees to make furniture? For a complete answer, please download our Forest Restoration Manual (13.5 MB). The 85-page PDF file details OGA's pioneering Restoration Forestry practices. A shorter answer is below:
OGA works with the forest to restore the severe changes caused by industrial logging. For example, the softwood timber volume of our Annapolis, CA forestlands (Redwood, Douglas-fir and Sugar Pine) was reduced from an average of 50,000 board feet per acre (bf/ac) in the 1950's to below 5,000 bf/ac by 1972. At the same time, many of the competing hardwoods were left standing (Tan Oak, Madrone, Live Oak, Bay Laurel, Manzanita and others). This resulted in reducing the standing softwood timber volume of the forest to below 10% of its standing capacity while the hardwood volume jumped from approximately 15% of total volume to over 50%. The forest became an overcrowded fire hazard of suppressed and poor quality trees that was nothing like the old forest it replaced.
OGA begins by thinning the hardwoods at the same rate they are growing (about 35% each decade) so they will not increase in actual volume over time. Many of the thinned trees are of poor quality or are suppressed trees that will not survive and contribute to the already high fire hazard. Each thinning is a labor intensive effort (no chemicals are ever used) that lowers the fire hazard while improving overall tree quality and spacing. Practicing these steps consistently over time allow the large softwood trees to slowly regain dominance of the forest again. OGA also thins the softwoods (Redwood, Douglas-fir and Sugar Pine) at 10% per decade while the forest is growing approximately 35% per decade at this point in its maturation. From this very conservative harvesting, we make our "Mature Redwood" and "Redwood" grades of lumber furniture. Careful soil building and tree planting practices are an integral part of restoration. We plant several thousand 3 to 4 ft tall seedlings with hearty well-established 5 gallon root balls each winter. The trees are grown in our nursery and planted in-between trees in thinned areas where the canopy is mostly closed.
OGA takes extreme measures to care for and rebuild the forest soil. We do not burn slash, never run equipment off skid trails and do not use chemicals of any kind including fertilizers. All leaves and small branches are cut to below 1 ft of height and spread on the forest floor to add nutrients and structure to the soil. Most down woody debris that was inherited on our lands is retained and each 10-year thinning adds more downed logs to build moisture and habitat. We thin "from below" and remove many lower limbs of retained trees to lower the risk of catastrophic fire. We retain most "wildlife" trees (snags, dead top trees, etc.) and set aside 5 trees (of all species) per acre to never be cut. Combining these steps and many more helps the forest develop large mature and old-growth trees over time.
Restoration forestry is a more conservative forestry practice than "Sustainable forestry." For example, forests under restoration forestry management sequester two and half to three times more carbon in perpetuity than forests managed under the strictest "sustainable forestry" standards in practice as of 2011. OGA's mission is to demonstrate how restoration forestry allows both the forest and the human community around it to flourish symbiotically. It is a long-term example of how a forest can contribute to the human society surrounding it while flourishing in all respects simultaneously. A forest managed this way for just a few decades is a striking contrast to an industrial or even a "sustainably" managed forest. Thank you for helping spread Restoration forestry knowledge and its use. Our forest restoration manual includes additional reading references and the legal framework (conservation easements) to restore any forest and keep the restoration in place through subsequent ownerships.
If you own forestland that needs restoration and re-vitalization we can help. If you own Redwood forestlands in Sonoma, Mendocino or Humboldt counties and are interesting in having your lands managed under a Restoration Forestry regimen long-term, please email us at Info@ForeverRedwood.com or download our Forest Restoration Manual.
Would you like to learn more about Restoration Forestry? Our Restoration Forestry manual includes references to excellent books on good forestry practices Also, we invite you to read "The Economic Aspect of Ecoforestry" by the late Dr. Hans Burkhardt, one of the guiding lights of the Restoration Forestry movement and a personal mentor to our team.