About | Forever Redwood
Forever Redwood is committed to growing and protecting Redwood Forests by utilizing the proceeds from product sales to fund restoration efforts.
The continuing disappearance of Old-Growth forest habitat contributes to the global decline of biological diversity and is a significant factor in climate change. Restoration forestry reverses these declines by recreating Old-Growth habitats and cooling the earth through the retention of enormous amounts of carbon – a benefit that will last for centuries.
From the Forest, For the Forest since 1995: Forests can be restored back to Forever Redwood. We are doing it.
Forever Redwood was founded to restore and manage forestland in a way that truly allows the forest to flourish over time while yielding a conservative amount of high quality timber to fund the restoration. Working carefully with the forest so that it can contribute economically with the human society around it lessens the daily pressure to replace native forest with farms, encroaching suburbs or ranches. The Forever Redwood furniture line funds the restoration work entirely.
By significantly limiting the amount of wood harvested in all time periods into the future and adhering to many other restoration standards, any previously logged forest can yield wood for human use while adding volume decade by decade as it recreates mature and old-growth trees again. Forever Redwood practices exceed FSC certification guidelines and it is our hope that our innovative practices will elevate the industry’s standards for forestry management in the future.
Forever Redwood is a socially responsible business founded by individuals committed to respectful relations with customers, employees and business partners. Maintaining these standards is critical to attracting and retaining the necessary human and financial resources to maintain our growing contribution to the reversal of global forest degradation and fragmentation.
Forever Redwood (FR) grew out of a non-profit organization. FR came into being between three friends who loved the Redwood forest and wanted to create a model of how to take care of it. After a couple years they realized they had to create a model that was independent of donations or government funding. Raul Hernandez, Frank Marrero and A. Terry Patten began in 1995 with a 42- acre forest and learned restoration forestry the hard way - over years of hands-on work.
From Hobby Farm to Tiny Firewood Business
The forestry work required extensive thinning of overcrowded lower quality trees. The results were hard fought but spectacular. To get more done, they decided to sell some of the cut material as firewood locally. By 1999 the first 42 acres had been thinned and planted and they were fortunate enough to purchase an adjacent 41 acres and an extra truck. They had three employees working fulltime helping with the thinning, planting and firewood business.
From Local Business to Shipping Around the World
In 1999 another good friend, Warren Linney, spent $11,000 on a portable Lucas Mill. They had decided to mill some old Redwood logs that had been left on the forest floor from the industrial logging done in the 1950’s. There were quite a few of these logs lying about and some were worth pulling out.
The wood was incredible. They first decided to make picnic tables and ran ads in the local papers. These sold in the San Francisco Bay area for a few years and allowed them to purchase another 41 acre parcel nearby to continue the restoration work.
In 2002, friend Marilyn Hughes entered the picture. Marilyn knew HTML and built an eight page website. Once the site launched , Forever Redwood was suddenly in the nationwide furniture business. Because they insisted on making things by hand to the highest quality standards, many requests poured in asking for custom pieces and new designs.
These customer requests defined the bulk of our product offerings over the years and today the business has expanded to include 580 acres, a nursery of young Redwood trees and the growing patio furniture line. Some of our best workers hailed from Mexico, and in 2004 we opened a second workshop in Ensenada, Mexico (an hour south of San Diego, CA). Our base of operations is still Sonoma County, California, where we continue to manage our forestland, build some of our furniture and mill and dry the carefully harvested lumber. We have shipped Forever Redwood to all five continents and want to thank all our wonderful customers for making it happen.
Please see our video on the top right for more information about our forestry and wood working operations.
Forever Redwood Mission Statement
Forever Redwood's Mission is to grow and protect Redwood Forests by utilizing the proceeds from product sales to fund restoration efforts.
The on-going disappearance of mature forest habitat is accelerating. This is the root cause of the global decline of wildlife, biological diversity and climatic stability. Restoration forestry reverses these declines by recreating mature old-growth habitats. Only vast forests full of large trees can cool the earth again by retaining enormous amounts of carbon in perpetuity. Forests can be restored back to Old-Growth Again. We are doing it.
FR was founded to restore and manage forestland in a way that truly allows the forest to flourish over time while yielding a conservative amount of high quality timber to fund the restoration.
The key to a vital and vibrant Forest Restoration effort is to harvest very limited amounts of lumber and produce quality crafted premium products from the lumber. These products fund the forest’s very existence and its restoration. Having the forest contribute economically to the human society around it lessens the daily pressure to replace the natural forest with tree farms, encroaching suburbs or ranches. The Forever Redwood furniture line funds FR restoration work completely. Since our inception in 1995, our work has been “From the Forest, For the Forest”.
By significantly limiting the amount of wood harvested in all time periods into the future and adhering to many other restoration standards, any forest in the world can yield wood for human use while adding volume decade by decade as it recreates mature and old-growth trees again.
OUR MANAGEMENT, FORESTRY AND CARPENTRY TEAMS
The key to the success of any endeavor is having the right people. The combination of years of forest conservation, environmental pro-activism, and business management experience gives OGA a team that is unparalleled in its ability to realize the mission and vision of profitable reforestation.
Raul D. Hernandez founded OGA in 1995 by purchasing 41 acres of logged forestland to focus on "hands-on" restoration. He incorporated OGA in 1999, serves as its CEO and wrote the manual "Old-Growth Again, Restoring Logged Forests One Tree At a Time. Raul spent years in management positions with the Miami Herald Publishing Company before moving to Northern California to become vice-president of Urban Renaissance, Inc., an inner-city low-income housing redevelopment firm (1988 to 1993). Raul studied forestry and ecological issues exhaustively and accumulated a wealth of "hands-on" experience in forest restoration. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Florida International University (Miami, Fl). Raul has a 25-year-old daughter, Sky Alexandria, a 10-year-old son, Raul Angel, an 8-year-old daughter, Norma Mia and a 7-year old unexpected surprise, Santiago Rio. He spends his time between the Redwood forests of Annapolis, CA and our wood working shop in Ensenada, Baja California.
Warren Linney has been a board member and Senior VP since 2001. He has been instrumental in helping OGA maintain a steady annual growth rate the past four years. Warren is also Chairman of the nonprofit World Stewardship Institute (WSI). WSI works nationwide to raise consciousness around restoration forestry and build alliances with churches and businesses on environmental issues. WSI is also working to create land entitlement for the Shipibo Amazon tribe in Peru. WSI played a role in protecting the Headwaters Redwood forest in 1999. Warren was CEO of Cellular One of Western Illinois and Wireless Plus, Inc. prior to joining OGA. He is currently working to reverse climate change by forming a technical council to evaluate and test methods of removing CO2 from the air and oceans. He has three lovely daughters, and his eldest, Eileen, is getting married this summer.
Frank Marrero joined Raul at the beginning of OGA's venture. Like the blind leading the blind, Frank and Raul together designed and built a cabin and barn while experimenting with various forest-regenerating techniques. Frank has developed all of OGA's off-the-grid systems. He has worked thousands of hours in the woods and is an indispensable source of creativity and foolishness. Frank is a public school teacher in the San Francisco Bay area. A veteran of inner-city trenches as well as privileged schools, Frank has been developing curricula to nurture and develop affective strengths (including character education, emotional fluency, moral values, and self-awareness) for a quarter century. His works have been lauded with superlatives by scholars, educators, parents, and children. He holds a Masters in the Arts of Teaching, and also teaches in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at John F. Kennedy University. See www.FrankMarrero.com for his writings in these areas. Frank is also the author of Lincoln Beachey: The Man Who Owned the Sky, the definitive biography of the Forgotten Father of Aerobatics. Frank and his (master-teacher) wife Julia are the proud parents of two bright children: 20-year-old Salem and 16-year-old Ella.
Terry Patten is a writer, trainer, coach, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been involved with Old-Growth Again since its inception, as a key strategist, consultant, and investor. Most recently, his work has been focused on teaching, training, coaching, social entrepreneurship, and civic service. He is the author, with noted philosopher Ken Wilber, Marco Morelli, and Adam Leonard, of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening . He worked with Wilber and a core team at Integral Institute (I-I) to develop Integral Life Practice, which distills ancient and modern practices into an intelligent contemporary transformational lifestyle. He was a Senior Trainer at Integral Institute Seminars and a Co-Director of I-I’s Coaching Center and the Integral Life Practice Center at Integral University. He teaches and coaches internationally. He was also the founder and for ten years the guiding spirit behind the Tools For Exploration catalog, which first presented and educated about the many emerging brain-mind machines, subtle energy tools, and other cutting-edge technologies for expanding awareness. He currently lives in Marin County, California and enjoys regular phone calls and visits from his son, Michael, who lives in New York City.
Ian Morris is a "hands-on" expert in designing and building biodynamic gardens. His expertise helped OGA overcome many early in-the-field hurdles. Ian is actively involved in OGA's tree planting efforts and is an investor in several OGA restoration projects. Thanks to Ian's field experience and advice, OGA tree planting survival rate now exceeds 90%. He lives in Graton, CA, in a beautiful new home with his lifelong partner, Aviana, and their 2 lovely daughters.
Maria Eugenia Blanco is an award winning architect and a partner in the firm Delphi Design and Development of Coconut Grove, FL. Maria specializes in traditional neighborhood design. She worked for over ten years with the firm of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberg, founders of the new urbanism movement. Although Maria is no longer affiliated with Forever Redwood, she played an important role in the early design direction of the Forever Redwood furniture line and we are forever grateful.
Hans J. Burkhardt, PhD was a biochemist, author and forest researcher/activist. Beginning in the 1980's, Hans was instrumental in organizing a grass roots movement to change the unsustainable practices of the large timber companies via the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. He authored a book about these proposals in 1995, Maximizing Forest Productivity, Resource Depletion and a Strategy to Resolve the Crisis. The book is extensively quoted in OGA materials. Hans brought an enormous amount of experience to OGA. Hans was a teacher and a mentor and helped us create our restoration forestry standards. (Read his article, "The Economic Aspect of Ecoforestry".) Sadly, Hans Burkhardt passed away in 2004.
ENSENADA WOODWORKING TEAM
Forever Redwood started making furniture in 2000. We built a small barn to house the equipment for a woodworking shop. We had no electricity out in the woods, so we wired the shop with Honda Generators.
Our first orders were for Picnic Tables for local customers from a newspaper ad we ran in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. In late 2002, we set up a tiny website for local customers and suddenly started getting calls from all over the country. We were not prepared to ship out of state and grow quickly. Annapolis is a lovely town, but there was minimal housing and shipping nationwide from our remote location was complicated.
First, we expanded the barn. Then, we looked for larger buildings in nearby towns. But, it was during the real estate boom and leases were exorbitant. In 2004 we found the perfect shop. Since a large part of our business was in S. California, we located near the border in Mexico in Ensenada, Baja California.
Today, we are in our second shop in Ensenada, near the south end of town. It is an over 20,000 square ft shop with 75+ employees. Some of our best carpenters go back to the barn days. Guys like shop foreman Antonio Toledo. Our carpenters and carpenter assistants stay with us because we offer excellent working conditions with above average pay. In return, we have a stable, experienced, happy and well trained men and woman that produce what we think is the highest quality outdoor wood furniture anywhere. We hope you agree.
We still manage our forestlands and mill and dry all our lumber in Northern California and if we can just sell a few more of our pieces, we hope to soon buy another parcel of forestland in Annapolis.