Forever Redwood grew out of a non-profit organization, Old-Growth Again Restoration Forestry (OGA). OGA 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.