Capitol Weekly Podcast: Who Saved the Redwoods?

1919 photo of four Humboldt County women and a touring car bearing a Save the Redwoods banner has become an iconic image of the early save the redwoods movement. The women are, from left to right, Lucretia Anna Huntington Monroe, Kate Harpst, Mary Anne Atkinson, and Ella Georgeson. All were members of the newly-formed Humboldt County Women’s Save the Redwoods League and pillars of the Humboldt County establishment. The driver is Eureka chauffeur Frank Silence. The photograph originally appeared in The Humboldt Standard on September 6, 1919. Photo courtesy of The Humboldt County Historical Society Archives.

California’s Redwood forests are celebrated worldwide for their beauty and wonder – but few realize that the Redwoods came close to being logged out of existence. The first reports of California’s giant trees made it back to the US in the mid 1800s, before statehood. It wasn’t long afterward that loggers began harvesting the redwoods, often seeking the largest – and oldest – trees as their prime targets. By the early 20th Century, only a fraction of the Old Growth Redwoods remained, and activists from the then-new conservation movement rallied to save what was left. Authors Laura and James Wasserman tell the story of the women who led this movement in their new book, Who Saved the Redwoods? The Unsung Heroines of the 1920s Who Fought for Our Redwood Forests. Laura and James join John Howard and Tim Foster to tell the story on this episode of the Capitol Weekly Podcast.

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