Big Basin

Explore California's first state park in search of ancient treasure, old legacies and new science.

We’ll explore California’s first state park, Big Basin, in search of ancient treasures large and small, old legacies of care and conservation and new science being conducted to gauge the health of the forest in the wake of our long drought and perhaps predict what the future might hold as the climate warms and possibly dries even further. We’ll meet State Park Ranger, Alex Takone, who’ll show us a few of his favorite places in the park, including trees taller than any others in the Western Hemisphere south of San Francisco’s latitude.  Alex will also take us to see grinding stones used by native people who have lived in the region for thousands of years and will guide us to the spot by Slippery Rock where members of the Sempervirens Club gathered long ago and committed themselves to saving the redwood forest for all time.  Then we’ll meet Emily Burns, Science Director for Save the Redwoods League. We’ll follow Emily and her team as they measure sword ferns to see how these prehistoric plants are faring in the face of the drought.  Ferns are like canaries in a mine. Their well-being is a good indicator of the health of the entire redwood ecosystem.  We’ll find out about Save the Redwoods League’s statewide Fern Watch project… and learn how we can get involved as volunteers.

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