Redwood Forest History

Redwood Forest History
The famed redwood forest area of northern California is home to many trees that are more than six centuries old. With Indians, miners, loggers and conservationists among the vast numbers to affect its rich history, the legend of the redwood forest keeps growing.

Earliest Habitation

Native Americans have been living in the redwood forest for at least as long as the last three millennia. During the 19th century, the Yuroks were the largest group in the area.

Gold Rush

The discovery of gold around the Trinity River in the mid-19th century drew whites to the area. Many of them stayed afterward, causing a steep decline in Indian numbers.


Miners weren't the only adventurers looking to make a buck in mid-19th century northern California. The first major redwood logging operation dates to 1850.


Conservationists seeking to protect the forest won their first victory with the creation of California Redwood Park in 1902. Today, this park is known as Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

More State Parks

The conservationist movement made little headway with creating a national park, but did enjoy more success at the state level. The 1902 victory was followed by the creation of other parks, nature reserves and rest areas over the following decades.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park was finally created by the U.S. Congress and President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. The addition more than doubled the total forest area protected.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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