If you have ever had the honor of seeing California’s redwood trees up close, you already know they are truly one of the world’s wonders. The awe-inspiring tree can reach 320 feet into the sky and have trunks more than 27 feet wide, with the potential to live for over 2,000 years. Which means some of these giants living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.
But the redwoods are in danger. Before the mid-19th-century, coastal redwoods spread from Big Sur and stretched all the way up to southern Oregon, a range of some two million acres along the California coast. But then logging came with the gold rush and today only five percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains. And the loss of trees has a domino effect. Over the past 40 years, we have lost about 52 percent of the world’s wildlife and deforestation plays a major role in this, according to Mongabay, 50,000 species go extinct every year.
But lucky, the redwoods have a hero on their side: David Milarch. According to an article from TreeHugger, he is an arborist from Michigan and in 1991 he died from renal failure, before being revived. The near death experience inspired a new life mission, harvesting the genetics of the coast redwoods and give them an assist in migration. What does that mean, exactly? Milarch is cloning and replanting the redwoods in places where the trees once were.
A wonderful short film called, “Moving the Giants” was created to document Milarch’s incredible work to save the redwoods. Check it out below and get ready to feel inspired.
We can all stand to take a page from Milarch’s book. While we might not all be responsible for directly cutting down the world’s ancient forests, many of our everyday habits and choices play a role in deforestation. For example, did you know that animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of deforestation in South American? Or that producing palm oil, an ingredient in 50 percent of consumer goods, leads to the destruction of 300 football fields worth of trees in Indonesia every hour? By simply reducing our consumption of meat and dairy, or eliminating it entirely, and checking the snacks we buy for palm oil, we can all play a role in helping the world’s forests. To learn more about how you can get involved, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.
For more information on Milarch’s work and how you can help, you can visit the project’s website at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.
Image Source: Moving the Giants