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The Once and Future Forest

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The Once and Future Forest  by Save the Redwoods League

Heyday Books Publishing

Hardcover, 5.5 x 8.5, 216 pages


The Once and Future Forest explores the grandeur of the redwood ecosystems that sustain California and the deep love they have inspired among scientists, writers, artists, and the general public. On the occasion of Save the Redwoods League’s one-hundredth anniversary in 2018, the League, America’s first and oldest conservation group, commissioned five remarkable authors to write essays which convey the majesty and legacy of California’s famed redwood forests. Originally published in a deluxe limited edition, The Once and Future Forest is newly presented here in a trade format.

Assembled by Save the Redwoods League, authors include: 

David Harris, a former contributing editor to Rolling Stone and the New York Times Magazine, offers a beautifully written, emotive, and inspiring piece that speaks to the importance of redwoods in our lives. He shares what we can learn from these massive and resilient trees.

Gary Ferguson, a lecturer and best-selling science and nature writer, tells the story of the early conservationists’ work to defend coast redwood and giant sequoia forests, and how today the League seeks to protect and restore the tallest and largest forests on Earth.

Greg Sarris, an accomplished novelist and longtime chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, blends history, ethnography, and reflection by providing a rich detail of local Indigenous people’s intimacy with redwoods and knowledge of the California landscape, while sharing the potent contrast of life before and after European contact.

Meg Lowman, a senior scientist in plant conservation with the California Academy of Sciences, tells the story of the researchers who have revealed, and continue to explore, the mysteries of redwood biology.

David Rains Wallace, the author of more than twenty books on natural history and conservation, examines the unique presence of redwoods as one of the oldest species on Earth, tracing their existence from distant epochs through fossil records and up to the present day.

What unites the essays is awe. Readers will be inspired to protect these stately beings and to bring about a more ecologically informed and sustainable future.