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As It Was: Once Debated: Are There Redwoods in Oregon?

In the early 1900s, Redwood groves were considered “the strong box” of Del Norte County, Calif., their grandeur well-recognized in the county.  That didn’t keep loggers from chopping down the largest ones to sell to lumber-hungry San Francisco.

For many years people debated whether Oregon had any redwoods.

In 1920, Siskiyou National Park District Forester Thornton T. Munger resolved the dispute after an extensive survey found three groves of redwoods about 10 miles up the Chetco River northeast of Brookings.  The trees weren’t as big as those in Del Norte County, he reported, but could be found in a steep, remote area over about 2,000 acres of national park land.

Addison Bennett, writing in the Portland Oregonian in 1920, said, “Although people might think it strange no one knew if redwoods existed in Oregon, Curry County is undoubtedly the most remote district in the United States and it is no child’s play to penetrate the dense forests found there to examine the area.”

Today, Oregon redwoods can be seen by hiking the Redwood Nature Trail 11 miles northeast of Brookings near Loeb State Park.

Sources:  Bennett, Addison. "45,000,000 Feet of Redwood Growing in Curry County, Oregon." The Sunday Oregonian, 8 Aug. 1920 [Portland OR], p. 6. Historical Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83045782/1920-08-08/ed-1/seq-60.pdf. Accessed 19 Nov. 2019; Jenkins, Robert J. Del Norte County As It Is. Third ed., Crescent City CA, Del Norte County Historical Society, 2018 (originally published in 1894), pp. 48-51.

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.