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Help “reimagine” California’s oldest, and now devastated, state park

California State Parks is urging the public to get involved and to learn more about the “Reimagining Big Basin” project, a project that will memorialize the broad vision for reestablishing California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the state’s oldest state park. The CZU Fire of August 2020 burned 97% of the iconic park in a 24-hour period, including the park’s coastal redwood forests and almost all of the park’s infrastructure. The park has been closed since then while recovery work has been underway.

“The CZU Fire was a tragic event in the loss of almost all of the iconic buildings, utilities and infrastructure needed to have visitors in the park” said Santa Cruz District Superintendent Chris Spohrer. “But at the same time, we now have a unique opportunity to rethink the siting of some of the facilities and reimagine a park that puts the needs of the forest first, and provides facilities designed for future generations.”

Since the Reimagining Big Basin project kicked off in fall 2021, there have been a variety of ways to get involved in the project, which will culminate in the release of a vision document. The State Parks team has been working with partners and the project advisory committee to hold online and in-person events and ways to participate such as online webinars, a survey and pop-up events.

Here are some upcoming ways to participate in the Reimagining Big Basin project:

  • Share your memories of Big Basin through the online memory mapping exercise.
  • Participate in the online virtual Vision Workshop on Thursday, February 17. A link to register will be available at the project website.
  • Share images representing your vision for the future of Big Basin with the hashtag #BigBasinBigVision or submit through the project website.

The feedback and responses received from these activities will be summarized and be integrated into the vision document that State Parks will release in spring/summer 2022.

After the vision document is prepared, it will guide the future park planning, design and construction of visitor serving facilities, as well as forest management, trail work and other park projects needed to restore full operation of the park over the next several years. Reimagining, planning, designing, and building the park will take time. What is most critical is to recreate a park so that it maintains its original purpose, which is to allow its forests to inspire the future generations who visit.

To learn more, visit www.reimaginingbigbasin.org.

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KaBob
7 months ago

True, 97% of the forest burned. NOT true that most of the trees died. True, thinning the forest would have reduced fire intensity and likely reduced the damage. NOT true that other Monday Morning commenters here foresaw the forest “mismanagement” and voted to raise our taxes to pay for a massive California “forest thinning” project. Or ever would.

Susan RN MPH
7 months ago

Sigh. This was, and will again be, an incredibly beautiful place.

Thank you for posting this info. I’ll sign up for the workshop.

Harley
7 months ago

My thoughts exactly, go back and look at the picture, all the small trees under the large redwoods caused this! If the tree huggers would allow the forests to be thinned these massive forest fires would not have the fuel to catch the larger trees on fire. Fire actually helps the forests rejuvenate and become healthy.

Crowman
7 months ago

Maybe it can be used as an example of California’s mismanagement of our forests and the results of it.

Ray
7 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

Good point. Hopefully, you have to imagine that mismanagement will be corrected in the future plans. However, this is California, and one is left to wonder.

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