The Coast Redwood - Sequioa sempervirens. It is one of the world's most beloved trees - and for good reasons.
[ zoom out from redwood crown, in canopy]
THESE ARE THE TALLEST LIVING BEINGS ON EARTH -
[Aerial Video of Elk Prairie, atlas Grove]
they are also some of the oldest and largest living organisms we know of.
[pan down reiteration complex in Iluvatar]
Redwood National and State Parks are home to some of the grandest forests on the planet.
[continue pan down Iluvatar]
But these forests are only a fraction of what they once were - due to over a century of commercial logging
[Aerial video of clearcut and mixed forest stand; pan across 1980 aerial photo]
Roughly 5% of the original old growth redwood forests still remain - but over time that number will begin to grow.
[Aerial view of mixed stand in upper Wilson Creek - Mill Creek forest in background]
[Dan porter quote]
Well the primary objective of the Mill Creek Property is to grow more old forests'
[Dan Porter - face shot - with Intro Title]
The Mill Creek Property sits between the Smith River National Recreation Area to the East, and the Jedediah Smith and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Parks to the west.
Together, these forests make up the largest temperate rain forest reserve in the west -
But Mill Creek still has a long way to go until its forests can be called Old Growth
At Mill Creek, we have a very unnatural condition - where douglas fir predominates over redwoods, where that wouldn't have occurred naturally, and the density of trees is so high that the trees are actually struggling and competing with eachother for growing space, for light, for water
[Google earth views of plantation forests[
[Dan porter - short face shot]
we have an ecologically based program of forest restoration to remove some of those stresses from the forest.
[Pan across thinning area, closing on recently cut stumps]
[time-lapse of forest thinning]
[zoom in on thinned stand, sharp contrast with unthinned stand]
In addition to thinning dense stands of douglas fir, it is necessary to restore stand diversity by growing and planting other conifer and hardwood species
[real time footage of trees droppin}
The Nursery at Mill Creek is operated by Dan Burgess, a local community organizer and restoration practitioner.
[zoom out from fan in nursery (hear Dan's footsteps]
[wide shot of Dan watering, zoom in]
[closer shot of watering]
Dan has gatherd seeds and sprouts, and is raising them in a well-designed nursery near the old Mill Site
[Shots of redwood saplings and sprouts in pots]
One of their key issues is 'Genetic integrity'
[pan across plants in pots]
the seed source, again, as part of the genetic integrity program, we want to collect local material, find the source of the seed and the propagation material as close to the restoration site as possible, so that means within a mile, and if not within a mile, then 800 feet in elevation from that site.
[pan of spruce sprouts;]
[Dan gathering seeds]
[pan up to Dan speaking] - Dan Title
The Nursery on the Mill Creek property is growing a diversity of conifer species - all from seed and sprouts gathered on the property .
[video of different conifers in the nursery]
These trees will be used to replant riparian zones and stream crossings where instream and hillslope restoration is taking place.
[video of finished crossings and alder lined channels]
This attention to diversity helps to develop the natural complexity that leads to long term forest health and forest resilience.
[Dan Burgess in the greenhouse]
Without intervention, these overcrowded plantations are likely to stagnate, and are much more prone to suffer from disease or wildfire
[lathrop - forest thinning]
Thinning the vast stands of young trees is hard work, and must be carefully coordinated with the road removal program in order to avoid difficult access situations.
This investment of time and energy improves forest health, and will decrease the time required to re-establish a forest stronghold on the Mill Creek Property.