The Lion that Roars…Again and Again

Why Forests Matter....

If you haven't met our client, Richard Wilson, you should. A legend in California, Richard was a cattle rancher who became the Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from 1991-1999, under former Governor Pete Wilson, and is respected as one of California’s leading conservationists. He has been actively involved in helping shape policyin the area of environmental protection, specifically forests, and rural planning for more than 50 years.

Richard has spearheaded and lead a number of initiatives that have conserved the landscape of California, including: 

  • California Coastal Commission: An original member of the Coastal Commission, Richard was part of a working group of environmentalists which set the stage for the preservation for our coast as we know it today.

  • Dos Rios Dam: Mobilizing support to stop a plan by the Army Corp of Engineers to flood Round Valley, a 24-square-mile alluvial basin, under a massive reservoir on the Middle Fork of the Eel Raise and send the water to Los Angeles. This valley is home to one of California's largest Native American reservations. Richard's efforts got the attention of former Governor Ronald Reagan, who eventually stepped in and stopped the project

  • Saving the Redwoods: Charles Hurwitz, a billionaire businessman bought Pacific Lumber (PALCO) in 1985 and quickly began liquidating all the old-growth redwoods, the Headwaters Forest, on the 210,000 acre property. Congress and California legislators stepped in to purchase the land and restore it. Hurwitz fraudulently tried to manipulate the numbers of sustainable trees on the property which would have increased the value of the forest. Richard, accessing critical data to prove the fraud and took Hurwitz to court, resulting in $4M being repaid to state and federal governments. Richard then brokered a deal for the Fisher family, owners of The Gap to purchase the land and restore it. 

Now at 85, he has embarked on leading the charge to restore California's forests with his nonprofit, Why Forests Matter. Based on principles from the sustained yield forestry plan that he implemented in the 1990's, Richard has brought together a group of venerated conservationists focused on developing the criteria needed for foresters to have the comprehensive education to effectively implement the Forest Practice Act to ensure there is a continuous supply of high-quality sustainable wood product.  If you have a second, check out his work and contributions to the Golden State! 


Fast Facts on Forests

  • 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity - plants, animals, fungi and bacteria - call the forest their home

  • More than 25% of modern medicines originated from plants found in forest 

  •  A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48-pounds per year. This same tree will release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings

  • California's ancient Redwood stands store more carbon dioxide per acre than any other forest in the world

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@whyforestsmatter for future generations....

Daniel Luiken