Fire Response & Recovery Support

In the aftermath of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, through our unique position as co-management partners with State Parks, we established the Friends Fire Fund. People from around the globe responded with incredible generosity to address the devastation of our beloved state parks and those who work in them. Thank you. We are deeply moved and appreciative of all this support.
Nearly a year later, we can share that recovery from this climate disaster has been happening in phases – for both parks and people.
The Fire Fund initially provided direct, immediate assistance for the staff most affected by the fire. Many staff members from Friends and California State Parks were personally impacted by the fire, including people who suffered catastrophic losses such as their homes and personal vehicles. Thanks to gifts from hundreds of individuals, as well as the California State Parks Foundation, Mountain Parks Foundation and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, we were able to financially support all 29 staff members who experienced monumental losses. 

Since the fall of 2020, Friends has been supporting the long-term recovery work for the state parks impacted by this fire. In addition to the extensive and tragic devastation at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, other local state parks sustained damage, including parts of Año Nuevo State Park, Butano State Park, the Fall Creek section of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and the Rancho Del Oso and Little Basin sections of Big Basin.

  • Friends contracted with Codifi, Inc. one month after the fire to digitally document the fire losses of 75 buildings and sites at Big Basin, as well as Año Nuevo State Park, including Cascade Ranch and Gazos Creek, totaling more than 25 other historic resources.  Thanks to grant support from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, we saved many months of labor and facilitated rapid reports to OSHA, FEMA and State Parks, so on-the-ground recovery work could begin.
  • Friends helped save 15 old growth redwood trees in the park.  This hazard removal work including taking off whole sections of the upper tree trunks or removing dead limbs or tops that had the potential to fall on areas likely to be occupied by either park staff or visitors.  Because these trees posed a hazard to the public, had the pruning not been done, they would have been cut down.  This work resulted in creating a safe environment for park visitors and staff and the preservation of these trees; each of them irreplaceable, priceless, and unique. Generous support from the Sempervirens Fund helped make the work by Christianson Tree Experts of Boulder Creek possible.
  • One of the roads in Big Basin was not built to withstand the weight of vehicles and heavy equipment currently working in the area.  Friends provided the funding to purchase materials necessary to repair the road so park restoration could continue.
  • Park supporters are curious to learn about how the park is doing since the fire and what recovery and restoration work is happening.  Since in-person park tours aren’t safe at this time, Friends has funded a short film and digital scan of sections of the park providing a virtual Big Basin park tour in collaboration with California State Parks. The video and scan link is here.

We invite you to become part of our efforts to support the recovery of Big Basin and these other magnificent state parks. We very much welcome your support! Your gift can be directed toward one or all of the state parks listed above.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you prefer to mail a check please address it to: FOSCSP, 1543 Pacific Ave Ste 206, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Make it out to FOSCSP and write Fire Fund on the memo line.

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