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Anthony Castanos: Redwoods Are the Wonders in Our Back Yard
Anthony Castanos, Conservation Programs Assistant at Save the Redwoods League, takes in the beauty of Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.
Anthony Castanos, Land Project and Stewardship Associate at Save the Redwoods League, can't remember a time without the presence of giant redwoods in his life.
"We would go camping in the Sierra or Yosemite every summer," recalled the San Diego, California native. "When you're a kid, only a couple feet tall, looking at those trees is very humbling."
As a student at University of California, Berkeley, Castanos was drawn to urban planning with an environmental focus. He was living along the Hayward fault when he took a course and learned to identify and overlay earthquake- and fire-prone areas on maps. He mapped his own neighborhood's geological instability as well as its vegetation and wide array of trees, including redwoods.
"It was fascinating to get that science perspective – what actually existed in the city where I lived," he said.
His map-making ability comes in handy at the League, where Castanos has worked since 2011. "Any time property owners want to sell, or we identify a land that we want to conserve, I communicate with the owners, help draft maps and help with contracts," he said.
When friends ask why he cares about the redwoods, he talks first about whales.
"Whales are the biggest animals in the world, and people rally to protect this magnificent aquatic life," he said. "But redwoods are not just the biggest of the trees, they are also in our back yard. We can see them. We can appreciate them. We can save something that's part of our everyday lives."
You Can Protect a New Gateway to Giants
You may know about our Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth Campaign to protect some of the most beautiful ancient redwood forests still standing less than an hour's drive from the bustle of the South San Francisco Bay Area. Now we've added another magnificent forest to this campaign, and you have the chance to complete the project to restore and open this easy-access gateway to Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Learn more about this addition and how you can help.