Wednesday, January 9, 2013
On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Muir Woods in California a National Monument. Part of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast in Marin County, the land includes 240 acres of old-growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ancestors of redwoods and sequoias grew across the United States 150 million years ago, but they exist today only in a narrow, cool band from Monterey, Calif., to Oregon. An estimated 2 million acres of old-growth forests grew in California before the logging industry cut most of them down. Muir Woods, named after naturalist John Muir, was saved in the inaccessible Redwood Canyon area with the help of U.S. Congressman William Kent and his wife, who bought and donated the land to the Federal government, averting further destruction.