Redwood forests have existed all over the world for millions of years, but as the global climate has changed, so has their range. In the U.S. these forests now only occupy a coastal belt from Central California into Oregon. Redwood trees have adaptations for capturing moisture directly from the air, and occur in wet canyons and other wind-protected locations cooled by summer fog. The large redwood trees create a cool, densely shaded environment and deep organic litter on the forest floor. Plants and animals that live in these forests are adapted to a dark, damp environment.
The nearby Big Basin Redwoods State Park was California’s first state park, created in 1902. Why might the redwoods and redwood forests have needed protection at that time?