The epic saga of Big Basin began in the late 1800s when the surrounding communities saw their once inexhaustible redwood forests vanishing. Expanding railways demanded timber as they crisscrossed the nation, but the more redwoods that fell to the woodman's axe, the greater the effects on the local climate. California's groundbreaking environmental movement attracted individuals from every walk of life. From the adopted son of a robber baron to a bohemian woman winemaker to a Jesuit priest, resilient campaigners produced an unparalleled model of citizen action. Join author Traci Bliss as she reveals the untold story of a herculean effort to preserve the ancient redwoods for future generations.
Emerita Professor Traci Bliss began her career in public policy. She went on to become an award-winning education professor and state policy advisor to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She holds BA, MA and PhD degrees from Stanford University and an MPA degree from the LBJ School, University of Texas-Austin. With this multidisciplinary lens, she captures the true story of Big Basin. She is a member of the Santa Cruz Historic Preservation Commission and a state park docent.
"Dr. Bliss's excellent biography of a place, the Big Basin, reawakens for today's citizens the beginning, and by explicit challenge, our continuing obligation to protect these extraordinary places for future generations. Read Big Basin Redwood Forest, become involved in the Reimagining Big Basin process and embrace a more complete dedication like that of these early preservationists."
– Patrick A. Shea, former Director of the Bureau of Land Management
"Historian Traci Bliss has a new page-turner of a history book out called Big Basin Redwood Forest: California's Oldest State Park. It includes a rare assortment of photos with several in stunning color in print for the first time. This books is a loving tribute to the women and men whose great conservation efforts define our values, and inspire a resilience in charting the future of Big Basin. As it's entry gate once read: 'To Be Preserved In A State of Nature.'"
– Ross Eric Gibson, Santa Cruz Sentinel
"In Big Basin Redwood Forest, California's Oldest State Park, Bliss writes the stories of the early preservationists who never gave up on their fight to establish the first permanent park in California. Through exhaustive research, family photographs that have never been seen publicly, and firsthand accounts from inside the park, the book celebrates at every facet the victory of Big Basin. 'This is what Big Basin was, this is what Big Basin will be again, ' Bliss said. 'It is ineffable.'"
– Julie Horner, San Lorenzo Valley Post
"The movement to protect the region's most iconic redwoods was not just another 'one great man' tale, historian Traci Bliss reveals in her new book."
– Kate Bradshaw, TheSixFifty.com