Current Programs

Reforestation Program

volunteer planting treesEach January Forest Unlimited volunteers plant redwood seedlings in protected locations throughout Sonoma County. We want to thank all our volunteers for the many successful plantings over the years to help complete our mission to protect, enhance, and restore the forests and watersheds of Sonoma County. Forest Unlimited has been organizing volunteers to plant redwood and oak seedlings on protected properties throughout Sonoma County for more than a decade.

In 2009 we planted redwoods in three locations: St. Dorothy’s Rest (a retreat for children living with cancer), Steelhead and Sunset Beaches (County Parks on the Russian River) and Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm.

In 2010 we planted oaks and redwoods again on Shone Farm. Thirty-one volunteers halped plant 2160 trees in two days. It was a glorious day of exploring the forest as we planted encountering many species of multicolored mushrooms.

In January of 2011 we planted over 1000 redwood seedlings at the Wildwood Retreat owned by the Wildwood Conservation Foundation near the Austin Creek State Recreation Area.

In January 2012 Forest Unlimited volunteers planted over 550 trees as the Graton Community Services District’s waste water treatment plant as part of our Community-Owned Forest Project.

In January 2013 Forest Unlimited volunteers and students from Santa Rosa Junior College planted over 1400 redwoods and oaks on the Junior College’s Shone Farm.

In January 2014 Forest Unlimited volunteers planted 1460 redwood seedlings in partnership with St. Dorothy’s Rest on St. Dorothy’s Rest property.

In January 2015 Forest Unlimited volunteers and students from Santa Rosa Junior College planted 1150 redwood seedlings at Wildwood Retreat Center in Guerneville.

In January 2016 Forest Unlimited volunteers planted 1150 redwood seedlings in the hills of Cazadero.

In January 2017 volunteers planted 1600 redwood seedlings at St. Dorothy’s Rest on newly acquired property in need of reforestation.

If you would like to volunteer for our next January planting, contact Elaine Wellin

Urban Forestry Program

Urban forests are generally located along creeks and in city parks and parkways. Forest Unlimited’s Urban Forestry Program has three components:  the Free the Creeks Project, the Native Trees Project and the Roseland NeighborWood Project (Roseland Creek).

Community-Owned Forest Program

A community-owned forest is a way for communities to offset the lumber they use for building with local trees.

Cities account for the greatest use of lumber. Houses and businesses all require much lumber to build, lumber that comes from natural forests. A city-owned forest is a way for cities to offset their use of lumber by actually growing some of their own. It can also provide a source of income for a city and a way to turn wastewater into revenue. And then there are carbon credits.

This is not a new idea, the City of Arcata has owned the Arcata Community Forest for years. We have encouraged the City of Sebastopol to carefully evaluate Arcata’s operation as a model for Sebastopol and directed the city to potential funding sources. Forest Unlimited helped to begin the Graton Community Forest Project.

Logging Review Program

Forest Unlimited regularly reviews Sonoma and Napa County logging plans filed with the California Department of Forestry (CalFire).  Generally we oppose plans that will damage the productivity of the forest, the integrity of endangered and threatened species habitat, or water quality. We challenge unsustainable logging plans such as clear cuts.

When we encounter a bad plan, we organize the local community to opposed it and submit public comments to the official record which provides the legal grounds for a successful lawsuit. Often CalFire will alter the plan in response to our comments motivated by a potential lawsuit.

Sometimes neighborhood or watershed groups bring to our attention a logging plan. We help them understand the review process, hold workshops in forestry law, and counsel them on strategy. We also help with fundraising in case a lawsuit seems likely.

We have organized or aided over 50 groups since 1995 and prosecuted many successful lawsuits overturning CalFire’s approval of detrimental logging plans. In the process we have set several important legal precedents.

Current Sonoma County logging plans.

Current Napa County logging plans.

Logging Plan Resources.

Education Programs

NewslettersIn addition to this website, Forest Unlimited publishes Forest Communiqué, a newsletter which chronicles our progress on our projects, provides educational articles and focuses on issues of local importance.  We also publish an Annual Report for our supporters.

Educational display:  Forest Unlimited would welcome an opportunity to set up our educational display at your Sonoma County event.  It provides information on current logging plans, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection review process and informative maps.  Call 707-632-6070 to arrange a display at your event.

Forestry News: We provide forestry news, editorials and background information for newspapers, magazines and electronic media on forestry and forestry law. For example, we have provided “Close to Home” editorials in the Press Democrat, and background information to Vanity Fair for a May 2009 article.

Forest Protection Workshops:  Forest Unlimited holds workshops that cover forestry law, public oversight of the government’s review of logging and strategic forest protection techniques.  These workshops are held in May and October.  All workshops are on Saturdays from 12 Noon to 2 PM usually at an outdoor forest location.  Let Forest Unlimited train your watershed group in forest protection. Forests are crucial to the health of a watershed.  To schedule a special workshop for your group, call 707-632-6070.

Sponsorship Program

If you would like help forming a watershed group to protect your watershed from destructive or illegal logging, please contact us.  Forest Unlimited organizes concerned citizens into local watershed groups, particularly in watersheds threatened by logging.  Does your watershed need a protection group? We can help you establish one.  Contact us!

To learn more about our affiliate organizations, select one of the following:

Felta Creek Watershed:  Friends of Felta Creek, Lucy Kotter, P.O. Box 1690, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Gualala River Watershed: Friends of the Gualala River

Russian River and Dutch Bill Creek Watershed: Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club (BRRC)

Sheephouse Creek Watershed: Friends of Sheephouse Creek (FSC)

Kidd Creek Watershed: Pole Mountain Coalition (PMC)

Green Valley Creek Watershed: Forestville Citizens for Sensible Growth(FCFSG) 707-578-0595, PO Box 4346, Forestville CA 95436, Robert Lawson

Napa River Watershed: Citizens for a Green Community (CGC)