(The following was submitted by Redwood National & State Parks.)
Redwood National & State Parks (RNSP) announces the re-opening of four miles of lower Redwood Creek to backcountry camping. This action permits dispersed backcountry camping on the gravel bars along Redwood Creek between MacArthur Creek and the Tall Trees Grove.
The area has been closed to dispersed backcountry camping since 2010 as part of an adaptive management plan designed to minimize adverse effects of increased predation of federally threatened marbled murrelets by corvids (ravens, Steller’s Jays, and crows). Ravens and Steller’s Jays in particular are known to prey on marbled murrelet eggs and chicks. Redwood National & State Parks contains the largest remaining block of suitable nesting habitat for murrelets in California.
Monitoring of corvid density was conducted for three years from 2007 through 2009 while the four mile stretch along Redwood Creek was open to dispersed backcountry camping. The area was then closed completely to camping from 2010 through 2012. RNSP staff continued to monitor corvid density during those three years. The results of the monitoring showed no measurable difference in corvid density between the three years when the area was open to camping and the three years when camping was disallowed. Control areas monitored during the same six years also showed no measureable changes in corvid density between during that period as well. Park staff will continue to monitor corvids along Redwood Creek for the next three years as part of an adaptive management strategy. Preventing the unintentional feeding of corvids by people in the backcountry is the key to reducing corvid density and predation on murrelet nests.
Backcountry camping permits are required for overnight use on Redwood Creek and may be obtained at the Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick, or the Crescent City Information Center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day. Campers are advised to check with park staff on water levels and alternate access routes prior to their trip. Seasonal bridges crossing Redwood Creek are usually installed around the Memorial Day weekend depending on weather and creek conditions. Dispersed camping on the Redwood Creek gravel bars is prohibited downstream of MacArthur Creek, and within ¼ mile of the Tall Trees Grove trail.
For more information on backcountry camping and all other park activities, call the RNSP information office at 707-465-7335.