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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
Redwood Forest Conservation

with Don Kemp & members of the RFFI Board
Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
$5 donation requested

Gualala Arts will host a lecture titled Redwood Forest Conservation with Don Kemp and members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood Forest Foundation on Wednesday, January 23, 7:00 p.m.

On June 14, 2007, the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) announced the country's first forest acquisition by a nonprofit using 100 percent private capital to close the deal. The transaction preserves 50,635 acres of critical working timberland in the Usal Redwood Forest map Usal Redwood Forest, just north of Fort Bragg in Northern California's Mendocino County.

This transaction will prevent the forest's fragmentation while also allowing the property's coastal redwood trees to grow and be managed as a working sustainable forest. The foundation purchased the acreage from Hawthorne Timber Company using $65 million in flexible long-term financing. This unique structure could provide a national model for nonprofit ownership of a forest, and enables local environmentalists and timber companies to implement sustainable timber practices that sustain jobs and tax base while protecting critical ecological areas.

Usal Redwood Forest: healthy forest RFFI's oversight of the forest will preserve open space, restore the quality of the redwood forest, purify waterways, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain family wage jobs for those who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Upon fulfilling its financial obligations, RFFI will continue to sustainably harvest timber and reinvest in the community as determined by RFFI.

RFFI is a private non-profit, Section 501(c)3 organization. RFFI's purpose is to acquire, protect, restore and manage forestlands for the long-term public benefit of the region's citizens. The organization's goal is to create a model of "working community forests" by purchasing and sustainably managing the once great redwood forests surrounding the communities of the redwood region in northwestern California. This will be for the social, environmental and economic benefit of all our citizens in perpetuity, by returning net profits directly back to the communities served.

RFFI is currently staffed by volunteers. Don Kemp, who is also Treasurer of Gualala Arts, has served as the Executive Director of RFFI for the past four years. Don is a former corporate investment banker from New York who moved to the Gualala/Sea Ranch area six years ago when he and his wife, Françoise, decided it was time to stop working for a living and pursue other goals. He has always been a believer that private capital and community consciousness could work together to solve problems; and that belief was behind the work that led to RFFI's recent success.

As with all non-profit corporations, the RFFI board is responsible for operation of the organization. RFFI also has an advisory committee that provides the board with community input. The RFFI board includes two local foresters, two CEOs, three financial executives (retired), and a foundation manager. For further information about RFFI and this particular transaction, please visit the RFFI website:

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.