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For Sale: America’s Largest Private Grove of Giant Sequoias (atlasobscura.com)
149 points by thread_id 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments


"After more than seven decades of ownership, the Rouchs have struck a deal to sell their sequoia-studded piece of the Sierra Nevada to the Save the Redwoods League, a century-old conservation group that has long hankered after the property."

I think the linked article has the same information:

> The [Save the Redwoods] league recently signed a purchase agreement with the family, and is seeking $15 million from the public to acquire the land and the giant sequoias on it, nearly 500 of which have a diameter of six feet or more.

I see a cottage industry forming which will raise prices of rural land due to visibility and environmental campaigning.

I've wanted to see these trees for a long time and recently got the chance to camp in Sequoia National Park. It was breathtaking to say the least. One of my favorite places.

Saw them for the first time at the same park about four years ago. One of the trippiest sober experiences of my life. They seem alien.

I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a couple people on this site who could afford to buy it outright.

Someone just make a gofundme and turn it into public land.

If you read the article, that’s precisely what they are doing. (Well, they aren’t using go fund me.) They just need another $8 mil.

Why? It seems to me private ownership has performed at least as well as public for the preservation of the trees.

Not really. The current owners have cleared some of the forest, just not the sequoias, which probably isn’t optimal for preservation. I mean, I don’t blame the current owners, but it does seem like the trees would likely be better off as part of the adjacent park than staying in private hands.

> I don’t blame the current owners

I do. Who do you blame?

Someone please buy it to conserve it and it harvest

doh! I meant someone buy it to conserve it and protect it from harvesting.

You can edit comments. FYI

$15 million....what's that, an olive in the salad of US military? Have USA buy it...

Could easily do it financially, the problem is you have to get the attention of someone in government that matters and prompt them to go to bat to convince numerous other people of the need to spend the money. Stray spending like that only happens as a pet cause that someone with influence champions, in doing so they burn a political marker (diverts funds from someone else's pet cause). Alternatively you have to get someone to put it into a future budget for one of the land management services, which can take years depending.

Might be far easier to get a rich person to fork over the $15m and then hand it over to the forest service, like so:

"The league plans to transfer the land to the US Forest Service in the next decade, which will make it part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument."

Where’s a Gates or a Zuckerberg when you need them?

Why does the world's wealthiest country have to rely on the largesse of a few wealthy individuals to protect its natural and cultural heritage? I think the Parks Department can handle this one.

I think in practice both the government and private interests will end up paying for this. I predict they will successfully raise the $15m to buy the land, and transfer it to the park system. But then the park system will end up paying for maintenance forever. It seems like a pretty reasonable balance, to me.

The problem with expecting the park service to acquire all land that’s good for parks is that in the Sierras there really is a huge amount of land that would be amazing for parks. California has more nice parkland than anywhere else I’m aware of, and the government already struggles at times to maintain it all, so I wouldn’t expect them to necessarily be aggressively expanding.

There are already large Sequoia groves under the protection of the parks and other departments.

...And each one that remains counts in our survival at middle term. Should be easier and less expensive to protect than an equivalent area in Amazonian rainforest.

How many sequoias should the parks department own? All of them?

Yes, all of them should be protected by the US government so they cannot simply be sold to the highest bidder. Once these ancient trees are gone, they will never come back. The Parks Service seems to be able to keep these alive and in good shape for the benefit of all

1000 year's old sequoias? as many as they can.

because it's an oligarchy.

Who do you think is responsible for funding most of the Parks Department (and the rest of government)?

It’s always going to be these people that that created the most wealth that are paying. It’s much better to have them pay for it directly than to have the government tax them and have the government pay. The former eliminates all the waste involved with paying bureaucrats to take the money as taxes and more bureaucrats to spend the money that was taken. I would be surprised if the government would have to tax at least $16 million to be able to spend $15 million but this grove of redwoods.

> The former eliminates all the waste involved with paying bureaucrats to take the money as taxes and more bureaucrats to spend the money that was taken.

Correct, the former eliminates all the waste involved in a functioning democracy.

This sounds a lot like feudalism!

The Lord having a duty to his peasants to protect parts of the land and pay for its upkeep.

You may be on to something. Like a casual carbon tax credit. Buy forested land in lieu of tax payments.

Remember that they would have to maintain it...

Left entirely alone, I think the trees maintain themselves rather well

No, they would have to be protected from poaching.

And cleared a bit to reduce fuel loading in case of fire.

Yes, we call them... national parks.

While I wouldn't have asked for hacker news comments to turn into this genre: this is an underrated comment.

> We value your privacy

I hate popups that can't be dismissed. But reader mode works regardless, at least.

Edit: Refusing tracking-free access violates GDPR.[0] That is, unless you explicitly deny access to EU residents.[1]

0) https://www.gdprtoday.org/dutch-dpa-rules-websites-must-allo...

1) https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/29562/is-it-possible...

[1] is not the only way

There are a number of ways to demonstrate that you are not doing business in the EU and thus do not have to comply with the GDPR and can refuse tracking-free access.

How so?

But yes, I do see that Atlas Obscura does do that. On their privacy policy page, I find:

> The Website is hosted in the United States and is intended for and directed to users in the United States. If you are accessing the Website from the European Union, Asia, or any other region with laws or regulations governing personal data collection, use, and disclosure, that differ from United States laws, please be advised that through your continued use of the Website, which is governed by U.S. law, this Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use, you are transferring your personal information to the United States and you consent to that transfer.

Edit: Upon reflection, I don't think that this satisfies GDPR. They would need to entirely deny access to users in the EU. Just telling them that US law applies, and that they can access the site only if they agree to give up their rights, doesn't suffice.

But I guess that we'll see. I'm sure that complaints have been lodged.

I think the key part is this assertion: "The Website is hosted in the United States and is intended for and directed to users in the United States." As long as there aren't other indications that the business is actually doing business in the EU (e.g. has German or French localization, sells stuff to EU based customers, etc), this helps demonstrate that they don't need to comply with the GDPR.

While there are many companies that have chosen to try and block users in the EU, I don't think this is required, or intended by GDPR.

Maybe so. I guess that we'll see.

GDPR applies regardless of whether you're doing business, and IIUIC applies to _people_ from the EU rather than just people currently in the EU.

> applies to _people_ from the EU rather than just people currently in the EU.

No, it applies to "data subjects who are in the Union" (art. 3 - "Territorial scope"), not from the Union.

(This is for non-EU data processing organizations; the EU-based organizations/companies must apply the GDPR to everyone in the world)

I read it as they are "in the Union" by virtue of nationality; that is they are "[legally] in the Union" [https://gdpr-info.eu/art-3-gdpr/]; but it seems you're right, eg. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/refo...

The company I work for interprets it as any EU citizen any where on the globe, so we just implemented GDPR for every one regardless of their location or particulars.

I will be shocked if they can raise the required amount.

Shame that this property will probably be bulldozed and exploited like every other natural resource on this planet.

To downvoters, is it because I'm right, or because you don't like the consequences?

I doubt anyone would bulldoze the area. It doesn’t have all that much commercial value as an empty field. The most likely outcome if they don’t manage to raise the 15m is that the property stays as it is, and the owners hold out to get more money later, while preserving the trees to keep up its property value.

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