Damage from the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire is seen at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek on April 22, 2021. Photo by Nic Coury, AP Photo

In summary

Big Basin Redwoods State Park will be back after massive wildfires, but what will it look like?

Ninety-seven percent of California’s oldest state park burned last summer in lightning-caused wildfires. Now, conservationists and the staff at Big Basin Redwoods State Park say they need more than $200 million just to start rebuilding. 

CalMatters’ Julie Cart went on a rare tour of the park just as it starts to regrow. She found scorched bark and hollowed-out trees, but also signs of hope in little green shoots at the base of redwoods “like fuzzy house slippers.”

California State Parks director Armando Quintero said he went to Big Basin on his first day on the job, in September. He said the wildfires that have ravaged state park land are an opportunity to address climate change and “rethink the original state park in terms of how we can manage that park for a healthy future a century from now.”

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