Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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California drought: Team climbs high to assess redwoods threat

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Flood, fire and famine have been no match for California’s mighty redwoods. The giant trees that hug the coast from Big Sur to Oregon date back centuries, sometimes to the Roman Empire, and rank among the planet’s oldest living things.

But a research team worries they may be facing new threats — the latest being the state’s three-year dry spell. And so, last week, UC Berkeley scientist Anthony Ambrose and others ascended ropes high into the canopy of a dense forest near Santa Cruz, seeking to find out if the trees are getting as much water as they’re used to. If not, they wonder, what is the toll?

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