Muir Woods National Monument, also known as The Redwood Forest, is a United States National Park on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, California, 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It protects 559 acres (226 ha), of which 240 acres (97 ha) are old growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in coastal fogs, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during the dry summer. One hundred and fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States, and before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres (8,000 km²) of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Congressman William Kent purchased 611 acres (247 ha) of uncut land in a valley named Redwood Canyon just north of the San Francisco Bay, and in 1907 donated 295 acres (119 ha) of the redwood forest to the Federal Government, thus preventing a local water company from damming and flooding the valley. In January 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a national monument. The original suggested name was the Kent Monument but Kent insisted it be named after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped to establish the national park system. In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed and park attendance tripled.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Scientist Dr. Will Rodman took his chimp surrogate son, Caesar, to Muir Woods for the first time when he was three years old. For the next five years, it became his favorite place to play and spend time in a habitat more natural to him. After leading a mass breakout of genetically altered apes from the San Bruno Primate Shelter, the Gen-Sys Laboratories and the San Francisco Zoo, Caesar tried to take the apes to freedom in the Muir Woods redwood forest across the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing only rampaging wild apes, the San Francisco authorities tried to corral the apes on the bridge and massacre them, but after a battle and many deaths on both sides, most apes survived and reached Muir Woods. The apes were then followed by Will Rodman who stole a police car and searched the forest for Caesar. His loud calling had alerted Koba who was going to kill him on the spot, only for him to be quickly swatted away by Caesar. Koba tried to attack Will again but Caesar threatened the bonobo to leave Will alone though angered by this, Koba backed away and ran off into the woods as Caesar tended to his adoptive father. It is here where Caesar says his goodbyes adoptive human father Will Rodman by speaking to him telling him "Caesar is home" after the latter begged him to come back home with him. Will amazed that Caesar talked, and looking upon the other apes, decided to respect his adoptive son's wishes and allowed him to stay with his ape followers. With that Caesar turned to his followers who cleared a path for him as he walked to his favorite tree which he loved climbing as a child. As he approached the tree, he turned to face the other apes who rose to stand on their feet like him showing they accept him as their leader. Caesar ran up his favorite tree where he was joined by Maurice and Rocket on the adjacent trees and three looked upon the damage inflicted upon the city of San Francisco and wondered what future awaited their people.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Ten years after the Ape Rebellion and Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, the apes of San Francisco have made the Muir Woods their home. They have created their own village at the top of the hills where their population has increased to over thousands and continues to grow while outside the forrest in San Francisco, human civilization rots from the inside out while survivors are forced to flee to any safe place they can find. Also the population of the other animals in the woods, such as elk and bears, have increased due to the number of humans going down because of the Simian-Flu.