In 1948, at age 19, Emmerson arrived in Arcata, California where he began working in mills learning as much as he could about every job in the plant.
Through the Sierra Pacific Foundation, Emmerson gave millions of dollars in community contributions. The Foundation was established in 1979 by Red’s Father. Over the years, Red has continued to fund the Foundation to meet its philanthropic commitment to worthy organizations, community projects, youth activities, and student scholarships for the communities where the company has operating facilities.
As of 2016, he is the third largest private land owner in the United States.