San Mateo County, California
San Mateo County is a county located in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 718,451, the county seat is Redwood City. San Mateo County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is part of the San Francisco Bay Area and it covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula. San Francisco International Airport is located at the end of the county. The countys built-up areas are mostly suburban with some areas being very urban, San Mateo County was formed in 1856 after San Francisco County, one of the states 18 original counties since Californias statehood in 1850, was split apart. Until 1856, San Franciscos city limits extended west to Divisadero Street and Castro Street, in response to the lawlessness and vigilantism that escalated rapidly between 1855 and 1856, the California government decided to divide the county. A straight line was drawn across the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula just north of San Bruno Mountain.
The consolidated city-county of San Francisco was formed by an introduced by Horace Hawes. San Mateo County was officially organized on 18 April 1857 under a bill introduced by Senator T. G, San Mateo County annexed part of northern Santa Cruz County in March 1868, including Pescadero and Pigeon Point. Although the forming bill named Redwood City the county seat, a May 1856 election marked by unblushing frauds, perpetuated on an unorganized and wholly unprotected community by thugs and ballot stuffers from San Francisco named Belmont the county seat. The election results were declared illegal and the county government was moved to Redwood City, Redwood Citys status as county seat was upheld in two succeeding elections in May 1861 and 9 December 1873, defeating San Mateo and Belmont. Another election in May 1874 named San Mateo the county seat, but the supreme court overturned that election on 24 February 1875. San Mateo County bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew, until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 741 square miles. It is the third-smallest county in California by land area, a number of bayside watercourses drain the eastern part of the county including San Bruno Creek and Colma Creek. Streams draining the county include Frenchmans Creek, Pilarcitos Creek, Naples Creek, Arroyo de en Medio. These streams originate along the spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains that run through the county. San Mateo County straddles the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Santa Cruz Mountains running its entire length, the county encompasses a variety of habitats including estuarine, oak woodland, redwood forest, coastal scrub and oak savannah
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a United States National Park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument. The source of heat for volcanism in the Lassen area is subduction off the Northern California coast of the Gorda Plate diving below the North American Plate, the area surrounding Lassen Peak is still active with boiling mud pots, stinking fumaroles, and churning hot springs. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found, the park is accessible via State Routes SR89 and SR44. SR89 passes north-south through the park, beginning at SR36 to the south, SR89 passes immediately adjacent the base of Lassen Peak. A large lodge with concession facilities was located near the south-west entrance, a new, full-service visitor center was constructed in the same location, and opened to the public in 2008.
Near the old location was located Lassen Ski Area. Native Americans have inhabited the area long before white settlers first saw Lassen. The natives knew that the peak was full of fire and water, White immigrants in the mid-19th century used Lassen Peak as a landmark on their trek to the fertile Sacramento Valley. One of the guides to these immigrants was a Danish blacksmith named Peter Lassen, Lassen Peak was named after him. Nobles Emigrant Trail was cut through the area and passed Cinder Cone. Inconsistent newspaper accounts reported by witnesses from 1850 to 1851 described seeing fire thrown to a terrible height, as late as 1859, a witness reported seeing fire in the sky from a distance, attributing it to an eruption. Early geologists and volcanologists who studied the Cinder Cone concluded the last eruption occurred between 1675 and 1700, after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the United States Geological Survey began reassessing the potential risk of other active volcanic areas in the Cascade Range.
Further study of Cinder Cone estimated the last eruption occurred between 1630 and 1670, recent tree-ring analysis has placed the date at 1666. The Lassen area was first protected by being designated as the Lassen Peak Forest Preserve, Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone were declared as U. S. National Monuments in May 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Starting in May 1914 and lasting until 1921, a series of minor to major eruptions occurred on Lassen and these events created a new crater, and released lava and a great deal of ash. Fortunately, because of warnings, no one was killed, because of the eruptive activity, which continued through 1917, and the areas stark volcanic beauty, Lassen Peak, Cinder Cone and the area surrounding were declared a National Park on August 9,1916. The 29-mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted, near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8,512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Overall administration is by the National Park Service, coordinating with state, county and university agencies. The Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area preserves one of the best examples of a Mediterranean climate ecosystem in the world and it protects one of the highest densities of archaeological resources in any mountain range in the world. The Santa Monica Mountains NRA contains 156,671 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains of the Transverse Ranges between the Pacific Ocean and inland valleys and its southeastern slopes are part of the headwaters of the Los Angeles River. In size the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban park in the United States. Besides geologic forces, people who inhabited the area in the past have been ones to affect the land, there were different reasons for people to come into the area. Some came to live and others to work the land, the first groups to live in the mountains were the Native American tribes called the Chumash and the Tongva who lived here for thousands of years.
Then came the Spanish Explorers and Homesteaders from other areas of the country, the Homesteaders brought new ideas and cultures that shaped the landscape and mindset of the area, and California overall. Up to this day, people continue to live, places such as Paramount Ranch, Solstice Canyon, and Rancho Sierra Vista/ Satwiwa still have that history that has been left behind by people in the past. The past stories from people are discovered through photographs, letters. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area strives to make sure the collections, the first area in the Santa Monica Mountains set aside for public use was Griffith Park which was donated to the city of Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. During the first decade of the century, Frederick H. Rindge made several attempts to create a forest reserve in the Santa Monica Mountains. These reserves were precursors to national forests, in 1902 California’s State Mining Bureau examined the area being considered for the establishment of a forest reserve.
The resulting report was sent to Washington where the proposal for a reserve was denied, in 1907 an application was submitted to the Secretary of the Interior requesting that at least 70,000 acres in the mountains be designated a forest reserve. This time state mineralogist Lewis E. Aubury opposed the venture and he wrote the L. A. C. and endeavor to ascertain his views on the subject, and further protest against the creation of this proposed reserve”. Days the U. S. Limestone deposits were discovered in the mountains behind Pacific Palisades in 1925 which led to a battle between wealthy home owners of the area and land developers. The quarry site was in Traylor Canyon, three miles inland from the sea, between Santa Ynez and Temescal Canyons. Alphonzo Bell, Sr. was the real estate developer behind the scheme while local opposition was led by Sylvia Morrison. After much criticism of his plan, Bell offered a new proposal
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25,1890, the park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park, the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976, the park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Parks General Grant Grove, the parks giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Indeed, the preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement. Many park visitors enter Sequoia National Park through its entrance near the town of Three Rivers at Ash Mountain at 1,700 ft elevation.
The last California grizzly was killed in this park in 1922, the California Black Oak is a key transition species between the chaparral and higher elevation conifer forest. At higher elevations in the front country, between 5,500 and 9,000 feet in elevation, the landscape becomes montane forest-dominated coniferous belt, found here are Ponderosa, Jeffrey and lodgepole pine trees, as well as abundant white and red fir. Found here too are the giant sequoia trees, the most massive living single-stem trees on earth, between the trees and summer snowmelts sometimes fan out to form lush, though delicate, meadows. In this region, visitors often see deer, Douglas squirrels, and American black bears. There are plans to reintroduce the bighorn sheep to this park, the vast majority of the park is roadless wilderness, no road crosses the Sierra Nevada within the parks boundaries. 84 percent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is designated wilderness and is only by foot or by horseback. Sequoias backcountry offers a vast expanse of high-alpine wonders, covering the highest-elevation region of the High Sierra, the backcountry includes Mount Whitney on the eastern border of the park, accessible from the Giant Forest via the High Sierra Trail.
On the floor of canyon, at least two days hike from the nearest road, is the Kern Canyon hot spring, a popular resting point for weary backpackers. From the floor of Kern Canyon, the trail ascends again over 8,000 ft to the summit of Mount Whitney, in the summertime, Native Americans would travel over the high mountain passes to trade with tribes to the East. By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had spread to the region. The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp, Tharp allowed his cattle to graze the meadow, but at the same time had a respect for the grandeur of the forest and led early battles against logging in the area
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne and Madera counties in Northern California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, on average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness, Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has a range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones, chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone. Of Californias 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada, there is suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.
The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks, about 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, about one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode, the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name Yosemite originally referred to the name of a tribe which was driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion. Before the area was called Ahwahnee by indigenous people, as revealed by archeological finds, the Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahneechee, meaning dwellers in Ahwahnee and they are related to the Northern Paiute and Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, a major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today, acorns were a staple to their diet, as well as seeds and plants, salmon. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance and he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley, attached to Savages unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya, Bunnell wrote that Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Pai-Ute Colony of Ah-wah-nee
Channel Islands (California)
The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America. Five of the islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, the islands were first colonized by the Chumash and Tongva Native Americans 13,000 years ago, who were displaced by European settlers who used the islands for fishing and agriculture. The U. S. military uses the islands as training grounds, weapons test sites, the Channel Islands and the surrounding waters house a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species and subspecies. Eight islands are split among the jurisdictions of three separate California counties, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, and Los Angeles County, the islands are divided into two groups, the northern Channel Islands and the southern Channel Islands. The four northern Islands used to be a single known as Santa Rosae. The archipelago extends for 160 miles between San Miguel Island in the north and San Clemente Island in the south, the islands’ land area totals 221,331 acres, or about 346 square miles.
Five of the islands were made into the Channel Islands National Park in 1980, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles off Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara islands. Santa Catalina Island is the one of the eight islands with a significant permanent civilian settlement—the resort city of Avalon, California. Natural seepage of oil occurs at places in the Santa Barbara Channel. Tar balls or pieces of tar in small numbers are found in the kelp, Native Americans used naturally occurring tar, for a variety of purposes which include roofing, waterproofing and some ceremonial purposes. The Channel Islands at low elevations are virtually frost-free and constitute one of the few areas in the 48 contiguous US states. It snows only rarely, on mountain peaks. Separated from the California mainland throughout recent geological history, the Channel Islands provide the earliest evidence for seafaring in the Americas. It is the site of the discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America, the northern Channel Islands are now known to have been settled by maritime Paleo Indian peoples at least 13,000 years ago.
Archaeological sites on the island provide a unique and invaluable record of human interaction with Channel Island marine, the northern islands were occupied by the island Chumash, while the southern islands were occupied by the Tongva. Author Scott ODell wrote about the peoples living on the island in his novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. Aleut hunters visited the islands to hunt otters in the early 1800s, the Aleuts purportedly clashed with the native Chumash, killing many over trading disputes. Aleut interactions with the natives were detailed in ODells book, the Chumash and Tongva were removed from the islands in the early 19th century, taken to Spanish missions and pueblos on the adjacent mainland
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71, 028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve, some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. All of the beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation. The even smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. The Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, the northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for Tule Elk, which are readily seen there. The preserve is very rich in raptors and shorebirds.
The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the Gray Whale migrating south in mid-January, the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast and this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a walk from the visitor center. The Point Reyes National Seashore attracts 2.5 million visitors annually, hostelling International USA maintains a 45-bed youth hostel at the Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, formed in 1964, collaborates with the Seashore on maintenance, like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. A large shellfish farm raising Japanese oysters, Crassostrea gigas, was located in Drakes Estero until, under court order, Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December,2014. The farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, a federal law enacted in 2009 authorized, but did not require, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to renew the permit.
The NPS and conservation groups viewed the farm as an inappropriate and environmentally-insensitive use of the estero, the farms supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and phoned the farms owner to give him the news. The oyster farm closure was challenged in U. S. District Court on January 25,2013, the challenge was rejected by a federal court judge, who ruled that the law gave Salazar unfettered discretion to approve or deny a renewal of the permit. The California Coastal Commission voted on February 7,2013 to unanimously approve cease and desist, an attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14,2014 and a petition to the United States Supreme Court was denied on June 30,2014
Devils Postpile National Monument
Devils Postpile National Monument is located near Mammoth Mountain in eastern California. The national monument protects Devils Postpile, a rock formation of columnar basalt. In addition, the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail merge into one trail as they pass through the monument, excluding a small developed area containing the monument headquarters, visitor center and a campground, the National Monument lies within the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The monument was once part of Yosemite National Park, but discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes prompted a change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the government to stop the demolition and, in 1911. The flora and fauna at Devils Postpile are typical of the Sierra Nevada, dark-eyed juncos and white-crowned sparrows are common in the summer. The name Devils Postpile refers to a cliff of columnar basalt.
Radiometric dating indicates the formation was created by a flow at some time less than 100,000 years ago. Estimates of the thickness range from 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass, because of its great thickness, much of the mass of pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and so symmetrical. Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of contract while cooling. A glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a surface on top of the columns with very noticeable glacial striations. The Postpiles columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet, together they look like tall posts stacked in a pile, hence the features name. If the lava had cooled perfectly evenly, all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal, but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections due to variations in cooling. A survey of 400 of the Postpiles columns found that 44. 5% were 6-sided,37. 5% 5-sided,9. 5% 4-sided,8.
0% 7-sided, compared with other examples of columnar jointing, the Postpile has more hexagonal columns. Another feature that places the Postpile in a category is the lack of horizontal jointing. Several stones from the Devils Postpile can be seen at the entrance to the United States Geological Survey headquarters lot in Reston, although the basaltic columns are impressive, they are not unique
Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is a United States national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U. S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean. Although the islands are close to the shore of densely populated Southern California, the park covers 249,561 acres of which 79,019 acres are owned by the federal government. The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 76% of Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of significant natural and cultural resources. It was designated a U. S. National Monument on April 26,1938, and it was promoted to a National Park on March 5,1980. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles around Channel Islands National Park, the Channel Islands were originally discovered in 1542 by the explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. In 1938 the Santa Barbara and Anacapa islands were designated a national monument, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands were combined with the monument in 1980 to form modern-day Channel Islands National Park.
On January 28,1969 an oil rig belonging to Union Oil experienced a blow-out 6 miles off the coast of California, the resulting spill was, at the time, the largest oil spill to occur in United States territorial waters. Following the spill, tides carried the oil onto the beaches of the Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and this spill had a large impact on native wildlife of the Channel Islands. Much of the seabird population was affected, with over an estimated 3,600 avians killed. Meanwhile, seals and other sea life died and washed ashore on both the islands and the mainland and this spill is the third largest oil spill in the United States, only surpassed by the Deepwater Horizon and the Exxon Valdez oil spills. It resulted in a 34,000 acres expansion of the Department of the Interior buffer zone in the channel, the islands within the park extend along the Southern California coast from Point Conception near Santa Barbara to San Pedro, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. Park headquarters and the Robert J.
Lagomarsino Visitor Center are located in the city of Ventura, only three mammals are endemic to the islands, one of which is the deer mouse which is known to carry the sin nombre hantavirus. The spotted skunk and Channel Islands fox are endemic, the island fence lizard is endemic to the Channel Islands. One hundred and forty-five of these species are unique to the islands, Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal on earth. Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 10,000 years, the average annual visitation to the parks mainland visitor center was around 300,000 in the period from 2007 to 2016, with 364,807 visiting in 2016. The visitor center is located in the Ventura Harbor Village, the visitor center contains several exhibits that provide information regarding all five islands, native vegetation, marine life and cultural history. Also, visitors can enjoy a film, free of charge. The visitor center is open day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 8, 30AM–5