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. Clem Miller, a US Congressman from Marin County wrote and introduced the bill for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962 to protect the peninsula from development, proposed at the time for the slopes above Drake's Bay. All of the park's beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010; the Point Reyes peninsula is a well defined area, geologically separated from the rest of Marin County and all of the continental United States by a rift zone of the San Andreas Fault, about half of, sunk below sea level and forms Tomales Bay. 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 small town of Point Reyes Station, although not located on the peninsula provides most services to it, though some services are available at Inverness on the west shore of Tomales Bay. The smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, located on Bear Valley Road; the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. Although parts of the Seashore are commercially farmed, parts are under the jurisdiction of other conservation authorities, the National Park Service provides signage and seeks to manage visitor impact on the entire peninsula and all of Tomales Bay; the Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, that are adjacent to the Seashore. The northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for tule elk, which are 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 and north in mid-March.
The Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station, common on the Pacific coast. Nova Albion, Francis Drake's 1579 campsite; this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a short walk from the visitor center. More than 30,000 acres of the Point Reyes National Seashore are designated as the Phillip Burton Wilderness, named in honor of California Congressman Phillip Burton, who wrote the legislation creating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and was instrumental in helping to pass the California Wilderness Act of 1984; 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 and educational projects. Point Reyes State Marine Reserve & Point Reyes State Marine Conservation Area, Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve & Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area and Duxbury Reef State Marine Conservation Area adjoin Point Reyes National Seashore.
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, it closed down at end of 2014. Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December, 2014; the farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, the agency issued a permit to allow the previous owner to continue operations for 40 years. The business was sold to a new owner in 2004, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, informed by the NPS at the time of purchase that their permit to operate would not be renewed beyond the November 30, 2012 expiration date. 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, designated a "potential wilderness area" by Congress. The farm's supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy.
On November 29, 2012, Salazar announced that he would not renew the permit, citing the original intent of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act to designate the area as wilderness upon the removal of the oyster farm. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and personally phoned the farm's 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 and restoration orders for violations of the California Coastal Act; the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected an appeal of the district court's decision, ruling on Sept. 3, 2013 that the oyster farm's owner had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits because Salazar had acted within his discretion in denying the permit.
An attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14, 2014 and a petition to the U
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area surrounds Folsom Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. It is located near the city of Folsom, about 25 miles east of Sacramento; the 19,564-acre park was established in 1956 after the creation of the Folsom Dam. Folsom Lake is the ninth largest reservoir in California and a major recreational asset for the Sacramento area, it consists of two reservoirs: Natoma. About 2 million people visit the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area every year. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area experiences hot summers and mild winters. Campgrounds in the area consist of the Peninsula Campground, Beals Point Campground, Negro Bar, Avery’s Pond; the lake and recreation area offer opportunities for hiking, running, picnicking, horseback riding, water-skiing and boating. Fishing offers trout, catfish and smallmouth bass or yellow perch. Visitors can tour nearby Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, which from 1885 to 1952 produced 11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento residents.
For cyclists there is a 32-mile-long bicycle path that connects Folsom Lake with many Sacramento County parks before reaching Old Sacramento. The park includes Lake Natoma, downstream from Folsom Lake, popular for crew races, sailing and other aquatic sports; the primary recreation season coincides with the spring and summer months when temperatures are in the 80s, 90s and 100s. Visitation is highest from April through September. In the spring months when school is still in session and weekends are the times of highest lake activity. There are 95 miles of trail at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area; these trails are used by hiker, bicyclists and horseback riders. A portion of the Western States/ Pioneer Express Trail between Sacramento and Carson City, Nevada runs through the park. A paved bicycle trail loops around Lake Natoma, linking to Beals Point and the American River Bike Trail. Native Americans of the Maidu or Nisenan tribe inhabited the land around Folsom Lake for thousands of years. During the winter, they lived in permanent villages around the American River and in the summer made temporary homes made of bark.
The Nisenan used local resources found around the lake like acorns and berries to trade with coastal tribes. They wove their baskets from willow, tule, sedge grass and native grapevine. In 1848, the California Gold Rush began and most of the Nisenan land was given away; the Nisenan became overwhelmed and their population was decimated due to diseases. However, some survived and still live in surrounding reservations; the Folsom Lake Area was a significant mining site during the California Gold Rush of 1849. During recent drought years, water levels had been so low at Folsom Lake that the old mining town of Mormon Island was revealed. Mormon Island was a sandbar about 300 feet long where gold was found by members of the Mormon Battalion; when news of gold discovery spread, Mormon Island grew and gained a population of up to 2,500 people by 1853. However, By the 1940s few families were left in the area due to fire, diminished gold, a new railroad; the Natoma Water Company was formed in 1851 by local miners to construct a 20-mile ditch that would supply water for miners seeking gold.
The ditch started up by the new salmon falls bridge and reached down to Granite City, which today is named Folsom. The ditch was named the "Natoma Ditch" and it cost around $175,000 to build. In 1912 the Natoma Water Company lined 13,000 feet of the ditch with concrete. In 1953 the government bought most area to build Folsom Lake; the Natoma Water Company is now called Natoma Company. People from all over the world came to the South Fork and North Fork of the American River to mine for gold. People were from England, Wales, New York, Kentucky, China, etc, they camped next to their mining areas and these camps became small towns. Among these are Rattlesnake Bar, Mormon Bar, Mormon Ravine, Oregon Bar, Manhattan Bar. Folsom Dam was built in 1955 as a concrete dam flanked by earth wing dams and dikes, with a total length of about nine miles; the shoreline extends about 15 miles up the forks of the American River. Lake levels at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area vary from 460 feet in early spring to less than 400 feet by summer as the rainy weather passes and snow in the Sierras melts.
Downstream, behind Nimbus Dam, smaller Lake Natoma has about 500 surface acres of water. Folsom and Nimbus Dams were built by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of California’s Central Valley Project to control the waters of the American River. Other functions of the dams include flood protection, household water supply and irrigation. In May 1979, the California State Park and Recreation Commission approved the General Plan for the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area; the public participated in this plan through six public workshops and over 3,500 mail in questionnaires. The public agreed that Lake Natoma should retain its quiet character but Folsom Lake needed to be upgraded for recreational use. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is home to many species of animals; some of the common plants in the area include blue oaks, interior live oaks, foothill pines and annual grasses. In the spring, wildflowers include Indian paintbrush, lupine, fiddleneck, Dutchman’s pipe and monkey flower. In addition to plant life, there are several species of animals including black-tailed deer, skunks, gray foxes and coyotes.
Birds found in the area include nesting
A bioindicator is any species or group of species whose function, population, or status can reveal the qualitative status of the environment. For example and other small water crustaceans that are present in many water bodies can be monitored for changes that may indicate a problem within their ecosystem. Bioindicators can tell us about the cumulative effects of different pollutants in the ecosystem and about how long a problem may have been present, which physical and chemical testing cannot. A biological monitor or biomonitor is an organism that provides quantitative information on the quality of the environment around it. Therefore, a good biomonitor will indicate the presence of the pollutant and attempt to provide additional information about the amount and intensity of the exposure. A biological indicator is the name given to a process for assessing the sterility of an environment through the use of resistant microorganism strains. Biological indicators can be described as the introduction of a resistant microorganisms to a given environment before sterilization, tests are conducted to measure the effectiveness of the sterilization processes.
As biological indicators use resistant microorganisms, you can be assured that any sterilization process that renders them inactive will have killed off more common, weaker pathogens. A bioindicator is an organism or biological response that reveals the presence of the pollutants by the occurrence of typical symptoms or measurable responses and is, more qualitative; these organisms deliver information on alterations in the environment or the quantity of environmental pollutants by changing in one of the following ways: physiologically, chemically or behaviourally. The information can be deduced through the study of: their content of certain elements or compounds their morphological or cellular structure metabolic biochemical processes behaviour population structureThe importance and relevance of biomonitors, rather than man-made equipment, is justified by the observation that the best indicator of the status of a species or system is itself. Bioindicators can reveal indirect biotic effects of pollutants when many physical or chemical measurements cannot.
Through bioindicators, scientists need to observe only the single indicating species to check on the environment rather than monitor the whole community. The use of a biomonitor is described as biological monitoring and is the use of the properties of an organism to obtain information on certain aspects of the biosphere. Biomonitoring of air pollutants can be active. Passive methods observe plants growing within the area of interest. Active methods detect the presence of air pollutants by placing test plants of known response and genotype into the study area. Bioaccumulative indicators are regarded as biomonitors. Depending on the organism selected and their use, there are several types of bio-indicators; the presence or absence of certain plant or other vegetative life in an ecosystem can provide important clues about the health of the environment: environmental preservation. There are several types of plant biomonitors, including mosses, tree bark, bark pockets, tree rings, leaves. Fungi too may be useful as indicators.
Lichens are organisms comprising both algae. They are found on rocks and tree trunks, they respond to environmental changes in forests, including changes in forest structure – conservation biology, air quality, climate; the disappearance of lichens in a forest may indicate environmental stresses, such as high levels of sulfur dioxide, sulfur-based pollutants, nitrogen oxides. The composition and total biomass of algal species in aquatic systems serve as an important metric for organic water pollution and nutrient loading such as nitrogen and phosphorus. There are genetically engineered organisms. Changes in animal populations, whether increases or decreases, can indicate pollution. For example, if pollution causes depletion of a plant, animal species that depend on that plant will experience population decline. Conversely, overpopulation may be opportunistic growth of a species in response to loss of other species in an ecosystem. On the other hand, stress-induced sub-lethal effects can me manifested in animal physiology and behaviour of individuals long before responses are expressed and observed at the population level.
Such sub-lethal responses can be useful as "early warning signals" to predict how population will further respond. Pollution and other stress agents can be monitored by measuring any of several variables in animals: the concentration of toxins in animal tissues. Amphibians anurans which consist of frogs and toads, are used as bioindicators of contaminant accumulation in pollution studies. Anurans absorb toxic chemicals through their skin and larval gill membranes and are sensitive to alterations in their environment, they have a poor ability to detoxify pesticides that are absorbed, inhaled, or ingested by eating contaminated food. This allows residues of organochlorine pesticides, to accumulate in their systems, they have permeable skin that can absorb toxic chemicals, making them a model organism for assessing the effects of environmental factors that may cause the declines of the amphibian population. These factors allow them to be
Ceanothus L. is a genus of about 50–60 species of nitrogen-fixing shrubs or small trees in the family Rhamnaceae. Common names for members of this genus are California lilac, wild lilac, soap bush. "Ceonothus" comes from a Greek word meaning "spiny plant", Ancient Greek: κεάνωθος, applied by Theophrastus to an Old World plant believed to be Cirsium arvense. The genus is endemic to North America, with the center of its distribution in California; some species are found in the eastern United States and southeast Canada, others extend as far south as Guatemala. Most are shrubs 0.5–3 metres tall, but C. arboreus and C. thyrsiflorus, both native to California, can be small multi-trunked trees up to 6–7 metres tall. There are two subgenera within this genus: Cerastes; the former clade is less drought-resistant. The evolution of these two clades started with a divergence in the niches filled in local communities, rather than a divergence on the basis of geography; the Californian species of Ceanothus are known collectively as California lilacs, with individual species having more descriptive common names.
Species native elsewhere have other common names, such as'New Jersey tea' for C. americanus, since its leaves were used as a black tea substitute during the American Revolution. In garden use, most are called by their scientific names or an adaptation of the scientific name, such as'Maritime ceanothus' for C. maritimus. The majority of the species are evergreen, but the handful of species adapted to cold winters are deciduous; the leaves are opposite or alternate, small and with serrated margins. Ceanothus leaves may be arranged opposite to alternate. Alternate leaves may have either three main veins rising from the base of the leaf; the leaves have a shiny upper surface that feels "gummy" when pinched between the thumb and forefinger, the roots of most species have red inner root bark. The flowers are white, greenish–white, dark purple-blue, pale purple or pink, maturing into a dry, three-lobed seed capsule; the flowers are tiny and produced in dense clusters. A few species are reported to be intensely fragrant to the point of being nauseating, are said to resemble the odor of "boiling honey in an enclosed area".
The seeds of this plant can lie dormant for hundreds of years, Ceanothus species are dependent on forest fires to trigger germination of their seeds. Fruits are hard, nutlike capsules. Plants in this genus are distributed and can be found on dry, sunny hillsides from coastal scrub lands to open forest clearings, from near sea level to 9,000 feet in elevation; these plants are profusely distributed throughout the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia south through Colorado, the Cascades of Oregon and California, the Coastal Ranges of California. Ceanothus velutinus is the most common member of this genus and is widespread through much of western North America; the plants in this genus co-occur with one another when they are more distantly related. Ceanothus is a good source of nutrition for deer mule deer on the West Coast of the United States. However, the leaves are not as nutritious from late spring to early fall as they are in early spring. Porcupines and quail have been seen eating stems and seeds of these shrubs.
The leaves are a good source of protein and the stems and leaves have been found to contain a high amount of calcium. Native Americans used the dried leaves of this plant as an herbal tea, early pioneers used the plant as a substitute for black tea. Miwok Indians of California made baskets from Ceanothus branches. C. integerrimus has been used by North American tribes to ease childbirth. Many Ceanothus species are popular ornamental plants for gardens. Dozens of hybrids and cultivars have been selected, such as flexible ceanothus, Ceanothus × flexilis; the following cultivars and hybrids have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit: Other cultivars available include:- There are more cultivars and hybrids of Ceanothus arboreus, Ceanothus griseus horizontalis, Ceanothus thyrsiflorus in the nursery trade. Propagation of ceanothus is following scarification and stratification. Seeds are soaked in water for 12 hours followed by chilling at 1 °C for one to three months, it can sprout from roots and/or stems.
Seeds are stored in plant litter in large quantities. It is estimated. Seeds are dispersed propulsively from capsules and, it has been estimated, can remain viable for hundreds of years. In habitat, the seeds of plants in this genus germinate only in response to range fires and forest fires. Adolphia infesta Meisn. Colubrina arborescens Sarg. Colubrina asiatica Brongn. Colubrina elliptica Brizicky & W. L. Stern Noltea africana Endl. California chaparral and woodlands — ecoregion. Flora of the California chaparral and woodlands USDA Plants Profile for Ceanothus Calflora Database: Index of Ceanothus species native to California — with images + info links
Quercus douglasii, known as blue oak, is a species of oak endemic to California, common in the Coast Ranges and foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It is known as mountain oak and iron oak. Quercus douglasii is a medium-sized tree 6–20 m tall, with a trunk 36–60 cm in DBH; the tallest recorded specimen was found at 28.7 m. The bark is light gray with many medium-sized dark cracks; the name blue oak derives from the dark blue-green tint of its leaves, which are deciduous, 4–10 cm long, entire or shallowly lobed. The acorns are 2–3 cm long, with a moderately sweet kernel, mature in 6–7 months from pollination, they are slow growers. Blue oak pollen is a severe allergen. Quercus douglasii prefers dry plenty of sunlight, it is the most drought tolerant of California's deciduous oaks. Quercus douglasii co-habitates with gray pine, is found with interior live oak, valley oak, Oregon white oak, canyon live oak, Pacific madrone. Natural hybrids between Q. douglasii and the related shrub live oak, Q. lobata, Q. garryana occur where the species grow together in the same area.
Individual trees over 500 years old have been recorded. Recent research has found several unlogged stands of blue oak woodlands, suggesting that the state may harbor over 500,000 acres of such old-growth forests. Quercus douglasii is not susceptible to the fungal disease known as sudden oak death. Quercus × alvordiana Stahle, David. "Ancient Blue Oak Woodlands of California". University of Arkansas Tree-Ring Laboratory. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-11-10. Peterson- Raptors of California
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Mount Tamalpais State Park is a California state park, located in Marin County, California. The primary feature of the park is the 2,571 feet Mount Tamalpais; the park contains redwood and oak forests. The mountain itself covers around 25,000 acres. There are about 60 miles of hiking trails, which are connected to a larger, 200 miles network of trails in neighboring public lands; the park received 564,000 visitors in as of 2003. Muir Woods National Monument is surrounded by the state park. From the peak of the mountain, visitors can see up to 25 miles, in a view that encompasses San Francisco, most of the North and East Bay, the Farallon Islands; the Sierra Nevada are visible, 125 miles away. The Cushing Memorial Theater known as the Mountain Theater, is an open-air theater built in the 1930s; the natural-stone amphitheater seats 3,500 people and features the Mountain Play each spring, produced every year since 1913. In the summer, monthly astronomy programs are held in the theater for free to the public.
Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway List of beaches in California List of California state parks Official California State Parks department site
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is a national monument of the United States comprising 330,780 acres of the California Coast Ranges in Napa, Solano, Colusa and Mendocino counties in northern California. Cache Creek Wilderness is located within the monument; the national monument was created by a proclamation issued on July 10, 2015 by President Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act. Obama signed proclamations creating two other national monuments the same day; the monument will be jointly managed by the Mendocino National Forest of the U. S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land ManagementThe proclamation of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument came after a campaign for the area's designation, supported by a coalition of counties and cities in the region, the California State Legislature, the Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians and local political leaders, local newspaper editorial boards and environmental organizations, recreation groups, local business owners and landowners.
The monument extends 100 miles from Mendocino County to mountains on either side of Lake Berryessa in Yolo and Napa counties. The monument includes Cache Creek and the Cedar Roughs Wilderness areas. Lake Berryessa itself was not included within the monument's boundaries due to critics' concerns over the possibility that the use of motorized boats and Jet Skis could be restricted at some point in the future. Wildlife in the region includes bald eagles, golden eagles, black bears, mountain lions, tule elk, black-tailed deer, northern spotted owl, fisher, California Coastal chinook salmon, Northern California steelhead; the area is home to some of the world's rare plants, described as "particularly delicate serpentine plants clinging to otherwise barren and rocky mountainsides." The high-elevation Snow Mountain area is one of the most biologically diverse regions in California. The area has historical, as well as ecological, significance; the region has been inhabited by linguistically diverse Native American tribes for 11,000 years — including the Yuki, Patwin, Huchnom, Lake Miwok and Wintum indigenous peoples.
Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area Natural history of the California Coast Ranges U. S. Forest Service: official Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument website BLM: official Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument website Tuleyome: non-profit conservation organization for Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument