Bull Creek (Humboldt County)
Bull Creek is the largest Eel River tributary drainage basin preserved within Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The basin contains the world's largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods. Bull Creek flows in a clockwise semi-circle around 3373-foot Grasshopper Mountain to enter the South Fork Eel River 1.5 miles upstream of the South Fork confluence with the Eel River. Early attempts to preserve individual redwood trees and small groves of trees led to an improved understanding of the interdependence of forest ecosystems. Species important to the centuries-old coastal redwood trees include aquatic plants and animals within adjacent streams; the entire Bull Creek drainage basin is protected within park boundaries to avoid upstream water quality changes detrimental to aquatic residents of the floodplain where the largest trees grow. Redwood trees control the rate of erosion within the drainage basin. Large-diameter, rot-resistant trunks of fallen redwood trees may resist erosion more than the friable upper Cretaceous marine sedimentary and metasedimentary bedrock of the drainage basin.
Founders Grove on the Bull Creek flood plain was within 9,400 acres purchased in 1931 by the Save the Redwoods League. Timber on land upslope of Founders Grove was harvested in 1947. Heavy rains in December 1955 washed soil and debris from the deforested slopes. Four hundred more large trees were felled from the grove by the Christmas flood of 1964. Most of the remainder of the Bull Creek watershed was subsequently purchased by Save-the-Redwoods League to encourage upslope forest management practices more similar to natural processes. List of rivers in California
Yager Creek is a tributary stream of the Van Duzen River on the north coast of California in Humboldt County, California. It has its source at the confluence of Middle Fork Yager Creek, its mouth is at the confluence with the Van Duzen River just below the town of Carlotta
Mendocino National Forest
The Mendocino National Forest is located in the Coastal Mountain Range in northwestern California and comprises 913,306 acres. It is the only national forest in the state of California without a major paved road entering it. There are a variety of recreational opportunities — camping, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, nature study and off-highway vehicle travel; the forest lies in parts of six counties. In descending order of forestland area they are Lake, Mendocino, Tehama and Colusa counties. Forest headquarters are located in California. There are local ranger district offices in Covelo, Upper Lake, Stonyford; the forest includes four wilderness areas: Sanhedrin Wilderness - 10,571 acres Snow Mountain Wilderness — 37,680 acres Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness — 147,070 acres Yuki Wilderness - 53,887 acres The Sanhedrin and Yuki wildernesses were signed into law on October 17, 2006. This legislation, entitled "Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act", added areas to both the Yolla Bolly - Middle Eel Wilderness and Snow Mountain Wilderness, established the two new wilderness areas in the Mendocino National Forest.
Rivers include: Eel River, Rice Fork Eel River, Middle Fork Eel River, Black Butte River, Stony Creek. Lake Pillsbury is the largest recreational lake in the forest at 2,280 acres and offers boat ramps and resorts. Letts Lake, southeast of Lake Pillsbury is 35 acres in size and has hiking trails, campgrounds and is close to trailheads into Snow Mountain Wilderness. Other lakes include Plaskett Lakes in the middle of the forest, Hammerhorn and Long Lakes near Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness in the northern portion. In 1902 the first surveys of public domain lands were conducted by Professor Lachie of the University of California, working under the direction of Gifford Pinchot, Chief of the United States Forest Service, to determine what land should be included in a forest reserve. In 1905 the U. S. Congress moved the reserves from the General Land Office in the Department of the Interior to the new Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture; the Division of Forestry became the U. S. Forest Service.
President Theodore Roosevelt set aside the reserve on February 6, 1907 as the Stony Creek Forest Reserve and one month the reserve was added to the national forest system as the Stony Creek National Forest. Because of the difficulty of managing such a large tract of land, the northern portion was reassigned to Trinity National Forest the final boundaries of the new Stony Creek forest were drawn and was signed into law by executive order of the president on July 2, 1908 and renamed the California National Forest. "In order to avoid the confusion growing out of the state and a national forest therein having the same name" President Herbert Hoover signed executive order 5885 renaming California National Forest to Mendocino National Forest on July 12, 1932. The development of the forest increased to 81 offices and guard stations until improvements in transportation and communications allowed some offices to be closed. Today there are three ranger districts, with some of the former guard stations now being utilized as "work centers" that are staffed by fire crews.
Two areas managed by the Mendocino National Forest are outside the contiguous boundaries and they are the Genetic Research Center in Chico and the Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area in central California. Acquired by the Forest Service in 1974, it was a plant breeding research and plant introduction facility, started in 1904 on a 209-acre site under the Agriculture Research Service; the center's research changed to developing and producing genetically improved plant material for the reforestation program of the Pacific Southwest Region. Major work is done in the areas of biological and clinical research on anti-cancer drugs derived from plants; the infamous Rattlesnake Fire occurred here in 1953. One Forest Service employee and 14 volunteer firefighters perished; the circumstances of the tragedy resulted in major changes in firefighting training. The firefighters are memorialized at the Rattlesnake Fire Memorial overlooking Rattlesnake Canyon. Access to it can be found off of Forest Highway 7 on County Road 307/Alder Springs Road.
The Trough Fire burned 25,000 acres of the Mendocino National Forest in 2001 including land in the Snow Mountain Wilderness. The tule elk is one of the largest land mammals native to California, with cows weighing up to 350 pounds, the largest bulls weighing 500 pounds. Hunted to near extinction during the state's gold rush era, the animals were reintroduced to the Lake Pillsbury Basin in the late 1970s by the California Department of Fish and Game, the herd has grown, numbering around 80 in 2007; the elk live on the north shore of the lake at the bottom of Hull Mountain, enjoy wild clovers and grasses, along with the green summer and fall foliage around Lake Pillsbury's edges. Mendocino National Forest and Los Padres National Forest are the only two national forests in California to have tule elk. There is a 10-day hunting season beginning on the second Wednesday in September each year. An estimated 60,000 acres of old growth occur here, including forests of Coast Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, White Fir and Pacific madrone.
Potter Valley Project
The Potter Valley Project is an interbasin water transfer project in Northern California in the United States, delivering water from the Eel River basin to the headwaters of the Russian River. The project is operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company; the main facilities are two dams on a diversion tunnel and hydroelectric plant. Average annual throughput is 159,000 acre⋅ft, although this figure varies with both the amount of precipitation in the Eel River basin and the demand on the Russian River. Construction on the project began in 1900, when the natural flow of the Russian River was no longer enough to meet growing agricultural and urban demands; the Eel River Power and Irrigation Company constructed the Cape Horn Dam and a one-mile, 8-foot -diameter tunnel under the drainage divide to Potter Valley, at the headwaters of the East Branch of the Russian River. The water dropped 450 feet to a powerhouse before being released to the Russian River. On April 1, 1908, the first deliveries were made and power production began with a then-installed capacity of 4000 kilowatts.
In 1910, the generation capacity was boosted to 7000 KW and in 1912 second penstock was built to increase the flow capacity of the tunnel. The powerhouse was upgraded to its present capacity of 9400 KW in 1917, after the addition of a fourth unit; the project could only operate during the winter months, when there was enough water in the Eel River to divert without drying up the riverbed downstream. In 1920, Snow Mountain Water and Power began construction on a larger dam on the Eel River, 12 miles upstream from Cape Horn. Scott Dam, which forms Lake Pillsbury, was completed in 1922. With its greater storage capacity, it provides water for the diversion during the summer months and affords some flood control during winter storms. In 1930, ownership of the project was transferred to PG&E. In 1959, Coyote Valley Dam was built on the Russian River as part of the separate Russian River Basin Project, forming Lake Mendocino, which provides additional storage of diverted Eel River waters; this reservoir serves a critical function during dry years as it is drawn down to compensate for reduced diversions from the Eel River system.
The project derives water from a drainage basin of 289 square miles above Scott Dam and 50 square miles between Scott Dam and Cape Horn Dam, where water is diverted to the Russian River. The vast majority of the water arrives as winter rain between December and April, with a smaller, less reliable amount furnished by snowmelt and groundwater through June. Scott Dam, which forms Lake Pillsbury, has a total storage capacity of 74,993 acre feet. Project regulations require that the gates at Scott Dam be opened between October 16 and April 1, for safety reasons during the winter months. Winter storms fill the reservoir, which provides only limited flood control, because the average annual runoff of 400,000 acre feet is over five times the project storage capacity, it is not uncommon for the dams to spill nine times during a single winter season. After the wet season passes, Lake Pillsbury is drawn down beginning April 1. Typical summer drawdowns leave the reservoir above 20,000 acre feet, or 27 percent capacity.
Water is released to Cape Horn Dam, which diverts the majority, while releasing a small flow to the Eel River designed to mimic natural summer flows. This is around 20 cubic feet per second, but can decrease during dry years. In 1924, the Potter Valley Irrigation District was formed to provide irrigation water to the farmers along the East Branch Russian River; the district serves 390 farmers with rights to 22,670 acre feet of project water per year, for the irrigation of 4,905 acres within a district boundary of 6,900 acres. Because there is little natural runoff in Potter Valley and the local geology is non-conducive to groundwater storage, the PVID is the only constituent that depends on Eel River water. Project water serves farmers and municipalities downstream along the Russian River, in Mendocino County; the total water use per year is about 17,000 to 23,000 acre feet. Further downstream, water users in Sonoma County use between 50,000 to 80,000 acre feet per year; these users depend both on Potter Valley Project water and natural flows in the Russian River basin managed by the RRBP.
In addition to agricultural and industrial uses, project water helps to maintain a minimum dry season flow of 150 cubic feet per second in the Russian River, serving for recreational and fishery enhancement purposes. Project water is estimated to provide at least part of the water supply for nearly 500,000 people living in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties in the North Bay area, for cities such as Santa Rosa. PG&E submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission providing our “Notice of Withdrawal of Notice Of Intent to File License Application and Pre-Application Document” for the Potter Valley Project; as a result, PG&E will expeditiously cease all activities related to the relicensing of the Project. Our decision to cease Project relicensing will result in the stoppage of our efforts to sell the Project via the Request for Offers process. Although the timing is unclear at this point, we anticipate that PG&E’s action will result in FERC initiating its Orphan Project process. In accordance with the Orphan process, FERC will provide interested parties the opportunity to submit an application for
The Rice Fork is a 22.7-mile-long tributary of the Eel River in Lake County, California. The Rice Fork begins on the upper northwest side of Goat Mountain, on the Colusa-Lake County line, at an elevation of over 6,000 feet, it descends the steep western slope of the mountain bends northward, flows northwesterly down a narrow winding steep walled canyon for about 18 miles, crossing two forest roads and adding many tributaries, ending its journey at the southern tip of Lake Pillsbury, at a varied elevation around 1,800 feet, depending on the lake level. Before the construction of Scott Dam in the 1920s, which formed Lake Pillsbury, the Rice Fork ran directly into the Eel River, it is one of Lake County's longest streams. The many tributaries to Rice Fork are Salt Creek, French Creek, Parramore Creek, Bevans Creek, Bear Creek, Packsaddle Creek, Willow Creek, Deer Creek, Rice Creek, Soda Creek. In the 1860s, there was a dry year in the Sacramento Valley. A man by the name of Rice and some neighbors brought horses and mules up to Rice Valley, used it and adjoining territory for the fine pasture.
Rice Valley was their headquarters. Rice was active in that area for only a few years, but Rice Valley, Rice Creek, the Rice Fork took his name. At one time, an Indian trail went from the hot springs down the Rice Fork canyon to the mouth of the river where it entered Gravelly Valley crossed the river at the upper end of the valley went up Squaw Valley Creek to the north of Big Squaw Valley and over the ridge to the Indian village at Bloody Rock. A portion of this trail is now under Lake Pillsbury. Snow Mountain-West at 7,038 feet dominates the landscape on the east side of the Rice Fork watershed, its massive west ridge drops down to Lake Pillsbury and divides the Rice Fork from the Eel River watershed, its southern ridge connects with 6,121-foot Goat Mountain about 9 miles southeasterly to separate Rice Fork from the South Fork Stony Creek waters. To the west of Snow Mountain-West, the ridges of 4,057-foot Pine Mountain, 4,688-foot Horse Mountain, 4,191-foot Elk Mountain connect to form the western boundary of Rice Fork's watershed, while French Ridge joins with 3,420-foot Little Horse Mountain and the west ridge of Goat Mountain to define the southern limit, with all the waters flowing into Lake Pillsbury, the Eel River and on to the Pacific Ocean.
The average slope of Rice Fork is 200 feet per mile, 2,110 feet per mile between 4,000 feet and 5,000 feet elevation. The Rice Fork drains 33 percent of the total drainage area of Lake Pillsbury, may contribute a like percentage of the amount of inflow; the Rice Fork arm contains 7 percent of the surface area and 6 percent of the total volume of the reservoir. Most of the sediment in Lake Pillsbury is deposited in the upper reaches of the Eel River and Rice Fork arms. Rice Fork defines the southern boundary of the 975-acre Hale Ridge Research Natural Area, parallels the east side of Forest Road 17N04, as it flows along the western boundary of the RNA for about one mile. A designated critical habitat for the federally protected northern spotted owl, a winter range for black-tailed deer, the RNA was established by the U. S. Forest Service in 1987 to represent the knobcone pine forest for the North Coast Ranges. Within the RNA, dense stands of knobcone pine and mixed conifer forest, dominated by Douglas-fir provides a dispersal habitat for a Forest Service-listed sensitive species, the northern goshawk.
The underlying rocks of the RNA are all greywacke shales. The greywacke has a muddy, brownish-gray sandstone appearance, ranging from rather soft and crumbly in weathered outcrops to solid rocks and boulders in the stream bed of the Rice Fork; some recreationists use Crabtree Hot Springs, adjacent to the northwestern boundary of the RNA. The Rice Fork is lightly used for recreation, but entry into the RNA is minimal. There is an unknown increase in risk of wildfire due to human use at the hot springs. Salt Creek is one of the larger tributaries, flows from Fir Root Spring. Beginning at about 4,400 feet above sea level, on the west slope of Goat Mountain's northwest ridge, it travels southwesterly down a steep canyon for about 3.4 miles, going over a 25-foot-high falls and crossing a forest road, entering Rice Fork on the right at around 2,300 feet, about 11.9 miles upstream from the lake, around a quarter mile upstream from Crabtree Hot Springs. French Creek begins at about 3,800 feet above sea level near the top of French Ridge, flows north down a steep canyon for about 3.9 miles, adding its tributary, entering Rice Fork on the left at around 2,200 feet, about 10.9 miles upstream from the lake, about a mile downstream from Crabtree Hot Springs.
Rock Creek begins at about 3,600 feet on Elk Mountain and flows northeasterly for about 3.6 miles down a steep canyon, entering French Creek on the left about 0.4 miles upstream from its confluence with Rice Fork. Soda Creek begins at about 3,800 feet on Elk Mountain and flows east down a steep canyon, entering Rice Fork on the left a short distance upstream from Parramore Creek, as indicated on the USFS 2008 map. Parramore Creek begins at about 3,800 feet on Elk Mountain and flows east for about 4.6 miles down a steep canyon, crossing a forest road at Three Crossings, entering Rice Fork on the left about 8.1 miles upstream from the lake. Bear Creek flows from a spring at about 6,500 feet on the southwest side of Snow Mo
Andersonia is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California. It is located near U. S. Route 101 on the South Fork of the Eel River 1 mile north-northwest of Piercy, at an elevation of 541 feet. A small wharf was completed at Bear Harbor in 1884 for loading of forest products from the Lost Coast. In 1893 construction commenced on the Bear Harbor and Eel River Railroad over the coastal ridge to connect Bear Harbor to South Fork Eel River tributary Indian Creek; the inland railway terminus was called Moody after Lew Moody constructed a saloon nearby. Southern Humboldt Lumber Company camp 10 sawmill was built in 1903, the location was named Andersonia for company president Henry Neff Anderson. A log pond dam was constructed on Indian Creek where twenty million board feet of timber were stored in preparation for milling. Anderson was killed in a construction accident as a 17-mile railway extension from Moody to Andersonia was being completed in 1905. Sawmill operation was delayed by litigation following Anderson's death.
The railroad and sawmill were dismantled in 1921. Heavy rains during the winter of 1925-26 burst the dam. Anderson's grandsons formed the Indian Creek Lumber Company in 1947 to build a new sawmill at Andersonia. Lumber was trucked out over U. S. Route 101 rather than rebuilding the wharf at Bear Harbor; the locomotives were preserved in 1962. The sawmill operated until local timber supplies were exhausted in 1972. A post office operated at Andersonia from 1904 to 1906
Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest is a United States national forest in southern and central California. Administered by the United States Forest Service, Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,847 feet; the forest is 1,950,000 acres in area, of which 1,762,400 acres or about 88% are public lands. The forest is divided between two noncontiguous areas; the northern division is within Monterey County and includes the beautiful Big Sur Coast and scenic interior areas. This is a popular area for hiking, with 323 miles of hiking trails and 11 campgrounds; this division contains the Ventana Wilderness, home to the California condor. The "main division" of the forest includes lands within San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties, with a small extension into Los Angeles County in the Pyramid Lake area, between Castaic and Gorman. Mountain ranges within the Los Padres include the Santa Lucia Mountains, La Panza Range, Caliente Range, Sierra Madre Mountains, San Rafael Mountains, Santa Ynez Mountains, Topatopa Mountains.
The forest is adjacent to the Angeles National Forest, in Los Angeles County in Southern California and is nearby Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County. Forest headquarters are located in California. There are local ranger district offices in Frazier Park, King City, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria. Many rivers in Southern and Central California have their points of origin within the Los Padres National Forest, including the Carmel, Cuyama, Santa Ynez, Coyote Creek, Sespe and Piru. Several wilderness areas have been set aside within the Los Padres National Forest, including the San Rafael Wilderness, the first primitive area to be included in the U. S. wilderness system after the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Another large wilderness created in the 1970s was the Ventana Wilderness in the Santa Lucia Mountains. A total of 48% of the total area within the forest has a wilderness designation. San Rafael Wilderness Ventana Wilderness Garcia Wilderness Santa Lucia Wilderness Machesna Mountain Wilderness Silver Peak Wilderness Dick Smith Wilderness Chumash Wilderness Sespe Wilderness Matilija Wilderness Parts of the National Forest are designated as recreation areas.
There are three recreation areas, Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area Sage Hill Group Recreation Area Santa Ynez Recreation Area, in the Santa Barbara Ranger District. Many threatened and endangered species live within the forest. Most famous among them is the California condor, for whom the United States Forest Service established the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Present is the California mountain kingsnake, a California species of special concern; the American peregrine falcon is entirely dependent on the forest for its survival. The mountain lion and California mule deer may be the most common large mammals. Bighorn sheep inhabit the Sespe Creek region of the forest. American black bears browse on grasses and carrion. Coyotes thrive everywhere in this forest. Bobcats can be seen in the more remote mountainous areas of the forest. Other animals found in this forest are raccoons, barn owls, red-tailed hawks, cottontail rabbits, bald eagles, jack rabbits, California quail, California scrub jays, great horned owls.
Many vegetation types are represented in the Los Padres, including chaparral, the common ground cover of most coastal ranges in California below about 5,000 feet, coniferous forests, which can be found in abundance in the Ventana Wilderness as well as the region around Mount Pinos in northern Ventura County. Researchers estimate, it consists of Jeffrey pine forests, although old-growth coast redwood, coast Douglas-fir, white fir are found there. In 2008, scientist J. Michael Fay published a map of old growth redwoods in and around Big Sur as a result of his transect of the entire redwood range. Due to the dry summers, forest fires in Los Padres National Forest are always a risk. In 1965, a truck driven by country singer Johnny Cash caught fire, burned several hundred acres in Ventura county. In August 1977, the Marble Cone Fire burned 178,000 acres within the Ventana Wilderness and portions of the Los Padre Forest. In June and July, 2008, the Basin Complex Fire torched 162,818 acres in the same region.
Due to the fire risk, there are seasonal restrictions on building fires. Some portions of the forest are closed to public entry during the peak fire season, which extends from around June 1 to mid-November. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for pa