Angelo Coast Range Reserve's Journal

March 06, 2014

Angelo Reserve Contacts

Reserve Manager (Initial inquires and questions concerning scheduling, facilities, and on-site policies and procedures)
Peter Steel,
U.C Angelo Reserve,
42101 Wilderness Lodge Road,
Branscomb, CA 95417

Faculty Reserve Manager
Mary Power,
Professor of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140

Financial Services (Financial services related to the Angelo reserve)
Bob Derbin,
Berkeley Natural History Museums
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3070
(510) 642 6968 fax: 510-642-1822

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:32 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Exploring California Biodiversity'

These class trips were organized via the UC Berkeley 'Exploring California Biodiversity' program.
The Exploring California Biodiversity project was also featured in the College of Natural Resources Spring 2006 Breakthroughs Magazine for its innovative work coupling graduate students with local high school science classes.

Berkeley High School visit Heath and Marjorie Angelo Coast Range Reserve 2005-2006

Berkeley High School visit Heath and Marjorie Angelo Coast Range Reserve 2004-2005

Pittsburg High visit Heath and Marjorie Angelo Coast Range Reserve 2003-2004

Richmond High visit Heath and Marjorie Angelo Coast Reserve 2003-04

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:30 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Angelo Research: Recent and ongoing projects

Since the Reserve came under management by the University of California Natural Reserve System and the Berkeley campus, an active program of university level research has produced over 135 publications, including 11 Ph.D. dissertations (see for a nearly complete list). Currently, 22 faculty from 12 universities or colleges are engaged in research at the Angelo Reserve, along with about 40 graduate and 25 undergraduate students.

In addition to a number of ongoing individual projects, three collaborative programs support current research. These are complementary and synergistic, as findings from any one of these areas of inquiry will strengthen research in the others. The three programs are the Keck Hydrowatch, the Desktop Watershed Integrative Project of the National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics (NCED), and a multi-university NSF project investigating landscape, food web, and stoichiometric effects on nutrient spiraling down channel networks.

In 2002, the National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics (NCED), an NSF Science and Technology Center, chose the Angelo Reserve as its first collaborative field site. Since that time, earth scientists, engineers, and ecologists have been collaborating in studies that begin with high resolution LiDar digital elevation data, and attempt to link ecology and landscapes to forecast responses by both to change. This effort (one of three large integrated projects at NCED) has been designated “Desktop Watersheds”, and is under the leadership of Bill Dietrich. Other faculty involved are Jill Banfield and Mary Power ( Berkeley), and Miki Hondzo, Jacques Finlay, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, and Chris Paola (Univ. of Minnesota). We have been mapping ecosystem processes (e.g. denitrification, stream metabolism), as well as distributions, abundances, performances, and interactions of key organisms through the drainage network, and investigating environmental controls of these patterns and processes. We are attempting prediction through two routes. One is empirical, to use engineering approaches (e.g., statistical upscaling and dimensionless analysis) to discover scale-free predictors of biomass or process intensity that can be read or inferred from topographic maps. The other approach uses targeted experiments to determine why changes in ecological regimes or ecosystem processes occur along environmental gradients (e.g. down drainage networks or across valleys), then combines process-based understanding with modeling to predict how thresholds between these regimes would shift with land use, climate, or biotic change.

Former NCED postdocs John Schade and Jill Welter (now faculty at St. Olaf’s and St. Catherine’s Colleges, respectively), with Steve Thomas (U. Nebraska), Jacques Finlay (U. Minnesota) and Mary Power (Berkeley) were awarded a grant from the NSF Ecosystems Panel “Coupling consumer-resource interactions and stream spiraling in a stream network.” This funds faculty, graduate and undergraduate research examining how trophic interactions (food chain length and the degree of stoichiometric imbalance between consumers and resources) combine with environmental factors mediated by drainage network position to affect stream spiraling. Spiraling is the model framework used to investigate nutrient fluxes and retention in watersheds. Short spiral lengths correspond to rapid nutrient uptake and assimilation for biological productivity, and decreased rates of export of nutrients from catchments. Both outcomes are generally favorable for watershed and water quality management.

Keck Hydrowatch, Elder Creek watershed. With funding from the Keck Foundation, Berkeley professors Inez Fung, Todd Dawson, Bill Dietrich, Jim Kirchner, Ron Cohen, and David Culler are using the 17 km2 Elder Creek watershed as a testbed to develop instrumentation and methods for tracing the life cycle of water, as it moves inland from the ocean as fog or precipitation, is intercepted by vegetation and land surfaces, and travels by various surface and subsurface paths to emerge as river runoff and travel back to the ocean. The details, scales and rates of the processes mediating this journey are now needed for Global Circulation Models, and for downscaling to anticipate effects of climate change on watershed ecosystems. Todd Dawson is instrumenting trees in various landscape position to develop their use as indicators of changing soil moisture, a critical variable that proves extremely challenging to monitor, particularly in landscapes with deeply fractured bedrock.

Future research directions (hopes and dreams)
“Desktop watersheds” Predict the Future of the Eel River (or similar basins) by linking landscapes and ecosystems, using rapid interation between map-based predictions about the status of the environment or ecosystems at specified sites, and field work motivated by such hypotheses.

“Towards predictive mapping”. Develop a tool for ecological forecasting by analyzing why ecological regimes change across certain landscape thresholds (e.g., down drainage networks), then using dem models to forecast how these boundaries would shift spatially with climate, land use, or biotic change.

Coordinating with TNC and USFS watershed studies and monitoring programs throughout the California North Coast (subject of discussion).

Research projects roughly categorized by landscape position

Upland Terraces and Hillslopes.

Strath terrace formation. Theodore Fuller and Leslie Perg (University of Minnesota) are studying the elevation of the bedrock strath surface and the internal stratigraphyof deposits overlying the strath surface in order to develop a qualitative analysis of terraces in the basin and to refine a model of terrace formation.

Conifer-Endophyte Investigation. Fungal endophytes are present in the foliar tissues of all studied conifers and yet their influence of leaf physiology is virtually unknown. Emily Limm (UC Berkeley) is investigating the influence fungal endophytes have on leaf function in redwood and Douglas fir trees, and the influence of leaf age on endophyte assemblages.

Long term erosion rates from different sub-basins in the South Fork Eel network. Jane Staiger and Leslie Perg (U. Minnesota) have used cosmogenic isotope data to estimate erosion rates from catchments draining into the South Fork Eel, and will relate these to topography, aspect, vegetation cover, and land use.

Longitudinal gradients down the channel network

Whole stream ecosystem metabolism. Camille McNeely (Eastern Washington State University), Jacques Finlay, Miki Hondzo (U. Minnesota) and Mary Power (UC Berkeley) are measuring instream metabolism at reaches distributed over the drainage network to provide a foundation for other studies relating food web structure or ecosystem fluxes to longitudinal environmental gradients.

Carbon sources to river food webs. Jacques Finlay, Camille McNeely, Sandra Clinton (Univ. North Carolina, Charlotte), Mike Limm, Wendy Palen, and Mary Power are using carbon and hydrogen stable isotopes to determine the relative contributions of terrestrial and aquatic primary production to food web members down the river network. Peter Weber (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories) has collaborated with this group to analyze carbon isotopes in steelhead otoliths from various network positions.

Grazer carbon sources and impacts on algal accrual down drainage networks. Camille McNeely, Jacques Finlay, and Mary Power have studied how changing carbon sources down drainage networks affect food web interactions among armored caddisflies, midges and mayflies that are more vulnerable to predators, and invertebrate and vertebrate predators at different drainage network positions. McNeely discovered a drainage area threshold (2 km2) below which caddisflies limit algal accrual. At higher network positions, caddisflies do not limit algae, even though they continue to derive their carbon entirely from algal sources. (McNeely et al. in press, McNeely and Power, in press).

Channel environmental predictors of hot spots of denitrification down the river network. Ben O’Connor, Miki Hondzo, Jacques Finlay (Univ. Minnesota) and collaborators have documented considerable fine scale (within reach) heterogeneity in denitrification potential related to the abundance-activity of microbial nirK genes that encode for nitrite reductase. Hot spots of denitrification in the field were predictable from scaled dimensionless groupings of stream hydraulic parameters, benthic organic matter, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen flux (O’Connor et al. 2006).

Periphyton distribution, radiation, hydraulics, and nutrient fluxes. Miki Hondzo, Tanya Warnaars, (University of Minnesota) and Mary Power surveyed periphyton accrual and nutrient fluxes at various network positions to develop dimensionless scaling relationships between environmental conditions mediated by hydraulic geometry and fundamental niche requirements of algae. (Warnaars et al., in revision).

Effects of landscape position, food webs, and nutrient stoichiometry on stream nutrient spiraling. John Schade (St. Olaf’s University), Jill Welter (St. Catherine’s University), Steve Thomas (Univ. of Nebraska), Mary Power and Power lab grad students Mike Limm and Maria Goodrich (UC Berkeley), and Jacques Finlay, and former post doc Camille McNeely and lab grad student Jim Hood, (Univ. of Minnesota) are studying how nutrient uptake dynamics (‘spiral length’) responds to landscape and food web controls, particularly the stoichiometric composition of consumers and resources, down the South Fork Eel drainage.

Effects of resource quality on stream consumer stoichiometry
Jim Hood and Jacques Finlay (University of Minnesota), John Schade (St. Olaf’s University), Camille McNeely (EWU) and others are investigating how consumer identity, ontongeny, and resource quality influence the nutrient ratios of aquatic invertebrates. Variation in surface vs. groundwater sources in streams, and strong effects on N fixers lower in the watershed are emerging as primary influences on biogeochemical composition of nutrients in stream networks. Cailin Orr is examining the effect of periphyton and detrital organic matter on water and nutrient exchange with the streambed experiments designed to test hypotheses generated in recent flume studies in Minnesota.

Bacterial-Algal Interactions in Epilithic Biofilms Maria Goodrich (UC Berkeley) is manipulating factors (nutrients, carbon supply) influencing the interactions between biofilm-associated algae and heterotrophic bacteria down river drainage networks in the Angelo Coast Range Reserve.

Water flowpaths, channel morphology and stream ecosystem processes as controls of nutrient sources and sinks in stream networks. Jacques Finlay and Cailin Orr (University of Minnesota), John Schade (St. Olaf’s University), Steve Thomas (Univ. of Nebraska), and others are examining the factors that determine concentrations and flux of nutrients in streams.

Terrace meadow studies

South Meadow precipitation manipulations For the past 6 years, Blake Suttle (U.C. Berkeley) has manipulated the amount and timing of rainfall to match predictions pf leading global circulation models for the California North Coast. His experiments in large grassland plots test predictions about the responses of food webs in these grasslands to alternative predictive climate change scenarios. Blake and colleagues find that the direct responses by grassland species to climate change are reversed within a few years by feedbacks mediated through community and ecosystem level interactions (Suttle et al., Science 2007). Collaborators: Meredith Thomsen, Univ. Wisconsin, LaCrosse, Mary Power, U.C. Berkeley.
Food quality of plants for grasshoppers. Blake Suttle and Joe Sapp have studied the growth rates of grasshoppers, the dominant meadow herbivore, on mixed and single species of various common meadow forbs. In contrast to most diet studies, plants were left to grow in their natural environments, and hand thinned and weeded to establish different diet treatments, eliminating artifactual effects of clipping stress on plant food quality.

Solutes, soil production, and biota. In mountainous western landscapes, such as in the Angelo Coast Range Reserve (ACCR), nitrogen is the major nutrient limiting primary and secondary production in both watershed and channel ecosystems. genomics (Jill Banfield lab in EPS at Berkeley: Karelyn Cruz (UC Berkeley) is carrying out a survey of nitrogen fixing microbial diversity. Anna Rosling is studying fungal responses to rainfall manipulations and phosphorus availability, sampling at the South Meadow to isolate fungi from deep soil and weathered bedrock (Rosling et al. 2007).
Lizard population dynamics and distributions among riparian versus meadow habitats. John Sabo (Arizona State University) is comparing the abundance of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and western sagebrush lizards (S. graciosus) on cobble bar and meadow "island" habitats within the SF Eel watershed.

Are the Acroceridae pollinators or nectar scavengers? Christopher J Borkent (Royal British Columbia Museum) is assessing what flower visiting behaviors of Eulonchus species (Acroceridae, small-headed flies) show under natural conditions and how effectively they pollinate compared to other pollinators.

Main channel studies

Long term monitoring of Rana boylii. Sarah J Kupferberg, with Wendy Palen, Mary Power, and others, is carrying out a long term monitoring study, now in its 16th year, of Foothill Yellow Legged frogs (Rana boylii) on the Angelo Reserve. Her spring census of R. boylii egg masses over a 5 km reach of the South Fork Eel River and 1 km of Ten Mile Creek is closely related to the number of breeding females within that habitat.

Long term monitoring of exotic and native fishes. Since 1994, Angelo researchers have snorkel censused 14-16 large pools over a 7 km reach of river, from 1 km below Hunter’s Pool to Kraal’s pool upstream of the Angelo Reserve. We roughly estimate size distributions and abundances of native and exotic fish, bullfrog tadpoles, and native turtles.

Effects of flood versus drought on food web reassembly in Mediterranean rivers. Mary Power, Bill Dietrich, and Michael Parker have analyzed 18 years of hydrologic and algal data and results from 5 seasons of experiments examining hydrologic and food web controls of summer algal accrual in the South Fork Eel River. Flood scour resets food webs with earlier successional grazers that can be controlled by fish and other predators. In the absence of scouring floods, predator resistant grazers eliminate dynamic linkages between predators and algal accrual, and curtail energy flow to fish and other consumers at higher food web positions (Power et al., in revision).

Sediment dynamics in managed ecosystems: linking physical processes to biological consequences. Bret C Harvey, (USFS, Redwood Sciences Lab, Arcata) is collecting aquatic invertebrate samples (including evening drift) and physical data for hydraulic modeling of food availability for salmonids in the South Fork Eel River above Elder Creek. These data will contribute to his parameterization of Individual Based models of salmonid performance in various types of habitat.

Effects of fine bed sediments on juvenile steelhead and food webs supporting them
Mary Power, Blake Suttle, Camille McNeely, and Jonathan Levine investigated the impacts of deposited fine sediment in experiments in which juvenile steelhead reared with increasing levels of embeddedness (from zero to 100%). Steelhead growth decreased linearly and survival decreased in an accelerated nonlinear fashion with increasing sediment, due to decreased food availability coupled with increasing metabolic costs of increased activity and intraspecific aggression. The invertebrate community changed from one of more available prey to one of unavailable burrowing taxa with higher levels of deposited fine sediment. Steelhead in more heavily embedded channels showed more continuous movement and aggression and higher incidence of injury. (Suttle et al. 2004).

Effects of fine bed sediments on Pacific lamprey larvae Mike Limm and Wendy Palen have carried out similar experiments, and found that juvenile lamprey growth increases linearly with the concentration of fine deposited sediments—the opposite result from that found for juvenile steelhead.

Carbon sources and ecosystem effects of Pacific lamprey larvae. Mike Limm (UC Berkeley) is investigating the role of Pacific lamprey in the South Fork Eel river food web to shed light on their roles in benthic detrital dynamics, and their interactions with other benthic organisms. He is also carrying out diet and isotope analyses to examine longitudinal variation in their carbon sources.

Channel geomorphic response to White Alder recruitment. Christopher DiVittorio (UC Berkeley), with Mary Power, Bill Dietrich, Chris Paola (Univ. Minnesota), Jesse DeWolf and Shayla Workman (Branscomb, CA) have surveyed ridge-to-ridge cross sections across the river through reaches where a dense cohort of White Alders (Alnus rhombifolia) recruited in 2000, and through control reaches without alders, to investigate the effects of alder recruitment on channel morphological change and food web structure in the South Fork Eel River.

Riparian studies and River-Forest Exchange

Biogeochemical effects of alders in a stream network. Jill R. Welter (St. Catherine’s College) is exploring linkages between the spatial distribution of alders in the South Fork Eel River watershed, foliar and phloem quality, terrestrial herbivore performance, and in-stream respiration and decomposition of alder leaves.

Import and export of arthropods from watershed streams. Camille McNeely (University of Minnesota) is measuring the biomass of arthropods, plant material, and other biomass entering streams in the South Fork Eel River watershed, and the biomass and abundance of aquatic insects emerging from the streams.

Carbon flux into tributaries of the South Fork of the Eel River. Mike Limm (UC Berkeley), Camille McNeely, Jim Hood and Jacques Finlay (University of Minnesota) are investigating organic carbon flux into the tributaries of the South Fork of the Eel River, and the fate of terrestrial organic matter introduced to streams. Organic matter inputs to streams have been measured for ~2 years. Measurements of fluxes and retention of fine particulate organic matter and leaves are ongoing using routine sampling and estimation of distance traveled downstream by marker leaves introduced experimentally to different network positions. The fate of terrestrial organic matter is examined through whole stream respiration measurements (see “Longitudinal gradients”), decomposition experiments, and stable isotope tracing

Importance of emerging aquatic insects to terrestrial consumers. Mary Power, Bill Rainey, John Sabo, Michael Parker, and Jonna Smythe have studied the responses to “bug flux” from the river corridor by bats, lizards, filmy dome spiders, wolf spiders, and tetragnathid spiders. (Power et al. 2004, Power and Rainey 2000, Sabo and Power, 2004a,b).

Angelo and beyond….

Phytophthora ramorum distribution in coastal California watersheds.
The Angelo reserve is part of Shannon Murphy's (UC Davis) network of sampling locations that will monitor Phytophthora ramorum infestation, causal agent of Sudden Oak Death.

Phylogeography of banana slugs (Ariolimax spp.) John S Pearse (UC Santa Cruz) is studying the distribution of banana slugs on the west coast of North America to determine the species boundaries, which reflect vicariant events.

Chytridiomycosis infection status of Rana boylii and R. catesbeiana. A fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causing the disease chytridiomycosis, has been found in association with mass die-offs of frogs. Vance Vredenburg (UC Berkeley) will test the infection status of amphibian species at the Angelo reserve.

Runoff and suspended sediment export in Northern California rivers. Tom Lisle, Bret Harvey, and Rand Ead have added the South Fork Eel River at our Branscomb gage site to their network of sites where they are monitoring suspended sediments in rivers as a function of flow discharge.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:28 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Climate of the Angelo Reserve

The region's Mediterranean-type climate with wet, cool winters and dry, warm summers, is modified locally by the rugged topography of the Angelo Coast Range Reserve. The average annual precipitation here is among the highest in California (215.6 centimeters/84.9 inches), and most falls as rain during intense winter storms. Although cool, coastal air snakes its way up the river corridor, summer fog rarely surmounts the solid barrier of Elkhorn Ridge that separates the reserve from the Pacific Ocean, 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the west.

With little moderation from marine air, summer days at the reserve are very warm - average August high is 31C (88F) - and winter lows are typically below freezing. The steep topography sets in motion a noticeable cold air drain, creating temperature inversions and increasing the chance of frost during all but the warmest months.

A solar-powered weather station installed in 1990 near reserve headquarters, records precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, and Eel River water temperature and level. Earlier accounts of daily temperatures and precipitation date back to 1942, when Heath Angelo began keeping weather records from near the mouth of Elder Creek.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:26 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Hydrology of the Angelo Reserve

Heavy precipitation in the region feeds large streams that swell with winter rains and shrink during summer drought. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that at least 65 percent of the rainfall here eventually reaches the Eel River as runoff. A 5-kilometer reach (3 miles) of the South Fork of the Eel River winds through the reserve, and its flow fluctuates greatly. Extremes recorded since the early 1950's range from a high flow of 20,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) in December 1955 to a low flow of 0.45 cfs in August 1977.

The upper reaches of the South Fork Eel River pass through a checkerboard of BLM and privately owned land. Downstream of the reserve, the river corridor is protected as part of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers system. From Leggett to its confluence with the main stem Eel River at Fernbridge, approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles) downstream from the reserve, the South Fork is used heavily for recreation.

Watersheds free from dams and logging are rare in the Coast Range, yet three undisturbed watersheds are completely contained within the boundaries of the reserve. The Elder Creek watershed - at 16.8 kilometers (6.5 square miles), the largest of the three - is registered as a National Natural History Landmark by the National Park Service. In recognition of the water's purity, the USGS operates a Benchmark Hydrological Station on Elder Creek, one of 57 benchmark stations thorughout the United States. Hydrologic data have been collected here continuously since 1967. Fox Creek, another large perennial stream, has a watershed of 2.6 square kilometers (1.0 saquare miles). It dissects a river terrace near Wilderness lodge, where its water has been tapped for domestic use since the homesteaders' time. The smaller Skunk Creek watershed provides the coolest channel and a very moist riparian zone for comparative studies. Additionally, there are numerous intermittent streams, springs, and seeps thoughout the reserve.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:25 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Facilities at the Angelo Reserve

Wilderness Road, which one linked homesteads along the Eel River, is the only Road into the Reserve. Since its days as a TNC site the Angelo Coast Range Reserve has been available to the public for day hikes, although no pets or unauthorized vehicles are allowed beyond the locked gate near the headquarters building. Parking is provided, and a visitors' kiosk has copies of a hiking trail guide that annotates the sights along Wilderness Road and several side trails.

Users who wish to visit the reserve are advised to contact the reserve steward well in advance to arrange accomodations.

Reserve Headquarters
Reserve headquarters is a 3 bedroom house at the entrance to the Angelo Reserve. Two of the bedrooms have both a single and a double bed, the third room has only a double bed. Guests provide their own bedding or sleeping bags. The kitchen has a gas range and a refrigerator, and is equipped with a variety of pots, pans, utensils, and dining service that will accommodate most cooking needs. There is also a dining area, living room, laundry porch, and small full bath. Phone service is available (use calling card please.) Heat is by wood stove. Wood is provided. The building is very old and drafty so warm clothes are recommended for cooler months. Guests are responsible for cleaning the building before they leave. Cleaning supplies are provided.

Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge is a small 3 bedroom house located in the heart of the reserve. It has wood heat (fire wood provided), a small gas refrigerator, a gas range, full bath, and solar electricity (somewhat limited depending on the season and your electrical needs).There is no phone and cell service is unreliable. The kitchen has a variety of utensils that suit most cooking needs. The bedrooms each have one double bed, a small desk and dresser, and a closet. Guests are responsible for cleaning the building before they leave. Cleaning supplies are provided. Guests provide their own bedding or sleeping bag, pillow cover, bath towel. A flashlight is strongly advised for moving about outdoors at night.

Fox Creek Lodge
Fox Creek Lodge is the reserve group facility. It is located in the heart of the reserve near the confluence of Fox Creek and the S. Fork Eel River. The facility can accommodate 35 people and consists of a dinning hall, five small bunk cabins, and a shower/bath building. Two picnic tables and a fire circle are nearby. Only the dining hall has heat (wood stove, wood provided). All buildings are supplied with solar electricity. Power is somewhat limited depending on the season and on power needs, so check with the reserve manager if you have questions about electrical service. There is no phone and cell service can be unreliable.

The dinning hall has a large commercial range with a griddle, 6 burners and 2 ovens. There are three gas refrigerators, a large sink, and a variety of pots, pans, utensils and dining service for most cooking needs. There are three insulated coffee carafes with filter cones. Compost is collected by the reserve steward, recycling containers are provided, but you are requested to take your garbage with you. The bunk cabins have plain wood bunks and no pads, and are not heated. They have one light each. The shower/bath building has a men's and women's toilet and sink, the shower is shared. Flashlights are strongly advised for moving between the buildings at night. Groups are responsible for cleaning the facility before leaving the reserve. Cleaning supplies are provided.

Science Center
The science center is located at the entrance to the reserve and consists of dry and wet labs, lath house, computer room, library/collections room, class room, and reserve office. There is a small kitchen to serve the class room. Phone and satellite internet are available.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:25 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Geology of the Angelo Reserve

The South Fork Eel River meanders irregularly across the western part of the reserve. Lacking a floodplain, the channel is bounded by banks of bedrock, boulders and gravel, and contains very little woody debris. Bordering the channel are flights of bedrock terraces with mantles of coarse alluvium, evidence of former floodplains. These terraces create the only level land in an otherwise rugged terrain of narrow ridges and steep balleys. Surrounding slopes may exceed 50 percent. elevations range from 378 meters (1,240 feet) near headquarters to 1,290 meters (4,231 feet) at Cahto Peak.

Underlying most of the reserve are greywacke sandstones and mudstones of the Franciscan Complex, with derivative soils from the Josephine and Hugo series. Continued uplift and incision by the Eel River and its tributaries created the steep topography.

The South Fork Eel River runs north, nearly parallel to the Pacific coastline for most of its length. Recent studies suggest that the river's downsteam reach may be uplifting as much as ten times faster than the headwaters area near the reserve. The channels of the upper river and its tributaries are dominated by bedrock and boulders with pronounced bedrock terraces. Ongoing research in Elder Creek (Seidl and Deitrich 1992) documents three flights of bedrock terraces adjacent to the channel. The channel bed is punctuated by two noticeably oversteepened reaches, or knickpoints. In the steepened upper reaches of Elder Creek, debris flows deliver large wood and boulders to the channel, creatinmg a series of cascades and pools. In these steep channels, debris-flow scour is hypothesized to be the primary mechanism of incision

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:24 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Natural History of the Angelo Reserve

The Angelo Coast Range Reserve encompasses diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats. With elevations ranging from 378-1290 m, the steep, dissected terrain harbors redwood groves, mixed conifer-deciduous forest, upland Douglas fir and mixed conifer-decidious forests, nine meadows on upland river terraces, and chaparral at higher elevations, particularly along ridgelines.

Because the Angelo Reserve lies east of Elkhorn Ridge, a high region of the coast range, it is shielded from maritime fog. Consequently, it has more temperature extremes, drier summers, and more elevationally stratified vegetation than might be expected in a habitat only 12-15 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Aquatic habitats include a salmon-bearing mainstream river and tributary streams, and seasonal seeps and meadow wetlands. Notable fauna include the Pacific giant salamander, the Olympic salamanders, river otters, flying squirrels, black bears, the threatened northern spotted owl, lamprey eels (for which the river was named), coho and chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. The reserve protects one of the largest tracts of coastal Douglas fir-Coast Redwood forest remaining in the state of California, and a 5 km stretch of the South Fork of the Eel River designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Protected spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids and other fishes occurs in the mainstem South Fork and in three of its perennial tributaries within the Reserve. Species lists are available for Trees, Mosses, Vascular plants, Reptiles, Amphibia, Fish, Birds, Mammals, Fungi and Lichens, Beetles, Spiders and Moths and Butterflies at the reserve.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:24 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment


A History of the Angelo Reserve
Human occupation within the region may date back as early as 3,000 B.C. Residents from the late prehistoric era were the Cahto people, who hunted game and collected acorns and bulbs throughout the Eel River drainage. Projectile points and food-preparation tools have been found in the reserve's meadows, which the Cahtos apparently vistited seasonally. The Cahtos may have periodically burned these river terraces and parts of the woodland slopes to clear the undergrowth to facilitate hunting and gathering.

The first European settlers arrived in the area during the 1880's, relatively late in California homesteading history. Like the Cahto's before them, these settlers established their homesteads along the flat meadows at the river's edge. Redwoods that lined the moist lowlands were felled for boards, shakes and pickets. Yet living off this land proved to be a lean bussiness. Steep hillslopes drained cold air down to the narrow river terraces, chiling efforts at farming. Increasingly, homesteaders sought work elsewhere and by the 1920's, all of the original homesteading families had moved on. Their tenure on the land is still evident in scattered orchards and miles of picket fences weaving in and our of the forest.

At the turn of the century, a new resort industry replaced some of the failing homesteads. The largest resort, Wilderness Lodge, became a popular rustic destination for San Franciscans of the day. A fire destroyed most of the original lodge in 1937. However, another country inn from that era still stands near the end of Wilderness Road. Known as the White House, it was first built in the late 1800's as a one-room canin constructed of redwood planks. Later, to accomodate visiting hunting parties, an elegant two-story addition was built onto the cabin, an architectural document of changing times. Abandoned and virtually untouched for half a century, the White House, its contents, and the surrounding homestead are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A new generation of land stewardship began in 1931, when Heath and Marjorie Angelo bought an old homestead on Elder Creek. After selling their manufacturing business in San Francisco, the Angelos moved to Elder Creek to enjoy a quieter life. There they set to rebuilding the homestead and recording the natural history of the area.

Alarmed by increased logging of the region's forests, the Angelo's purchased surrounding land over the years to protect it from harvest. In those days, forest land was taxed for the value of its timber, cut or not. By the mid-1950's, the Angelos had amassed nearly 3,000 acres and a heavy tax burden. With the hope of protecting the land in perpetuity, they sold their holdings to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 1959, creating the Northern California Coast Range Preserve (NCCRP) the first TNC preserve in the western United States. The Angelos lived out their lives on the reserve. Much of the cultural and natural history of the site was first recorded by Heath Angelo. In 1979, Sharon Johnson, a TNC Reserve Steward, published a master's thesis on The Land-use History of the Coast Range Preserve" which is the most comprehensive land-use study of the region to date.

Since World War II, logging has been the predominant land use in the Coast Range. Douglas-Fir, overlooked by ealier industries, becaome the primary building material for the powt-war housing boom. Today very few forests within the Pacific Northwest remain uncut. The rate of harvest on public lands has slowed somewhat since the late 1980s with increased public awareness of environmental degradation associated with logging.

Adjacent to the reserve, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designated 1,417 hectares (3,500 acres) as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). In 1984, the reserve, together with the ACEC, was designated as part of a biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program. Continued coordination in management of the reserve and the ACEC is reflected in ongoing cooperation between UC and BLM. In 1989, the University of California signved a management and use agreement with TNC to include the reserve in the Natural Reserve System. In 1994, the University accepted the site from TNC and dedicated it as the Heath and Marjorie Angelo Coast Range Reserve. The reserve, now totalling 1,642 hectares (4,055 acres), is administered through UC Berkeley's campus office of the Natural Reserve System.

Posted on March 06, 2014 08:23 by angelocoastrangereserve angelocoastrangereserve | 0 comments | Leave a comment