Montgomery Woods

State Natural Reserve - California

Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve is located in the Coastal Range in Mendocino County, California. The Reserve occupies the headwaters of Montgomery Creek, a tributary of Big River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino Headlands State Park. The virgin groves of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Montgomery Woods are examples of a now rare upland riparian meadow habitat; most other preserved redwood groves are on broad alluvial plains. The Reserve is accessed from a parking area along Orr Springs Road 13 miles (21 km) west of Ukiah, California, or 15 miles (24 km) east of Comptche, California. A moderately steep trail from the parking area climbs uphill along Montgomery Creek about three-quarters of a mile. Once in the grove, the trail makes a meandering three mile (5 km) loop, with substantial use of boardwalks to protect the fragile forest floor.
Montgomery Woods SNR https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=434 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Woods_State_Natural_Reserve Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve is located in the Coastal Range in Mendocino County, California. The Reserve occupies the headwaters of Montgomery Creek, a tributary of Big River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino Headlands State Park. The virgin groves of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Montgomery Woods are examples of a now rare upland riparian meadow habitat; most other preserved redwood groves are on broad alluvial plains. The Reserve is accessed from a parking area along Orr Springs Road 13 miles (21 km) west of Ukiah, California, or 15 miles (24 km) east of Comptche, California. A moderately steep trail from the parking area climbs uphill along Montgomery Creek about three-quarters of a mile. Once in the grove, the trail makes a meandering three mile (5 km) loop, with substantial use of boardwalks to protect the fragile forest floor.
Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. One of Mendocino’s last unspoiled redwood canyons has endured through time, withstanding threats California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact park staff at (707) 937-5804. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. from timber harvesters and wildfires. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369. (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ SaveTheRedwoods.org/csp Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve 15825 Orr Springs Road Long. 39.235153, Lat. -123.396442 Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 937-5804 © 2014 California State Parks Photo courtesy Peter Buranzon S tep into the majesty of the redwoodlined canyon along upper Montgomery Creek. The old-growth trees in this oasis of solitude have survived for thousands of years. This redwood forest enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. Summer temperatures can reach 88 degrees in July, while on winter days, the thermometer can dip below 40 degrees. Rain often falls between November and April. PARK HISTORY Native People Archaeologists have determined that humans have lived in this area for more than 14,000 years. The last native people here before Europeans arrived are known today as the Northern Pomo. The Pomo made and used tools of local rock and volcanic obsidian from their home in Pomo basket the Clear Lake area. Bird feathers and beads made from seashells decorated some of the elaborate, highly prized baskets that Pomo women coiled or twined from plant parts. Today’s Pomo descendants honor and perpetuate the cultural and environmental practices of their ancestors. European Settlement Parties of European explorers sailed by the Mendocino coast beginning in the 1500s, but the rocky shores precluded landings. Historians think that the Pomo people’s first non-native contact was with the Russian fur trappers who eventually colonized Fort Ross in 1812. Spanish and Mexican colonists eventually found their way to the Mendocino area, and the 1848 gold rush brought hordes of eager settlers to California, creating a huge demand for lumber. The native people lost their homelands, and those who survived the settlers’ violence and the contagious fatal epidemics they brought were relocated to one of many reservations, including the one at Fort Bragg from 1857 to 1864. One-time Mendocino county assessor Andrew Jackson Montgomery and his wife, Elizabeth Anderson Montgomery later filed a homestead claim here on 160 acres in 1884. Montgomery Woods is named for them. Logging The late 1800s brought to the Mendocino coast a profusion of timber harvesters eager to cut down the big trees for their lumber value. Most of the coast redwoods in the area were quickly logged, but the steep canyon along Montgomery Creek made these trees harder to reach. As mechanized logging became more sophisticated, the heart of this redwood grove also faced the logger’s axe. Part of an old logging road can be seen between the Kellieowen and Ynes Mexia groves on the trail. Saving the Redwoods Noted botanist Ynes Mexia (1870 1938) collected more than 150,000 global plant specimens for the California Academy of Sciences. Concerned about logging, Mexia wrote to the newly formed Save the Redwoods League in 1919, enclosing her dues and pleading that the League intervene before these remaining coast redwoods were gone. League Secretary Newton Drury asked the State’s Committee on Redwoods Investigation to inspect the area, and tree cutting was halted by 1920. Local conservationists also fought for the area to be preserved, and in 1945, Orr Springs owner Robert Orr donated the first nine acres for the reserve. The League’s work continues to result in subsequent donations of land and dedicated groves; the natural reserve’s size is now 2,743 acres. Ynes Mexia, Botanist NATURAL HISTORY Geology Montgomery Woods lies in an area formed during the Cretaceous period more than 66 million years ago. Two components make up the rocks and soils underlying the woods  —  a granitic-metamorphic complex and marine deposits of sandstone, shale and chert, known as the Franciscan Formation. Vegetation About half of this reserve’s habitats encompass the mature redwood forest and a mixed conifer (Douglas-fir and redwood) forest. Oak woodlands include tanoak, black, Oregon white, and canyon live oak. More than 500 acres of grasslands contain both introduced and native species. Forest understory plants include profuse ferns  —  giant

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