The Forest of Nisene Marks

State Park - California

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park protects a tract of secondary forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located outside Aptos, California and contains over 40 miles (64 km) of hiking trails and fire roads through 10,223 acres (4,137 ha) of variable terrain. The park was named for Nisene Marks, a passionate nature lover and the mother of a Salinas farming family that purchased the land from lumber companies (and others) in the hopes of finding oil. After drilling efforts failed to find any oil, Marks' children donated the original 9,700 acres (3,900 ha) of land in her memory to the state of California (with the help of the Nature Conservancy) in 1963.

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Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=666 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forest_of_Nisene_Marks_State_Park The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park protects a tract of secondary forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located outside Aptos, California and contains over 40 miles (64 km) of hiking trails and fire roads through 10,223 acres (4,137 ha) of variable terrain. The park was named for Nisene Marks, a passionate nature lover and the mother of a Salinas farming family that purchased the land from lumber companies (and others) in the hopes of finding oil. After drilling efforts failed to find any oil, Marks' children donated the original 9,700 acres (3,900 ha) of land in her memory to the state of California (with the help of the Nature Conservancy) in 1963.
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park 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. Nearly ten thousand acres of forest offer a hushed oasis with panoramic ocean views from its hilltops. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (831) 763-7062. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. 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 SaveTheRedwoods.org/csp The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park Aptos Creek Road, off Soquel and State Park Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 (831) 763-7062 © 2012 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) The 1880s cost of building this railroad, part of today’s main Fire Road, was estimated at $50,000 per mile. The Loma Prieta Mill became the largest in the 19th-century Santa Cruz Mountains until disastrous landslides during San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake paused logging efforts. Reforestation began when the lumber company planted 50 acres of redwood and non-native eucalyptus seedlings. Logging resumed from 1909 until 1924, when most of Loma Prieta’s mill was dismantled and abandoned—after processing 140 million board feet of redwood. The Marks family of Salinas deeded more than 9,000 acres to the State for use as a public park in 1963. Named for matriarch Nisene (a Danish name) Marks, the gift deed specified that the “natural preserve” be used for camping, hiking, and nature study. Other donations have increased park acreage to nearly 10,000 acres. The Forest of Nisene Marks honors forest regeneration and preservation efforts. T PARK HISTORY during the Gold Rush building boom, but The local first people were the Costanoans lumber interests found the steep canyons (now known as Ohlone). The native people impenetrable for logging harvested resources on giant redwoods. the edges of the forest, In 1880, however, the but little evidence exists Southern Pacific Railway that they ever lived among (SP) arrived in nearby these deep redwoods. Two Monterey. SP financed Mexican land grants to the the purchase of treeCastro family in 1833 and filled Upper Aptos 1844 partially form the Canyon, the Loma Prieta boundaries of today’s park. Loggers on platform supported Lumber Company, and Shortly after California by springboards, ca. 1895 the Loma Prieta Railway. became a state in 1850, Chinese laborers cut and graded the rail loggers built wooden skids and used oxen line seven miles up the canyon. By 1883, teams to drag smaller harvested trees standard-gauge railway tracks had been built for “split stuff” and tanbark. The forest’s to haul the huge redwood logs to mills. more reachable redwoods were milled Photo courtesy of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History he serene trails within The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park give scant hint of the redwood forest’s turbulent natural and human history. For centuries, the jagged terrain of these 10,000 acres saved the original trees from loggers and settlers. Today the second- and third-growth forest canopy in earthquake country shades a recreational oasis with 30 miles of maintained trails and roads for hiking, biking, and running. Historic logger’s cabin (lost in 1982 flood) GEOLOGY Three earthquake faults—San Andreas, San Gregorio, and Zayante— influence the park’s geology. The San Gregorio Fault runs slightly southeast of park boundaries. The Zayante Fault crosses the park’s Aptos Creek Canyon while the San Andreas Fault, extending Trees shifted by the nearly the entire Loma Prieta quake length of the state, twist as they grow to parallels the park’s self correct. northeastern border below Santa Rosalia Ridge. The San Andreas Fault’s devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake caused upheaval throughout Northern California in 1989. That quake was named after Loma Prieta (“dark hill”), the mountain near the quake’s epicenter in the park. Ancient sea floor sedimentary rocks— mostly sandstone, chert, and siltstone with embedded marine fossils—are found in the Aptos and Bridge creekbeds. For most of the park’s history, it was a shallow inland sea. The park’s unstable sandy and loamy soil is susceptible to landslides. HABITATS In the cool and quiet semi-wilderness of the park, tall trees shelter creeks and canyons. Park elevation ranges from sea level to more than 2,600 feet. The park contains grassland, scrub, chaparral, woodland, and forest riparian communities. Eighty percent of the hilly park is covered in coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest, with trees ranging in age from 80 to 120 years old and reaching 125 fe

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