Blodgett Forest is primarily a productive mixed conifer forest, with smaller proportions of oak forest, and shrubland. Elevation on the main tract ranges from 1200 to 1500 m (3900 to 4800 ft). Four fish-bearing streams flow through the forest, which contains over 400 species of plantsand habitat for 150 species of animals. There are three major soil types (Holland, Piliken-variant, and Musick), derived from granodiorite parent materials. The Cohasset soil is formed from andesitic parent materials. Conifers can grow to heights of 27 to 34 m (90 to 110 ft) and diameters of 46 to 66 cm (18 to 26 inches) after 50 to 60 years. Weather data have been recorded on a daily basis since 1961. Annual precipitation averages 1650 mm (65 inches) with a range of 580 to 2740 mm (23 to 108 inches). Annual snowfall averages 2540 mm (100 inches). Summer temperatures range from 14 to 32 degrees C (57 to 90 degrees F) and winter temperatures from 0 to 9 degrees C (32 to 48 degrees F). The natural disturbance regime is dominated by low-severity fire, with occasional higher-severity fire occurring at local within-stand scales. Prior to fire suppression, the median fire return interval at the point scale was 13 years. Insect, pathogen, and wind disturbances occur in diffuse patterns across the forest.
Blodgett Forest Research Station is located on unceded Nisenan lands. The Nisenan, Washoe, Miwok, and Maidu peoples stewarded the land of this region for thousands of years prior to colonization and forced removal, and contributed to the health and survival of the forest. We honor and celebrate the persistence of local tribal groups with descendants from these and other Indigenous nations, while acknowledging the legacy of violence within California’s history. In recognizing that Blodgett Forest is on Native land we hope to not only pay tribute to those who cared for and cultivated this forest since time immemorial, but furthermore to inspire action on behalf of Blodgett and those visiting these lands. This acknowledgement is simply a starting point, to serve as a call to action to promote tribal sovereignty and Indigenous voices and legacies and a reminder of what we must hold ourselves accountable for. Here at Blodgett we are continually working to acknowledge the colonialist history of this land, create lasting partnerships with local tribal groups, and make this forest an accessible educational resource for all.
The Nisenan, Miwok, Maidu, and Washoe peoples have all inhabited this region since time immemorial. The Nisenan peoples lived in small tribes along the Bear, Yuba, Feather, and American rivers for centuries, and their descendants still inhabit the area. The Nisenan tribe originated from the sacred mountain estom yanim, known today as Sutter Buttes in the Sacramento Valley, and their homelands include much of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The Nisenan and Indigenous peoples throughout California stewarded and cultivated the land using preferential seeding, selective thinning/harvesting, irrigation, and fire to enhance the flora and fauna. By frequently introducing fire onto the land, it burned with low severity which maintained grasslands, improved browse for deer and elk, reduced fuel accumulations, modified understory species composition, and enhanced production of plants for food (including black oak, hazel, and mushrooms) and basketry and fiber materials. Indigenous peoples achieved an abundance of food and game by living in balance with and understanding the fire ecosystem they lived in.
With the arrival of white settlers, the Nisenan and other tribes' connection to the land was severed as their populations were decimated by violence, disease, and enslavement. Between 1851 and 1852 the Nisenan and other Northern CA tribes negotiated eighteen different treaties with the United States which promised them reservations, but the Senate refused to ratify all of them. In 1887 the Nisenan obtained a 75-acre allotment from the Federal Government only to have it rescinded by the California Rancheria Termination Act in 1964, leaving the Nisenan without land and federal recognition as a tribe. The United States and California governments continued abhorrent policies of genocide and forced assimilation for decades. While their descendants persist, today local Nisenan, Washoe, Miwok, and Maidu tribal bands continue to fight for recognition and sovereignty.
Blodgett Forest is managed to improve the understanding and management of mixed conifer forest via research, demonstration, and education. Over 400 publications have come from research in the fields of silviculture, vegetation ecology, wildlife ecology, atmospheric chemistry, fire ecology, entomology, pathology, eco-physiology, soil science, economics, forest harvest methods, hydrology, and more.
Support for research is provided in the form of facilities, equipment loans, etc. Facilities and staff are supported financially from sales of sustainable timber harvests that have occurred annually for over 50 years. Research project proposals are reviewed by management staff as well as university faculty prior to approval.
The goals, objectives and administration of the forest as a whole as well as for the individual forest compartments are described in the Blodgett Management Plan and Policies. A major mission of Blodgett Forest is to evaluate response, cost, and impacts of different management activities. The forest is divided into approximately 90 compartments, which have an average size of 13 hectares (33 acres). Each compartment’s management is designated as even-aged, uneven-aged, or reserve. Measurements are made of animals and vegetation on the entire forest, and state-of-the-art analyses involving computer simulation and geographic information systems are used.
Interested in conducting research on Berkeley Forests' property?
Berkeley Forests welcomes the opportunity to work with new research partners and to host new research endeavors on their research forest properties. If you are interested in conducting research on a Berkeley Forests' property, please complete a Berkeley Forests Research Proposal Request. Proposal will be forwarded to the research forest manager and Berkeley Forests' co-directors for review and approval. It is recommend that prior to submission you contact the manager of the research forest property you wish to work on to review your project. The Research Proposal Request form can also be used to request existing Berkeley Forests data from past research and data collection efforts.
Prior to the displacement by European immigrants, Native Americans regularly set fires to maintain and improve habitat for deer and other game animals. Fires occurred at a frequency of one fire every 7 to 20 years prior to the Gold rush of 1849. After 1849, European immigrants homesteaded this area, bringing in livestock which grazed in the forest. Logging operations removed sugar pine and ponderosa pine in the early years. Parts of the forest were logged by oxen teams in the late 1890′s, while ground lead, steam equipment was used in the period between 1900 to 1910. Regeneration following logging was accomplished by natural seeding. Higher severity fires associated with logging occurred in 1903 and 1919. The fire of 1919 resulted in brush fields in the southern part of the property. The last old logging operations occurred in 1927, but logging occurred in 1952 and then resumed on an annual basis in 1961. Most of the forest has been logged at least once and some parts have been harvested as many as four times. Blodgett Forest was donated to the University of California by the Michigan-California Lumber Company in 1933. The purpose of the gift was to provide a research site and practical demonstrations of forestry for students, forest industry, and the public. The second-growth characteristics of the forest allow many opportunities to study and evaluate alternative management strategies
Trail of Epiphany
The Trail of Epiphany is a self-guided tour located at Blodgett Forest Research Station. The three mile Trail of Epiphany will take you on a self guided tour through the various management alternatives and research done at Blodgett Forest and beyond.
For questions about the trail, contact Ariel Thomson, Forester and Berkeley Forests Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Interstate 80, at Auburn to Georgetown:
- ELM STREET exit from I80
- Left at stop sign on ELM STREET
- Left at stop sign (HIGH STREET) to HIGHWAY 49 (passing underneath railroad bridge)
- Highway 49 to COOL
- Left at “T” intersection (4-way Stop sign) on HIGHWAY 193 Highway 193 to GEORGETOWN (18 miles)
From Highway 50, at Placerville to Georgetown:
- Highway 49, north to Coloma
- Through Coloma, right on MARSHALL GRADE ROAD to Georgetown
- HIGHWAY 49 north right on HIGHWAY 193 (northern end of Placerville, “Y” intersection) HIGHWAY 193 to GEORGETOWN (15 miles)
At Main Intersection of Georgetown- (4-Way Stop Sign)
- East on MAIN STREET – exactly 12 miles to Blodgett (MAIN STREET becomes WENTWORTH SPRINGS ROAD)
- Through QUINTETTE
- 1 mile beyond the QUINTETTE sign, Blodgett Forest turn-off to left with a small sign on the right and a larger sign next to the gate at the paved entrance. 1 mile to Administration Buildings along a paved and graveled roadway to paved parking lot.
Coordinates of Main Entrance Gate: 38.907815 N, -120.673146 W
Plus Code of Location: W85G+48 Quintette, California (Use this like a street address with google maps - just type it in. May not work with other mapping apps.)
On the Georgetown Divide in El Dorado County, 65 miles to the northeast of Sacramento.
Blodgett is home to the main facilities of Berkeley Forests. If has office and conference spaces, large kitchen and dining areas, and housing to host researchers, visiting educational groups, and field crews. More information on facilities can be found here.
4356 acres (1763 hectares)
1200 to 1500 m (3900 to 4800 ft)
Summer: 14C to 32C (57F to 90F)
Winter: 0C to 9C (32F to 48F)
Average precipitation: 1651 cm (65 inches)
Low: 2743 mm (108 inches)
High: 1980 mm (78 inches)
Average snowfall: Approximately 2540 mm (100 inches)
Over 400 species of plants on the property provide habitat for 150 species of animals. The soils derived from granodiorite parent materials are Holland, Piliken-variant and Musick. The Cohasset soil is formed from andesitic parent materials. In these soils conifers can grow to heights of 27 to 34 m (90 to 110 ft) and diameters of 46 to 66 cm (18 to 26 inches) after 50 to 60 years. This land is representative of the more productive forestland in California.
The soils derived from granodiorite parent materials are Holland, Piliken-variant and Musick. The Cohasset soil is formed from andesitic parent materials.
Three major creeks flow through the Forest as well as several ephemeral water features.