Blodgett Forest is primarily a productive mixed conifer forest, with smaller proportions of oak forest, and shrubland. Elevation on the main tract ranges from 1,200 m to 1,500 m (3,900’ to 4,800’). 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 27-34 m (90-110′) and diameters of 46 66 cm (18-26″) after 50-60 years. Weather data have been recorded on a daily basis since 1961. Annual precipitation averages 166 cm (65″) with a range of 580-2740 mm (23 – 108″). Annual snowfall averages 2540 mm (100″). Summer temperatures range from 14-C to 27 C (57-80 degrees F) and winter temperatures from 0 C to 9 C (32-48 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 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.
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 7-20 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 3 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, at email@example.com.
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.
It is important to know that Google Maps, MapQuest, and Apple Maps do not have the correct internal roads on Blodgett leading to the main buildings when you type in our "4501 Blodgett Forest Road" address. Using the 1 mile from the Quintette sign is the best way to locate the proper entrance road.
On the Georgetown Divide in El Dorado County, 142 mi (225 km) east of Berkeley.
Blodgett is home to the main facilities of the Center for Forestry. If has office space, room for meetings, and housing for researchers and summer field crews.
1763 hectares (4356 acres)
1200 to 1500m (3,900' to 4,800')
Summer: 14C to 27 C (57-80F)
Winter: 0C to 9C (32-48F).
Average precipitation: 166 cm (65″)
Low: 580 mm (108 inches)
High: 2740 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 27-34 m (90-110′) and diameters of 46 66 cm (18-26″) after 50-60 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.