Grouse Ridge Research Forest, located about an hour east of Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada, was acquired by Berkeley Forests in 2016 through Pacific Gas & Electric's land conservation program. The forest is composed of three parcels totalling 590 hectares (1,459 acres). The vegetation is predominantly mixed conifer with a history of logging, wildfire, and recent regeneration. Two creeks flow through the forest year-round, as well as multiple ephemeral water features. Slopes range from 2 to 50%, with elevations between 1400 to 1900 m (4600 to 6200 ft). The soils are: Smoky series, Lorack series, horseshoe series, Husysink series, Putt series, Deadwood series, and Zeilbright series. Climate in the region is characterized by warm dry summers and cool wet winters; the average annual temperatures range from 6 to 13 degrees celsius (44 to 56 degrees F). The average frost free period is between 100 to 150 days per year. Precipitation ranges from 1270 to 1900 mm (50 to 75 inches) per year, with snow as the primary form of precipitation.
Grouse Ridge Research Forest is located on unceded lands of the Nisenan, Washoe, Miwok, and Maidu peoples. They stewarded this land for thousands of years prior to colonization and forced removal, and contributed to the health and survival of the forest that surrounds you. 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 Grouse Ridge 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 ourselves and visitors to the land.
Indigenous peoples throughout the west coast 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 1851-52 Northern CA tribes negotiated eighteen different treaties with the United States which promised them reservations, but the Senate refused to ratify all of them. 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. This acknowledgement is simply a starting point, and we hope that it may serve as a call to action and reminder of what we must hold ourselves accountable for. Berkeley Forests is 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.
Grouse Ridge is primarily used for research. At present, the predominant research project at Grouse Ridge is the Adaptive Management Experiment (AMEX). AMEX is a large-scale, replicated experiment utilizing progressive, scientifically-supported silvicultural treatments to increase resilience, resistance, and adaptation capacity of California's Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests. The experiment is designed to generate and track long-term changes in forest composition, structure, and function under ongoing and future climate change, and treatments represent a basic suite of plausible approaches that managers may feasibly take to address ongoing and novel stresses to forest ecosystems. The treatments include a control (no treatment over the next 6 years), resilience (conventional stocking levels and structural heterogeneity), resistance (relatively low stocking levels dominated by large trees), and transition treatments (a low stocking level matrix and canopy openings to facilitate the trial of new species plantings).
There is ample opportunity for future research projects at Grouse Ridge. If you are intersted in becmoing an AMEX collaborator, please contact Ricky Satomi, Forestry/Natural Resources Advisor.
UC Cooperative Extension Shasta County
1851 Hartnell Avenue
Redding, CA 96002-2217
Grouse Ridge was acquired in 2016 through the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council - a private non-profit foundation established in 2014 as part of a Pacific Gas and Electric Company settlement - as a result of years of dedicated work by Berkeley Forests staff, particularly co-director Dr. William Stewart. Detailed information on the acquisition process can be found on the Stewardship Council website. In December 2017, the land was placed under a conservation easement to be managed by the Bear Yuba Land Trust to help ensure it will remain protected in perpetuity.
Grouse Ridge is in the Lake Spaulding area, located about an hour east of Nevada City.
There are no facilities at Grouse Ridge.
1459 acres (590 hectares)
1400 to 1900 m (4600 to 6200 ft)
6C to 13C (44F to 56F)
Average precipitation: 1270 to 1905 mm (50 to 75 in)
Mixed conifer with a history of logging, wildfire, and recent regeneration.
Smoky series, Lorack series, horseshoe series, Husysink series, Putt series, Deadwood series, and Zeilbright series.
Two creeks flow through the forest year-round, as well as multiple ephemeral water features.