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Sierra National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located on the western slope of central Sierra Nevada in the state of Californiamarker. The forest is known for its mountain scenery and natural resources. Forest headquarters are located in Clovis, Californiamarker. There are local ranger district offices in North Forkmarker and Prathermarker.

History

This was the second National Forest created in California and the largest at the time. It covered over six million acres (24,000 kmĀ²) of the Sierra Nevada and was about four times the average area of typical California National Forests. Originally it embraced parts of eight counties from Tuolumnemarker on the north to Kernmarker on the south and Monomarker and Inyomarker on the east. Initially its name was descriptive, but later when the Sierra was divided into different units this was no longer the case.

President Harrison proclaimed the Sierra Forest Reserve on February 14, 1893. Four years later the south half became a separate unit and was named Sierra South during the "forest reserves" era. This designation was dropped after the administrative transition to the National Forests on march 4th 1907. the Sequoia National Forestmarker on july 1st 1908 Kings Canyonmarker and Sequoiamarker National Parks were established from this south portion of Sierra National Forest. also eastern portions of Sierra were used for the Inyomarker and Toiyabe National Forests as well as northern portions were uses for the Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forestmarker.

The first timber sale on a California national forest took place in the Sierra NF by the General Land Office in 1899.

Geography

Sierra covers in descending order of forestland area, the eastern portions of Fresnomarker, Maderamarker, and Mariposamarker counties, adjacent to the southern part of Yosemite National Parkmarker. It includes more than , at altitudes that range from in elevation. The terrain includes rolling, oak-covered foothills, heavily forested middle elevation slopes and the alpine landscape of the High Sierra.

The forest boundary's, starting clockwise at the intersections of the Merced River, The Sweetwater Creek and the HWY 140 then moving east following the Merced River canyon to the border with the Yosemite National Park Near El Protal, ca.marker. Then it follows the parks southern boundary till it reaches the Inyo National forest near Electra Pk. from there it travels south to its border with the Kings Canyon National park near Mt Goethe. from here it follows the parks Northern border both north then south to the Kings River near Deer Canyon. Then it moves down the Kings river canyon east, south of the river is the Sequoia National Forest. When it reaches Pine Flat lake near Trimmer, ca. it turns north towards Tollhouse, ca.marker and continues on to Auberry, ca.marker from there it moves on to North Fork, Ca.marker then west to form a small finger towards Coarsegold, ca.marker from there it travels north to Yosemite Forks, ca. from there it moves west towards Miami Mountain. then north to the Merced River.

Recreation

The forest includes a number of scenic attractions, including Fresno Domemarker and Nelder Grove. Several reservoirs offer fishing, including Bass Lakemarker, Wishon Reservoir, and Courtright Reservoirmarker. Also, there are numerous hiking opportunities in wilderness areas: Ansel Adamsmarker, John Muirmarker, Dinkey Lakesmarker, Kaisermarker, and Monarchmarker. It also has a ski area, Sierra Summit Ski Area, that operates under a special use permit.

Administration

The Sierra National Forest is located within the Pacific southwest region of the US Forest Service. The Forest is Divided into three Ranger Districts the Bass lake Ranger District which encompasses the north side of the forest from the San Joaquin River to the south and is based out of North Fork, Californiamarker, the High Sierra Ranger District which covers the south side of the forest from the San Joaquin river at its northern Boundary is managed out of Prather, Californiamarker. and the Supervisor's Office (an administrative Unit) which contains the Forest Headquarters Located in Clovis, Californiamarker. and the Fresno Air Attack Base which is co located with the Sierra National Forest Emergency Communications Center at the Fresno Yosemite International Airportmarker.

In addition, the forest contains research areas, such as the Teakettle Experimental Forestmarker and the San Joaquin Experimental Rangemarker.

Ecology

The ecology of the National Forest are typical for the western side of the southern Sierra Nevada: distributions of species are largely governed by climate, which is strongly dependent on altitude. The ecology can be described by biotic zones, which are marked by either an tree indicator species, or by a lack of trees. The biotic zones include the foothill woodland zone from (interior live oak), the lower montane zone from (Yellow pine), the upper montane zone from (Lodgepole pine/Red fir), the subalpine zone from (Whitebark pine), and the alpine zone from (above the tree line).

In addition, some of the forest are old growth, containing Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), Red Fir (Abies magnifica).

References

External links




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