Tuolumne Meadows
America's National Parks
Investing to Preserve Their FutureInvesting to Preserve Their Future



Investing to Preserve Their Future




A merica’s national parks – the wildlife of Yellowstone, the granite peaks of Yosemite, the grandeur of Grand Canyon, the history of Frederick Douglass’s home – are called America’s greatest gift. With summer arriving, the National Park Service is preparing to welcome more than a million visitors a day to our National Parks. Visitors love time spent in National Parks.  More than 96% of visitors say their experiences at National Parks are good to excellent. 


This high level of satisfaction comes on the heels of record levels of funding for the National Park Service. The National Park Service budget this year has more funds per employee, per acre and per visitor than at any time in its history at $1.8 billion.  The National Park Service operating budget is at an all-time high.  Since FY 2000, the number of full-time employees has increased 4%. Funds spent on deferred maintenance are up 60% since FY 2000.  Thousands of facility and infrastructure improvements have resulted in better trails, accessible campgrounds, rehabilitated visitor centers and better road conditions.


This investment is essential.  National parks experienced longstanding neglect in keeping up with maintenance of buildings, facilities, and roads.  Our parks and the millions of Americans who visit them deserve better. President Bush promised increased funding for parks.  That promise is being kept.  In FY 2004 alone, $1 billion was provided, up $341 million since FY 2000, a 50% increase.




C alifornia’s 24 national parks represent a diverse array of stories and natural history – from the grandeur of Yosemite, to the deserts of Death Valley, to soaring redwoods and sequoias, to the history of Manzanar and Rosie the Riveter and Cabrillo. These parks attract more than 34,100,000 visitors each year.


Text Box: National Park Service (NPS) operates 387 park units covering 84 million acres in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and several territories.  NPS has more than 25,000 employees, 118,000 volunteers and 590 concessionaires. NPS also maintains 20,000 buildings, 29,000 miles of roads and trails, and 1,100 campgrounds. Since FY 2001, the Bush Administration has invested more than $229 million in more than 470 projects to preserve and protect California’s national treasures alone.  These projects are completed, underway or being planned. Once FY 2005 funds are allocated, national parks in California could receive an additional $27 million.

Among these projects are the following:


PARK                                                              # OF PROJECTS            $ INVESTED


Yosemite National Park                                              65                                70,560,199

Golden Gate National Recreation Area                       62                                28,286,119

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park                        59                                22,191,785

Death Valley National Park                                         30                                19,696,361

Joshua Tree National Park                                         38                                13,629,032

Lassen Volcanic National Park                                   30                                21,068,532

Point Reyes National Seashore                                  23                                  6,865,663

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area   20                                  3,523,134

Redwood National Park                                              19                                  5,335,403

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area                     19                                  3,028,334

Pinnacles National Monument                                    16                                  6,902,376

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park         8                                14,381,696



redwood trees with sunlight


Yosemite National Park



The types of projects underway at these parks include:


*      Improved trail accessibility for the disabled

*      Restored trails

*      Stabilized historic structures

*      Removal of dangerous asbestos

*      Improved drinking water

*      Installation of fire sprinkler systems to make historic structures safer

*      Improved museum storage to preserve historic artifacts

*      Replaced exterior lighting with solar lighting







Specifics examples of projects follow:


Cabrillo National Monument:


  • Is restoring the historic setting of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and is constructing an interpretive shelter. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was constructed in 1854 as one of the first eight lighthouses on the west coast of the US. It is a nationally significant property on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse is a local San Diego landmark, is the center of the historic district on the highest point in the park and is seen or visited by all the average 1.2 million people who visit annually. This project will fund restoration of the historic scene at the lighthouse to its 1880 appearance, and will fund the construction of a 900 square feet accessible interpretive shelter to interpret the history of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.


  • The old exhibits on Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo were in place since 1965 when the visitor center was built during Mission 66; they were inaccurate and out-of-date. With an annual visitation of 1.2 million people, the park needed to update its primary visitor exhibit. With funding from the Recreation Fee Demonstration program, the park was able to modify and rehabilitate the existing 1,000 sq.ft. exhibit room to improve the exhibit space and make the area fully accessible. New, current and accurate information/exhibits on Cabrillo, his life and accomplishments and the significance of his expedition will be available to hundreds of thousands of adults and students each year.


  • Will use Repair & Rehabilitation funds to rehabilitate the Sea Cove and Coast View Scenic Overlooks. These two scenic overlooks on the west side of the park overlook the tide pools and open Pacific Ocean, and are used by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the view and solitude of the area. They were developed in the 1960s without much thought to appearance, traffic flow, cost of up-keep and maintenance requirements. On days with low tides, they are often jammed with vehicles, making traffic circulation difficult and increasing the risk of accidents. The planned redesign and upgrading of these overlooks would make them more harmonious with the surrounding natural environment, reduce maintenance costs, improve vehicle circulation and parking, and reduce the probability of accidents.


Yosemite National Park:


·        Used $247,000 in Repair & Rehabilitation funds to replace 295 lineal feet of a sewer force main where it crossed the Tuolumne River and was undermined and exposed. The original line was installed in 1939, approximately 6 inches below the riverbed. Since this original installation the riverbed has deepened and the line was exposed approximately 2 feet above the river bottom. Bolted flanged joints were visible in the river and the cast iron line was very vulnerable to breakage during the spring run off season when flows are high and debris is washed downstream. A break in the line would have resulted in a large sewage spill on the Tuolumne River and closure of the Tuolumne Meadows facilities.  With this project, the high risk of a sewage spill into the Tuolumne River was eliminated by replacement of the section of the sewer force main that crossed the river. Yosemite also:


  • Used Recreation Fee Demonstration funds for bear box maintenance. The completion of this project provided a park-wide inventory on all bear boxes, and maintenance on all bear boxes within the campground and trailheads. A total of 1029 bear boxes were maintained.


  • Used $65,000 in Recreation Fee Demonstration funds to rehabilitate the four most deteriorated segments of the Four-Mile Trail. Work will include re-grading the worst sections of tread to a safe, maintainable condition; restoring the sections of retaining wall that are closest to a condition of imminent collapse, and reconstructing trail drainages to protect sections of tread and retaining wall.


  • $711,000 in Recreation Fee Demonstration funds will fund the rehabilitation of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Each year over two million visitors to Yosemite Valley Visitor Center experience a confused space with the NPS information function commingled with Yosemite Association the bookstore sales. To separate the orientation and sales functions and increase exhibit space, 600 sq. ft of space vacated by another park function along with 2000 sq. ft. of the Visitor Center building will be rehabilitated to improve the visitor experience. Walls and exhibits will be reconfigured, rehabilitated and upgraded. All improvements to the Visitor Center and exhibits will be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


  • Recreation Fee Demonstration funds will be used to rehabilitate and upgrade the shuttle bus stops in Yosemite Valley. Nineteen Yosemite Valley shuttle bus stops have serious road deficiencies and inadequate visitor facilities. Concrete "braking" pads will be constructed to absorb the impact of the frequent stop/start action on the road; deteriorated asphalt approaches will be replaced. New bus shelters with energy efficient photovoltaic safety lighting will be constructed at 16 stops. Electrical and telephone service will be extended to 12 of those shelters.  New signing to provide wayfinding and educate visitors about resource issues will be constructed and 19 Yosemite Valley shuttle bus stops will be upgraded from poor to good condition.


At Channel Islands National Park, over $2 million in Line-Item Construction funding is being used to construct 45 miles of pig-proof fence on Santa Cruz Island to protect the most endangered plants and archeological sites from pig damage. Feral pigs, the last remaining non-native species on the island, are a threat to native species and park resources.


Golden Gate National Recreation Area is upgrading and rehabilitating the 92-year old Cliff House, a site that is visited by 1.5 million visitors each year because of its striking panorama of the Pacific. A total of 25,133 square feet of building and 15,789 square feet of public viewing areas will be upgraded from poor to good condition as well as being ADA and life safety code compliant.


Golden Gate National Recreation Area is performing a structural upgrade on Pier II to meet seismic safety needs. The existing pier structure has deteriorated due to years of saltwater exposure and past seismic activity. Delaying repairs results in additional deterioration increasing repair costs. This project is a $12 million strengthening and rehabilitation of Pier II. It consists of removing the deteriorated concrete from under the pier, repairing the under deck, replacing the utilities under the pier, repairing the seawall, strengthening the caissons (the columns that support the pier), and replacing the fender pile system. The work underway involves an innovative approach to seismic strengthening of pier structures that has minimum invasiveness to historic elements of the pier and superstructure and with ongoing public use of the pier shed.


Lassen Volcanic National Park relied on $181,000 in Repair & Rehabilitation funds to reconstruct deteriorated boardwalks at the park’s famous thermal pools. The money was used to rebuild 1,946 feet of boardwalk and 2,256 feet of safety railing for trail walks in the three thermal areas to protect park resources and enhance the visitor experience.


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area received $724,000 in Repair & Rehabilitation funds and rehabilitated the unsafe Solstice Canyon entrance road. The road was originally constructed in 1865 to provide access to a historic homestead site. Both the road and homestead are the oldest recorded evidence of European development in the Santa Monica Mountains.


These are some of the efforts to make a visit to a National Park in California an exciting experience. 



Private Public Partnerships Improve California’s National Parks



L ocal friends groups of National Parks are vital partners in improving national parks, as are citizens and other organizations that share a commitment to the mission of the National Park Service.  For example, in recent years: 


  • The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy completed a $34.5 million capital campaign that converted Crissy Field on the Presidio from the former military post's off limits backyard to one of the most popular places for the public to enjoy San Francisco's waterfront.   Key components include:  a 1.5-mile fully accessible shoreline promenade and boardwalks, 100,000 plants, a restored 20-acre tidal marsh and 25-acre meadow, a major nature education center, scenic overlooks, picnic and seating areas, and an improved board sailing launch area. The Conservancy has contributed over $72 million since 1982.


  • The Cabrillo National Monument Foundation is the cooperating association that helps to support Cabrillo National Monument. The Foundation has provided over $1.5 million since 1956, and funds such items as quarterly newsletters, the Cabrillo Journal, the annual Cabrillo Festival, and funds memberships to important professional organizations for park staff. The Cabrillo National Monument Foundation also funds important research projects on park lands.


  • The Point Loma Ecological Reserve Working Group, of which Cabrillo National Monument is a member, was established in 1995 to preserve the Point Loma ecological preserve (primarily coastal scrub habitat). The group is made up of the five landowners of Point Loma – the NPS, U.S. Navy, the City of San Diego, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Coast Guard.


  • Bay Area Discovery Museum $19 million dollars renovate old buildings and put some new ones in to


  • The Yosemite Fund just completed a $12.5 capital campaign - $10.5 of which was donated -- and has construction underway to upgrade and re-landscape the visitor access, circulation and aesthetic experience and restore streamside and forest habitat at the park's most popular attraction -- the 53-acre Lower Yosemite Falls site.


  • At Lava Beds National Monument, construction is underway to complete a 1,800 square foot “bare bones” Lava Beds Research Center Building to replace a condemned building that had served the Cave Research Foundation.  The new structure was funded by $200,000 in donations received and managed through the Lava Beds Natural History Association with park oversight. 



Another private sector effort to improve California’s great national parks involves the congressionally chartered National Park Foundation which has raised money for a number of projects in the parks.  For example, donations have been raised to:


  • Reduce air and noise pollution in all of California’s National Parks through a gift from Ford Motor Company of 500 electric vehicles used to transport volunteers, visitors, Rangers and maintenance personnel.


  • Improve native habitat by supporting the Hamhamongna Cooperative Nursery partnership with the US Forest Service to cultivate thousands of native trees on a one-acre nursery site.


  • Restore and improve conditions for threatened species in Coastal wetlands at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


  • Collect stories, artifacts and personal histories from men and women who joined the World War II Home Front effort to ensure victory overseas, for display and historic records at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park.


The Foundation also manages both the investment and disbursement of funds for the following organizations:


  • California Desert Conservation Project Fund
  • Channel Island Environmental Education Fund
  • Channel Island Friends Fund
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area Environmental Fund
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area Fund
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area Resource Protection Fund
  • Island Fox Fund
  • Island Fox Recovery Fund
  • Jean Mercer Yosemite Endowment Fund
  • Joshua Tree Fund
  • Manzanar Foundation Fund
  • Mojave Conservation Land Transaction Fund
  • National Marine Sanctuary Fund
  • Pinnacles National Monument Fund
  • Point Reyes National Seashore Fund
  • Point Reyes National Seashore – Natural Resource Fund
  • Santa Monica Mountains Education Fund
  • Santa Monica Mountains Fund
  • Santa Monica Outdoor Fund
  • Sequoia Fund
  • Yosemite Recovery Fund



California’s National Parks


Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego



On September 28, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed at San Diego Bay. This event marked the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later became the west coast of the United States. His accomplishments were memorialized on October 14, 1913 with the establishment of Cabrillo National Monument.


The park offers a superb view of San Diego's harbor and skyline. At the highest point of the park stands the Old Point Lorna Lighthouse, which has been a San Diego icon since 1854. A statue and museum in the Visitor Center commemorate Juan Rodriguez Cabril1o's exploration of the coast of California. In a former army building an exhibit tells the story of the coast artillery on Point Lorna. In the winter, migrating gray whales can be seen off the coast. Native coastal sage scrub habitat along the Bayside Trail offers a quiet place to reflect and relax. On the west side of the park is a small but beautiful stretch of rocky-intertidal coastline.


Channel Islands National Park




Comprised of five in a chain of eight southern California islands near Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of nationally and internationally significant natural and cultural resources. Over 2,000 species of plants and animals can be found within the park. However only four mammals are endemic to the islands. One hundred and forty-five of these species are unique to the islands and found nowhere else in the world. Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal to live on earth. Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 10,000 years. The park consists of249,354 acres, half of which are under the ocean, and include the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. Even though the islands seem tantalizingly close to the densely populated, southern California coast, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped, making them an exciting place for visitors to explore.


Death Valley National Park

Death Valley



Death Valley National Park is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and one of the hottest places in the World. It is also a vast geological museum, containing examples of most of the earth's geological eras. Here, plant and animal species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world, have adapted to the harsh desert environment. Humans have adjusted to these severe conditions, as evidenced by extensive archeological sites; historical sites related to successive waves of prospectors; miners, and homesteaders; present-day residences of Native Americans; and the current resort developments and active mines.


Death Valley National Park includes all of Death Valley, a 156-mile-long north/south- trending trough that formed between two major block-faulted mountain ranges: the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west. Telescope Peak, the highest peak in the Park and in the Panamint Mountains, rises 11,049 feet above sea level and lies only 15 miles from the lowest point in the United States in the Badwater Basin salt pan, 282 feet below sea level.


Devils Postpile National Monument

Mammoth Lakes

www .nps.gov/depo


Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile fonnation, the 101-foot Rainbow Falls, and the pristine mountain scenery. The Devils Postpile fonnation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60- feet high and display an unusual symmetry. Another wonder is in store just downstream from the Postpile at Rainbow Falls, once called "a gem unique and worthy of its name". When the sun is overhead, a bright rainbow highlights the spectacular Falls.


The monument is also a portal to the High Sierra backcountry, with some 75% included in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. At 800 acres, Devils Postpile National Monument may be considered small by some, yet its natural and recreational values abound.


Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site




Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, the only Nobel Prize winning playwright from the United States and the architect of modern American theater, lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937 to 1944. It was at this site that he wrote his final and most successful plays; "The Iceman Cometh," "Long Days Journey Into Night," and "A Moon For the Misbegotten." Since 1980, the National Park Service has been restoring Tao House, its courtyard and orchards and telling the story of O'Neill, his work and his influence on American theater.


Fort Point National Historic Site

San Francisco



Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Anny Corps of Engineers between 1853 and 1861 to prevent entrance of a hostile fleet into San Francisco Bay. The fort is the only third system brick fort on the west coast of the United States. The fort was designed to mount 126 massive cannon. Rushed to completion at the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Point was first garrisoned in February of 1861 by Company I, 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment. The fort was occupied throughout the Civil War, but the advent of faster, more powerful rifled cannon made brick forts such as Fort Point obsolete. In 1886 the troops were withdrawn, and the last cannon were removed about 1900. The fort was then used for storage and training purposes for many years. Between 1933 and 1937 the fort was used as a base of operations for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, and during World War n, Fort Point was occupied by about 100 soldiers who manned searchlights and rapid-fire cannon mounted atop the fort as part of the protection of a submarine net strung across the entrance to the Bay.


Golden Gate National Recreation Area

San Francisco



The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the largest urban national parks in the world. The total park area is 75,398 acres of land and water. Approximately 28 miles of coastline lie within its boundaries. It is nearly two and one-half times the size of San Francisco.


One of the nation's most highly visited National Park Service units, Golden Gate NRA comprises numerous sites, including Alcatraz, Marin Headlands, Fort Funston, Fort Mason, as well as Muir Woods National Monument, Fort Point National Historic Site, and the Presidio of San Francisco. Each has its own unique natural, cultural, and military history.


John Muir National Historic Site




The Site preserves the 14 room mansion where the naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. While living in Martinez, Muir accomplished many things: he battled to prevent Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley from being dammed; served as the first president and one of the founders of the Sierra Club; played a prominent role in the creation of several national parks; and wrote hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and several books expounding on the virtues of conservation and the natural world. Muir's work laid the foundations for the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.


Joshua Tree National Park

Twentynine Palms



For a first-time visitor the desert may appear bleak and drab. Viewed from the road, the desert only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals. A rich cultural history and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place.


Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park also includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. Five fan palm oases also dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally and wildlife abounds.


Juan Bautista De Anza National Historical Trail www.nps.gov/juba


The national trail commemorates the route followed by a Spanish commander, Juan Bautista de Anza, in 1775-76 when he led a contingent of30 soldiers and their families to found a presidio and mission near the San Francisco Bay. Along the trail route, the visitor can experience the varied landscapes similar to those the expedition saw; learn the stories of the expedition, its members, and descendants; better understand the American Indian role in the expedition and the diversity of their cultures; and appreciate the extent of the effects of Spanish colonial settlement of Arizona and California.


Lassen Volcanic National Park




Beneath Lassen Volcanic's peaceful forests and gem-like lakes lies evidence of a turbulent and fiery past. 600,000 years ago, the collision and warping of continental plates led to violent eruptions and the formation of lofty Mt. Tehama (also called BrokeoffVolcano.) After 200,000 years of volcanic activity, vents and smaller volcanoes on Tehama's flanks-including Lassen Peak-drew magma away from the main cone. Hydrothermal areas ate away at the great mountain's bulk. Beneath the onslaught of Ice Age glaciers, Mt. Tehama crumbled and finally ceased to exist. But the volcanic landscape lived on: in 1914, Lassen Peak awoke. The Peak had its most significant activity in 1915 and minor activity through 1921. Lassen Volcanic became a national park in 1916 because of its significance as an active volcanic landscape. All four types of volcanoes in the world are found in the park. Over 150 miles of trails and a culturally significant scenic highway provide access to volcanic wonders including steam vents, mudpots, boiling pools, volcanic peaks, and painted dunes.


Lava Beds National Monument




Volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created an incredibly rugged landscape punctuated by cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, lava tube caves and pit craters. During the Modoc War of 1872-1873, the Modoc Indians used these tortuous lava flows to their advantage. Under the leadership of Captain Jack, the Modocs took refuge in "Captain Jack's Stronghold," a natural lava fortress. From this base a group of 53 fighting men and their families held off US Army forces numbering up to ten times their strength for five months. Visitors can tour both the geologic and historic wonders of this unusual landscape.


Manzanar National Historic Site




Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War ll. Located at the foot of the imposing Sierra Nevada in eastern California's Owens Valley, Manzanar has been identified as the best preserved of these camps.


Mojave National Preserve




Rose-colored sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and mile-high mountains are all part of the scene at Mojave National Preserve. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, this park was established in 1994 through the California Desert Protection Act. The Preserve encompasses 1.6 million acres of mountains, jumble rocks, desert washes, and dry lakes; outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the opportunity for solitude here not easily found at other southern California parks.


Plant and animal life varies by elevation. Desert tortoises burrow in creosote bush flats, while the black and yellow Scott's oriole nests in Joshua trees higher up the slopes. Mule deer and bighorn sheep roam among pinyon pine and juniper in the Preserve's many mountain ranges.


Muir Woods National Monument

Mill Valley



Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard to get to. Noting that Redwood Creek contained one of the San Francisco Bay Area's last uncut stands of old-growth redwood, Congressman William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, bought 295 acres here for $45,000 in 1905. To protect the redwoods the Kents donated the land to the United States Federal Government and, in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument. Roosevelt suggested naming the area after Kent, but Kent wanted it named for conservationist John Muir.


Pinnacles National Monument




Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement. Within the monument's boundaries lie 24,000 acres of diverse wildlands. The monument is renowned for the beauty and variety of its spring wildflowers. A rich diversity of wildlife can be observed throughout the year.


The rock fornlations of Pinnacles National Monument divide the park into East and West Districts which are connected by trails, but not by a vehicle road. More than 30 miles of trails access geological fornlations, spectacular vistas and wildland communities. The Pinnacles' rock fornlations are a popular destination to challenge technical climbers. Pinnacles is a day-use park, with occasional full moon hikes and dark sky astronomical observations led by ranger-interpreters.



Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes



Point Reyes National Seashore contains unique elements of biological and historical interest in a spectacularly scenic panorama of thunderous ocean breakers, open grasslands, bushy hillsides and forested ridges. Native land mammals number about 37 species and marine mammals augment this total by another dozen species. The biological diversity stems from a favorable location in the middle of California and the natural occurrence of many distinct habitats. Nearly 20% of the State's flowering plant species are represented on the peninsula and over 45% of the bird species in North America have been sighted.



Redwood National and State Parks

Crescent City

www .nps.gov/redw


Redwood National and State Parks are home to some of the world's tallest trees: old- growth coast redwoods. They can live to be 2000 years old and grow to over 300 feet tall. Spruce, hemlock, Douglas-fir, berry bushes, and sword ferns create a multiple canopied understory that towers over all visitors. The parks' mosaic of habitats include prairie/oak woodlands, mighty rivers and streams, and 37 miles of pristine Pacific coastline. Cultural landscapes reflect American Indian history. The more recent logging history has led to much restoration of these parks.


Three California state parks and the National Park Service unit represent a cooperative management effort of the National Park Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation. They are Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park, comprising 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California. Together these parks are a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, protecting resources cherished by citizens of many nations.


Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park




The World War n Home Front is a significant chapter in America's history. Fully engaged in winning World Warn, American women, minorities, and men worked toward a common goal in a manner that has been unequaled since. Women affectionately known as "Rosies" helped change industry and had sweeping and lasting impacts. Richmond, California played a significant and nationally recognized part in the World War n Home Front. The four Richmond shipyards, with their combined 27 shipways, produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. Richmond was home to 56 different war industries, more than any other city of its size in the United States. The Park. has the largest concentration of intact wwn historic structures and sites in the United States.


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

San Francisco



Located at the west end of San Francisco's Fishennan's Wharf, this park includes the fleet of national historic landmark vessels at Hyde Street Pier, a maritime museum, and a maritime library. Visitors can board turn-of-the-century ships, tour the museum and learn traditional arts --like boatbuilding and woodworking. The Park offers educational, music and craft programs for all ages, and provides unique opportunities for docents, interns and volunteers to learn more about the nation's maritime heritage.


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Thousand Oaks



Santa Monica Mountains rise above Los Angeles, widen to meet the curve of Santa Monica Bay and reach their highest peaks facing the ocean, forming a beautiful and multi-faceted landscape. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a cooperative effort that joins federal, state and local park agencies with private preserves and landowners to protect the natural and cultural resources of this transverse mountain range and seashore. Located in a Mediterranean ecosystem, the Santa Monica Mountains contain a wide variety of plants and wildlife. The mountains also have an interesting and diverse cultural history which begins with the Chumash and Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and continues today in "L.A.'s backyard."


Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Three Rivers



Ranging from 1500' to 14,491' in elevation, these two adjoining parks protect immense mountains, deep canyons, huge trees, and stunningly diverse habitats. The Generals Highway climbs over 5000 feet from chaparral and oak-studded foothills to the awe- inspiring sequoia groves. From there, trails lead to the high-alpine wilderness which makes up most of these parks. Beneath the surface lie many beautiful caverns. Although they were created by separate acts of Congress, Sequoia and Kings Canyon share miles of boundary and are managed as one park.


Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area




The Whiskeytown NRA, with its mountainous back country and large, man-made reservoir, offers many summer activities such as hiking and boating, as well as historical remains of the California Gold Rush of 1849. Whiskeytown Lake, provides 36 miles of shoreline and 3200 surface acres of water, and is excellent for most water-related activities, including swimming, scuba diving, water skiing, boating and fishing. The lake was created by diverting water through tunnels and penstocks, from the Trinity River Basin to the Sacramento River Basin. The most prominent landmark within the Recreation Area is Shasta Bally (elevation 6,209 feet). The summit may be reached on foot and by 4-wheel drive vehicle, but is closed in the winter. Picnicking, hiking, hunting, interpretive programs and horseback riding are also popular within the Whiskeytown



Yosemite National Park

EI Portal www.nps.gov/yose


Yosemite National Park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain-and-valley scenery in the Sierra Nevada, which was set aside as a national park in 1890. The park harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows, and forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world's largest living things. Highlights of the park include Yosemite Valley, and its high cliffs and waterfalls; Wawona's history center and historic hotel; the Mariposa Grove, which contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoias; Glacier Point's (summer-fall) spectacular view of Yosemite Valley and the high country; Tuolumne Meadows (summer-fall), a large subalpine meadow surrounded by mountain peaks; and Hetch Hetchy, a reservoir in a valley considered a twin of Yosemite Valley.