Great Valley Grasslands State Park

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Great Valley Grasslands State Park
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Location Merced County, California, United States
Nearest city Gustine, California
Coordinates 37°16′58″N120°52′2″W / 37.28278°N 120.86722°W / 37.28278; -120.86722 Coordinates: 37°16′58″N120°52′2″W / 37.28278°N 120.86722°W / 37.28278; -120.86722
Area2,826 acres (1,144 ha)
Established1982
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Great Valley Grasslands State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving a parcel of remnant native grassland in the San Joaquin Valley. Such a temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome was once widespread throughout the whole Central Valley. The 2,826-acre (1,144 ha) park was established in 1982. [1] Largely undeveloped, it was formed by combining two former state park units: San Luis Island and Fremont Ford State Recreation Area. [2] Its chief attractions for visitors are spring wildflowers, fishing, and wildlife watching. [3]

Contents

Grassland Ecological Area

The park is part of the larger Grasslands Ecological Area (GEA) of federal, state and private lands all managed for wildlife refuge values. [4] The GEA represents the largest remaining contiguous habitat block of wetlands remaining in all California. [5] The GEA is north of the Grasslands Wildlife Management Area.

Flora and fauna

Several rare and endangered species inhabit the park.

Proposal for closure

Great Valley Grasslands State Park was one of 48 California state parks proposed for closure in January 2008 as part of a deficit reduction program. Those closures were ultimately avoided by cutting hours and maintenance system-wide. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Tehachapi Mountains mountain range in Southern California

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California tiger salamander species of amphibian

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Vernal pool Seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals

Vernal pools, also called vernal ponds or ephemeral pools, are seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are considered to be a distinctive type of wetland usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation by fish. Certain tropical fish lineages have however adapted to this habitat specifically.

Linderiella occidentalis is a species of fairy shrimp native to California. It is a small crustacean in the family Chirocephalidae family. It has a delicate elongated body, large stalked compound eyes, no carapace, and eleven pairs of swimming legs. It glides gracefully upside down, swimming by beating its legs in a complex, wavelike movement that passes from front to back. Like other fairy shrimp, L. occidentalis feeds on algae, bacteria, protozoa, rotifers and detritus.

Conservancy fairy shrimp species of crustacean

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The midvalley fairy shrimp, Branchinecta mesovallensis, is a small freshwater crustacean in the Branchinectidae family endemic to shallow ephemeral pools near the middle of California's Central Valley. These vernal pool ecosystems are home to other unique organisms adapted to the ephemeral nature of the water cycle in the pools in California's mediterranean climate.

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<i>Lepidurus packardi</i> species of crustacean

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San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

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Pixley National Wildlife Refuge

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Merced National Wildlife Refuge

The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,262 acres (41.53 km2) of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas in California. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to attract wintering waterfowl from adjacent farmland where their foraging was causing crop damage. In the last few decades, changes in agricultural practices and refuge management have reduced these wildlife/crop issues.

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References

  1. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 18. Retrieved 2012-01-23.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. "Grasslands Trail". California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  3. "Great River Grasslands SP". California State Parks. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  4. "Grassland Ecological Area". Our Los Banos. 2007-03-24. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  5. "Grassland Ecological Area Enhancement and Restoration Project". Cooperative Conservation America. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
  6. McGreevy, Patrick; Sahagun, Louis (2009-09-26). "State parks to stay open, but with cuts in hours, staffing". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. Retrieved 2011-12-30.