|Lassen National Forest|
|Nearest city||Susanville, California|
|Area||1,070,344 acres (4,331.53 km2)|
|Established||June 2, 1905|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
|Website||Lassen National Forest|
Lassen National Forest is a United States national forest of 1,700 square miles (4,300 km2) in northeastern California. It is named after pioneer Peter Lassen, who mined, ranched and promoted the area to emigrant parties in the 1850s.
Animals that are typically found in this forest are black bear, raccoon, coyote, bobcat, fox, mule deer, skunk, marten, cougar, brown creeper, a variety of chipmunk species, mountain chickadee, a variety of squirrel species, white-headed woodpecker, weasel, a variety of mouse species, long-toed salamander, and a wide variety of bat species.
In 2017, three wolf pups were born in this forest.Their mother is a female wolf of unknown origins. Their father is the son of OR7, a wolf with a tracking device that was the first of its kind in almost a century to migrate into California from Oregon. As of July 2020, the pack has 14 members, with 8 new pups. The father of the pups is not related to any of the other California wolves and joined the pack in 2019.
Lassen National Forest is located about 80 miles (130 km) east of Red Bluff, California. It is generally bounded by Sierra Nevada mountain range to the south, the Modoc Plateau to the east and California's Central Valley to the west. The forest is in parts of Lassen, Shasta, Tehama, Plumas, and Butte counties. Forest headquarters is located in Susanville, California. There are local ranger district offices in Chester, Fall River Mills, and Susanville.
The forest was formed in 1905 when it was named one of the National Forest Reserves, which evolved into the National Forest system.
The forest was first named the Lassen Peak Forest Reserve because of Lassen Peak, a volcano which is in the southernmost portion of the Cascade Range volcanoes. Mt. Lassen erupted with explosive force in 1915. The forest surrounds Lassen Volcanic National Park. The forest has two major river systems as well as many lakes, cinder cones and lava flows.
Surveys estimate the forest contains 92,000 acres (37,000 hectares) of old growth. Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests (Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), and White Fir (Abies concolor)), Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) forests, Red Fir (Abies magnifica) forests, and Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) forests are the most common types. It is a major source of lumber products.
There are three officially designated wilderness areas within Lassen National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. A small portion of one extends onto land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (as indicated).
Lassen National Forest is also the site of significant events in California history: Ishi Wilderness was the refuge of the "last wild Indian",[ citation needed ] Caribou Wilderness was one of the first protected "primitive areas" decades before the federal wilderness system was established, and the volcanic explosion of Mt. Lassen was the first eruption to be witnessed and photographed in the history of the continental United States.
On Labor Day 1911, a Native American was discovered outside the slaughterhouse in Oroville, California. Ishi, as he came to be known, became a celebrity. He lived his remaining years at the University of California's Anthropology Museum on Parnassus Heights in San Francisco, under the sponsorship of anthropologist Alfred Kroeber. The university had no protocol for keeping a living museum exhibit, so Kroeber arranged for Ishi's employment as assistant janitor.
Ishi was Yahi, the southernmost division of the Yana and had spent the majority of his life in hiding in the rugged Deer Creek territory north of Oroville. After his discovery, he would not disclose his name. Ishi, the name given by Kroeber, was the Yahi word for man. Kroeber believed that cultural etiquette prevented Ishi from disclosing his name.
In 1908, a utility company crew surprised the small band of survivors in their camp. Ishi and the three others fled. When Ishi was discovered outside the slaughterhouse, he was alone, his hair burned short in mourning.
Ishi died in Berkeley in 1916 of tuberculosis. In 1984 Congress established the 41,100-acre (16,600 ha) Ishi Wilderness in the dry, rugged, volcanic terrain, where the last band of Southern Yanas had sought refuge. (Visitors to this wilderness are advised by the United States Forest Service to visit only during cooler months because of a lack of water during the summer.)
A year before Ishi's death, Mt. Lassen exploded. Mt. Lassen is officially recognized as Lassen Peak by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Before the eruption on May 22, 1915, the smoking volcano became a tourist draw. Today, within Lassen Volcanic National Park, the area surrounding the volcano is known as the Devastated Area.
An ancient volcano, known as Mount Tehama is believed to have been much larger and taller than Lassen Peak. Its erosion is responsible for the topography of the national forest and the national park: a volcanic rim, with elevations beginning at 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level.
The third historical resource is the 20,000-acre (8,100 ha) Caribou Wilderness immediately east of the National Park. Caribou Wilderness received protection as a Primitive Area beginning in 1932.
In the 1920s, the managers of the Forest Service engaged in both an internal and external struggle regarding the agency's mission. Aldo Leopold and Bob Marshall, Forest Service employees, each advocated setting aside some forest areas as wilderness off-limits to mining, logging, road construction and grazing.
The first primitive area was created in 1924 in New Mexico and is now named the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. But creation of primitive areas did not become a forest agency policy until 1929.
Externally, the National Park Service, sought to expand parks from existing public lands, primarily national forest lands. The Forest Service responded by creating primitive areas. Initially these new wilderness areas received no special protections other than the official designation. Caribou Primitive area became a likely candidate for primitive status as it shares the length of its western border with the national park.
Caribou Primitive Area received greater protection in 1939, when Interior Secretary Harold Ickes sought to convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combine the Forest Service and the National Park Service into a new agency under the management of the United States Department of Interior. Roosevelt declined to act, but the threat of moving the Forest Service out of the United States Department of Agriculture resulted in greater protections for national forest wilderness areas. A congressional bill had earlier given the President authority to act on this new Department of Conservation.
In 1964, Caribou was among the first group of federally protected wildernesses created by the first Wilderness Act. The Lassen forest also contains the 16,335-acre (6,611 ha) Thousand Lakes Wilderness, also created in 1964.
Lassen National Forest, encompassing a large area, has many recreational opportunities with two large lakes nearby, a National Park, and many campgrounds and hiking trails. The forest is easily accessible from San Francisco, Sacramento and Redding.
The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the Forest and Park.
Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail 25-mile (40 km) length. Built on what was once the roadbed of Southern Pacific's 130-mile (210 km) Fernley and Lassen Branch Railway, it has been converted to a riding and hiking trail. There are 12 river crossings and two tunnels along the trail with the Susan River segment being the most scenic with views of the canyon, river and mountains. Some camping is allowed on portions of the trail but some areas have camping restrictions. The railroad operated from 1914 to 1956 and was officially abandoned by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1978. The trail has four distinct seasons because of the elevation changes. The trail begins at 4,200 feet (1,300 m) on the east side of the Sierra and Cascade Ranges in Susanville, rises to a high point of 5,500 feet (1,700 m) at Westwood Junction then descends to the trails' end in the town of Westwood at 5,100 feet (1,600 m) elevation.follows the rugged Susan River canyon for 16 of the trail's
The Subway Cave is a lava tube located 1/2 mile north of Old Station, with developed stairs leading into the cave and guided tours offered seasonally on weekends. Parking and picnic areas are available.
Spencer Meadows National Recreation Trail is a six-mile (10 km) path through aspen groves, meadow areas, incense cedar, and bubbling springs. Beginning at the junction of state routes 36 and 89, it goes through the forest and the Park, then connects with other trails inside the Park.
Heart Lake National Recreation Trail is more than three miles (5 km) in length and follows Martin Creek with views of Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain within the national park.
An historic emigrant trail established in 1852 is the Nobles Emigrant Trail. A prospecting party led by William Nobles crossed from Indian Valley to Honey Lake Valley. Nobles was later hired to shift the stream of emigrants to the town of Shasta in hopes of increasing settlers' traffic into the town. The trail goes through Susanville and past the north side of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Hat Creek Recreational Area of the forest has seven campgrounds scattered along the creek as well as large lava flows, lava tubes, hiking trails and views of Mount Lassen. Highway 89 follows Hat Creek through much of the forest.
Lake Almanor is just south of the forest with Forest Service land and campgrounds on the west shore. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) operate the 28,257-acre (11,435-hectare) lake which was acquired from Great Western Power Company in 1930 when they merged with P.G. and E. The North Fork of the Feather River is the primary source for Lake Almanor, as well as a number of freshwater springs and smaller rivers. The name of the lake is derived from the Great Western Power Company's vice president, Guy C. Earl, who combined the names of his three daughters, Alice, Martha and Elanor. The Forest Service maintains 63 developed recreational sites and an indeterminate number of primitive campgrounds.
Peter Lassen will be long remembered with having a hospital, college, street, mountain, creek, national park, county, and national forest each carrying his name. He was ambitious, his timing was perfect, and, like his contemporary pioneer, Johann Augustus Sutter, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Lassen was murdered by an unknown person in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada Territory,two months after being profiled by Hutching's California Magazine.
The profile is contained in the February, 1859 edition of Hutching's. Lassen was murdered April 29, 1859. The murderer was never found, but the list of suspects is long: Disgruntled clients of the Lassen Trail or various business associates were among those suspected.
The conclusion of the magazine profile includes this quote from Lassen: "Beware of bad partners, and nine-tenths of the lawyers, and if need be, add the other tenth, and thus eschew law and lawyers altogether." Apparently his killer heeded the advice.
Lassen, Edward Clapper and Americus Wyatt, were on a silver mining expedition, camped in the Black Rock Desert north of Virginia City, Nevada Territory. This was the beginning of the Comstock silver excitement in northern Nevada. Clapper and Lassen were shot and killed as the trio was breaking camp. Wyatt survived and was the only witness. Officially a band of Paiute Native Americans received blame but few pioneers believed the story.
Lassen's body was recovered and buried near his cabin at Honey Lake Valley. Clapper's remains remained in what is now known as Clapper Canyon. A partial skeleton was discovered there by hikers in 1991, and Clapper's remains have since been interred near Lassen's grave.Susanville, the seat of Lassen County is in the Honey Lake Valley.
Lassen was born on October 31, 1800 in Farum, Denmark and emigrated to Mexican California around 1840 from the Oregon Territory. Like Sutter, he acquired Mexican citizenship (1844) and applied for a land grant (1843)of 5 square leagues on the south bank of Deer Creek in what is now Butte County, California. This grant provided access to the Sacramento River, an important issue during the pioneer period for transportation of goods and people.
Lassen lost his estate around 1851 by mortgaging the land to further his business interests. He then migrated to the Honey Lake Valley where he attempted mining, and which is in modern-day Lassen County.
Lassen County was established on April 1, 1864, five years after his death.
The beginnings of Lassen National Forest began in 1891 with congressional passage of what has become known as the Forest Reserve Act. This bill was actually entitled: "An Act To Repeal Timber Culture Laws And For Other Purposes.".
The first federal forest reserves were created soon after President William Henry Harrison signed the repeal into law. Section 24 of the act authorized the President of the United States to set aside public lands as forest reserves without further permission from Congress.
In addition to Harrison, President William McKinley set aside forest lands, as did President Theodore Roosevelt, until Congress put a stop to the practice in 1907, by banning additional set asides in six western states.
California was not among those six states but was later added to the ban.
Lassen Peak Reserve was not created until 1905, less than a month before Congress approved the Transfer Act, which took the reserves away from the General Land Office and the Department of Interior. Instead, the newly created U.S. Forest Service managed the lands under the Department of Agriculture. The reserves then became the National Forests. In 1908 Lassen absorbed portions of Diamond Mountain National Forest and exchanged lands with Plumas National Forest and Shasta National Forest.
Lassen National Park was carved from the Lassen National Forest in 1916,when Congress approved the creation of the National Park Service, administered by the Interior department. Lassen Peak already enjoyed protection as a National Monument, set aside by Roosevelt in 1907.
The uneasy relationship between the US Forest Service and the National Park Service continued for several decades, perhaps culminating in 1931 when Congress forbade Lassen National Park from expanding its boundaries.
Earlier, in 1906, Gifford Pinchot, Chief Forester in the Department of Agriculture, sought to move the national parks into the forest service. Pinchot was thwarted by Congressman John F. Lacey, an ardent preservationist. Pinchot's goal was to subject the Parks to logging and other aspects of his scientific management philosophy.
Later, in 1939, Interior Secretary Harold Ickes proposed the opposite-of combining the national parks and forests into an agency that would take a preservationist approach.
Plumas County is a county in the Sierra Nevada of California, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 19,790. The county seat is Quincy, and the only incorporated city is Portola. The largest community in the county is East Quincy. The county was named for the Spanish Río de las Plumas, which flows through it.
Ishi was the last known member of the Native American Yahi people from the present-day state of California in the United States. The rest of the Yahi were killed in the California genocide in the 19th century. Ishi, who was widely acclaimed as the "last wild Indian" in the United States, lived most of his life isolated from modern American culture. In 1911, aged 50, he emerged at a barn and corral, 2 mi (3.2 km) from downtown Oroville, California.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is an American national park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found—plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and stratovolcano.
The Shasta Cascade region of California is located in the northeastern and north-central sections of the state bordering Oregon and Nevada, including far northern parts of the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The Susan River is a northeastern California river of approximately 67 miles (108 km) length that drains from an arid plateau of volcanic highlands along the Great Basin Divide to intermittent Honey Lake. The river flows from eastern Lassen County from east of Lassen Volcanic National Park generally east past Susanville and emerging into a ranching valley to enter the north end of Honey Lake. Along with Fredonyer Pass, the Susan River is the northern boundary of the Sierra Nevada.
The Trinity Alps are a mountain range in Trinity County and Siskiyou County in Northern California. They are a subrange of the Klamath Mountains located to the north of Weaverville.
Peter Lassen, later known in Spanish as Don Pedro Lassen, was a Danish-born Californian ranchero and gold prospector. Born in Denmark, Lassen immigrated at age 30 to Massachusetts, before eventually finally moving to California. In California, Lassen became a Mexican citizen and received the vast Rancho Bosquejo from Governor Manuel Micheltorena. He is best known as the eponym of Lassen County, California, Lassen Peak, and Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Shasta–Trinity National Forests are federally designated forests in northern California, United States. Combined, they are the largest National Forest in California and are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2,210,485 acre combined-forest encompasses five wilderness areas, hundreds of mountain lakes and 6,278 miles (10,103 km) of streams and rivers. Major features include Shasta Lake, the largest man-made lake in California and Mount Shasta, elevation 14,179 feet (4,322 m).
State Route 36 is an east–west state highway in the U.S. state of California that is routed from U.S. Route 101 in Humboldt County to U.S. Route 395 just east of Susanville in Lassen County. The highway passes through Red Bluff, the county seat of Tehama County, on the northern edge of the Sacramento Valley. The portion of SR 36 travelling past Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lake Almanor is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, a National Scenic Byway. Also, Route 36 between Alton and Susanville is a designated Blue Star Memorial Highway.
Area code 530 is a California telephone area code in northeastern and Northern California.
The Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest is a federally designated wilderness area located in the Santa Lucia Range along the Central Coast of California. This wilderness was established in 1969 when the Ventana Wilderness Act redesignated the 55,800-acre (22,600 ha) Ventana Primitive Area as the Ventana Wilderness and added land, totalling 98,000 acres (40,000 ha). In 1978, the Endangered American Wilderness Act added 61,000 acres (25,000 ha), increasing the total wilderness area to about 159,000 acres (64,000 ha). The California Wilderness Act of 1984 added about 2,750 acres (1,113 ha). The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 created the approximately 14,500-acre (5,900 ha) Silver Peak Wilderness and added about 38,800 acres (15,700 ha) to the Ventana Wilderness in addition to designating the Big Sur River as a Wild and Scenic River. The Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002 expanded the wilderness for the fifth time, adding nearly 35,000 acres (14,000 ha), increasing the total acreage of the wilderness to its present size of 240,026 acres (97,135 ha).
The Thousand Lakes Wilderness is located within the southern portion of the Cascade Range in northeastern California. The 16,335-acre (66 km2) wilderness was established in 1964 with the passage of the Wilderness Act and is administered by Lassen National Forest. The area lies within Shasta County, midway between the town of Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The South Warner Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area 12 miles (19 km) east of Alturas, California, United States. It encompasses more than 70,000 acres (283 km2) of the Warner Mountains. It is within the Modoc National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service. Elevations range from 5,000 feet (1,500 m) to 9,895 feet at Eagle Peak.
The Caribou Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area created by the Wilderness Act of 1964 and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located 60 miles (97 km) east of Redding in the state of California, United States. The Caribou Wilderness comprises 20,546 acres (83.15 km2) and is adjacent to the east side of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Although the park is surrounded by Lassen National Forest, it is managed separately by the National Park Service, whereas the U.S. Forest Service manages the wilderness.
The Bucks Lake Wilderness is a 23,958-acre (97.0 km2) wilderness area located in the Plumas National Forest section of the Sierra Nevada, in northeastern California, United States.
The Ishi Wilderness is a 41,339 acre wilderness area located on the Lassen National Forest in the Shasta Cascade foothills of northern California, United States. The Ishi Wilderness is located approximately twenty miles east of Red Bluff, California. The wilderness was created when the US Congress passed the California Wilderness Act of 1984. The land is etched by wind and water, and dotted with basalt outcroppings, caves, and unusual pillar lava formations. The land is a series of east-west running ridges framed by rugged river canyons, with the highest ridges attaining elevations of 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Deer Creek and Mill Creek are the principal drainages and flow into the Sacramento River.
The Nobles Emigrant Trail, also known as the Fort Kearney, South Pass and Honey Lake Wagon Road, is a trail in California that was used by emigrant parties from the east as a shortened route to northern California. It was pioneered in 1851 by William Nobles, who discovered an easy shortcut between the Applegate Trail in Nevada and the Lassen Trail in California. The trail was extensively used until the 1870s, when it was superseded by railroads.
The Upper North Fork Feather River Project is a hydroelectric scheme in the Sierra Nevada of California, within Lassen and Plumas Counties. The project consists of three dams, five power plants, and multiple conduits and tunnels in the headwaters of the North Fork Feather River, a major tributary of the Feather—Sacramento River systems. The total installed capacity is 362.3 megawatts (MW), producing an annual average of 1,171.9 gigawatt hours (GWh). The project is also contracted for the delivery of irrigation water between March 31 and October 31 of each year. The project is owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
There are nine national parks located in the state of California managed by the National Park Service. National parks protect significant scenic areas and nature reserves, provide educational programs, community service opportunities, and are an important part of conservation efforts in the United States. There are several other locations inside of California managed by the National Park Service, but carry other designations such as National Monuments. Many of the national parks in California are also part of national forests and National Wildlife Refuges, and contain Native American Heritage Sites and National Monuments.
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