Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

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Modoc National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
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Map of the United States
Location Modoc County, California, United States
Nearest city Alturas, California
Coordinates 41°27′25″N120°31′07″W / 41.45683°N 120.51856°W / 41.45683; -120.51856 Coordinates: 41°27′25″N120°31′07″W / 41.45683°N 120.51856°W / 41.45683; -120.51856 [1]
Area 7,000 acres (28 km2)
Established 1961
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge of the United States located in northeastern California. It is next to the South Fork of the Pit River in Modoc County, southeast of Alturas. [2]

National Wildlife Refuge type of federal conservation area in the United States

National Wildlife RefugeSystem is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the system has grown to over 562 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts encompassing more than 150,000,000 acres (607,028 km2).

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Pit River River in California, United States

The Pit River is a major river draining from northeastern California into the state's Central Valley. The Pit, the Klamath and the Columbia are the only three rivers in the U.S. that cross the Cascade Range.

The area was first claimed by the Dorris Family in 1870 under the first of the federal Homestead Acts. The family developed a livestock ranch and built a reservoir. The first 5,360 acres were purchased from the family in 1960 to establish the refuge. Over the years more territory was purchased from several landowners, and today the refuge covers over 7,000 acres. [2]

Homestead Acts one of several related United States laws

The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain, typically called a homestead. In all, more than 160 million acres of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River.

Livestock Domesticated animals

Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA uses livestock similarly to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it specifically refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal, beef, and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.

Reservoir A storage space for fluids

A reservoir is, most commonly, an enlarged natural or artificial lake, pond or impoundment created using a dam or lock to store water.

The refuge is located about 60 miles outside the Klamath Basin. [3] It is on the western edge of the Great Basin and includes many types of habitat, such as seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands, wet meadows, riparian zones, sagebrush steppe, reservoir, and cropland. It is a staging area and wetland breeding habitat for migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway, such as waterfowl and the sandhill crane. [2] More than 250 species of birds have been recorded on the refuge. [3]

Klamath Basin

The Klamath Basin is the region in the U.S. states of Oregon and California drained by the Klamath River. It contains most of Klamath County and parts of Lake and Jackson counties in Oregon, and parts of Del Norte, Humboldt, Modoc, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties in California. The 15,751-square-mile (40,790 km2) drainage basin is 35% in Oregon and 65% in California. In Oregon, the watershed typically lies east of the Cascade Range, while California contains most of the river's segment that passes through the mountains. In the Oregon-far northern California segment of the river, the watershed is semi-desert at lower elevations and dry alpine in the upper elevations. In the western part of the basin, in California, however, the climate is more of temperate rainforest, and the Trinity River watershed consists of a more typical alpine climate.

Great Basin large depression in western North America

The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, and Wyoming. It is noted for both its arid climate and the basin and range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than 100 miles (160 km) away at the summit of Mount Whitney. The region spans several physiographic divisions, biomes, ecoregions, and deserts.

Wetland A land area that is permanently or seasonally saturated with water

A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it. Methods for rapidly assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.

The functions of the refuge include preservation and conservation of habitat and flora and fauna, and recreation and public services such as hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, wildlife observation and photography, and education. [2] [3]

Wildlife photography photography genre

Wildlife photography is a genre of photography concerned with documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Management activities in the local habitat include grazing and crop cultivation, prescribed burning, and water manipulation. The wetlands are stewarded to provide healthy vegetation for the use of resident and visiting birds. [3]

Grazing method of feeding in which a herbivore eats parts of low-growing grasses, forbs or algae

Grazing is a method of feeding in which a herbivore feeds on plants such as grasses, or other multicellular organisms such as algae. In agriculture, grazing is one method used whereby domestic livestock are used to convert grass and other forage into meat, milk and other products.

Controlled burn technique to reduce potential fuel for wildfire through managed burning

A controlled or prescribed burn, also known as hazard reduction burning, backfire, swailing, or a burn-off, is a wildfire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement. A controlled burn may also refer to the intentional burning of slash and fuels through burn piles. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Hazard reduction or controlled burning is conducted during the cooler months to reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of serious hotter fires. Controlled burning stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, and reveals soil mineral layers which increases seedling vitality, thus renewing the forest. Some cones, such as those of lodgepole pine and sequoia, are serotinous, as well as many chaparral shrubs, meaning they require heat from fire to open cones to disperse seeds.

Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment and nature, economics, health, property, information, theology, etc.

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