Why Wolf Creek Is Special - Wolf Creek Community Alliance

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Wolf Creek Community Alliance
Wolf Creek is Special!
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It’s all about diversity:
Geography
Geology
Biodiversity
History
Human Impacts
Wolf Creek
Watershed
3,000 ft
20 miles long
50,000 acres
78 sq miles
1,200 ft
Effects of Geography (and
Geology)
• Low Sierra mountain setting means that
not much of the precipitation in the
watershed falls as snow
• Top third of watershed flows East to West
• Bottom two thirds flow North to South
• Geologic diversity as well – volcanic flows,
granitic strata, gabbro and serpentine soils
Biodiversity
• Geography and geology provide biotic
diversity
• The watershed has at least seven general
types of plant communities
• The plant communities in turn support
diverse animal communities
Plant Communities
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Annual Grass
Blue Oak Woodland
Blue Oak-Foothill Pine
Closed Cone Pine-Cypress
Douglas Fir
Mixed Chaparral
Montane Chaparral
Montane Hardwood
Montane Hardwood-Conifer
Montane Riparian
Ponderosa Pine
Sierran Mixed Conifer
Wet Meadow
Rare Plants
Rare Animals
Rare Habitat – Low-Altitude
Mountain Meadows
The Diverse History of Wolf Creek
• 500 – 7000 years of continuous habitation
by Maidu peoples
• People of European Origin enter the area
– the Emigrant Trail runs along South Wolf
Creek
• Discovery of gold in Wolf Creek
• A hundred years of gold mining, followed
by:
• Sixty years of recovery
The Diversity of Impacts
• The main reach of upper Wolf Creek, and
South Fork of Wolf Creek, have been
heavily effected by mining
• South Wolf Creek had almost no mining
• Wolf Creek around Grass Valley is
urbanized
• South Wolf Creek is almost entirely rural
The Diversity of Possible Futures
• The Wolf Creek watershed is being rapidly
developed
• Much of the watershed could soon be like
the urban reach in Grass Valley
• There are still open spaces that can be
preserved…
• What kind of future will we choose for the
Wolf Creek watershed?
Wolf Creek
Community
Alliance
www.wolfcreekalliance.com
530-272-2347
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