Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley
University of California
Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley

Baker Forest

About

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Located in the middle of Plumas National Forest, the U. C. Forestry Camp and Baker Forest provide a unique opportunity to study the biota, soils, and geology of the Feather River Country. The properties comprise 120 acres of mixed conifer forestland with a northern exposure. Vegetation is old-growth mixed conifer forest on 16 hectares (40 acres, The U.C. Forestry Camp), with cutover second-growth forest on the adjacent 32 hectares (80 acres, Baker Forest). The site is representative of highly productive forestland surrounding the Camp on the Plumas National Forest. Tall ponderosa and sugar pines tower over the area, with white fir, Douglas- fir, incense-cedar, and black oak intermixed in the dense forests. Several streams pass through the property.The well-drained soils are of the Cohasset series and are about 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep. The climate has summer temperatures often reaching over 38 C (100 F), and lows occasionally to -23 C (0 F). Rainfall averages 1,041 mm (41 inches) per year in Quincy although recent extremes show a low of 533 mm (21 inches) per year and a high of 1,981 mm (78 inches) per year. Approximately 1,900 mm (75 inches) of precipitation falls as snow each year. Baker Forest Research Station Dominant Usage

Students at UC Berkeley's Forestry Summer Camp
Students at UC Berkeley's Forestry Summer Camp
U.C. Berkeley undergraduate and graduate instruction is the primary use for this facility, and most usage revolves around the 8-week summer camp forestry program. Opportunity for limited research exists, while an expanding program of “off-season” usage makes the facility popular for use by a wide variety of groups. Manipulation of the forest is limited due to the location of structures in this old- growth forest. Excellent roads open to Plumas National Forest and make both recreation and research available to the camp resident.

Summer Camp can accommodate over 100 people in its 5 dormitories, 4 cabins, numerous “tent frames”, and large dining commons. In addition, there are three bathhouses, an office, a study hall, and a shop. Both domestic water and water for fire fighting are available in quantity. The facilities have a rustic appeal, and usage by outside groups or persons is encouraged. The arrangement of the housing, meeting and eating facilities make it ideal for groups interested in productive discussions or for nature study.

Since the facility is prized primarily for its teaching potential, all usage must fit in with this goal. In addition, the current ownership of the site by the U. S. Forest Service prohibits certain activities.

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History

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Baker Forest and U. C. Forestry Camp have been in use since 1917. The Camp facility is managed under a Special Use Permit issued by the Forest Service and has been the learning environment for thousands of Cal foresters. The summer Camp itself is set in a forest museum-piece, with ancient trees, complete with downed trees and attendant wildlife abounding. The site is unparalleled as a location for learning in and about the forest.

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In February of 1949, the Meadow Valley Lumber Company began to log 32 hectares (80 acres) of what is now Baker Forest. The harvest method was a clearcut. No efforts were made to control the erosion nor to reforest the cutover stand. Many people have looked at Baker Forest and said decidedly that it was an example of what not to do in a timber harvest. Through the efforts of local residents and the Berkeley faculty, the Regents of the University purchased the 32 hectares of cutover land in 1951 to protect the Summer Camp’s water supply.Presently, on Baker Forest, there are plantations of white fir, giant sequoia, and incense-cedar for research purposes. Students have been introduced to timber harvest practices on various hazard trees, while fuel hazard reduction work has removed some of the dense understory around the perimeter of the old cutting boundary. The area is used heavily as an outdoor laboratory and is festooned with a profusion of flagging and survey stakes.

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Virtual Tour 

Click HERE to enjoy a virtual tour of Baker Forest, location of the U. C. Forestry Summer Camp.

 

 

 

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