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California

Our acquisition in San Gorgonio Wilderness is within the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument, stretching from California’s San Bernardino Mountains to Joshua Tree National Park.

California

The Wilderness Land Trust began working in California in 1993. We acquired 16 properties in California last year alone, protecting a total of 27,403 acres in 49 wilderness areas. California’s federal wilderness areas hold more inholdings than other state.  The most populous state, California’s growing population puts increasing pressure on wild lands. Wilderness areas provide some of the only remaining habitat for a number of imperiled species.

Beauty Mountain Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Riverside and San Diego Counties (US Bureau of Land Management)
2311.25 acres transferred

Beauty Mountain Wilderness designated in 2009 is nearly 16,000 acres of steep and rugged terrain, safeguarding wild land and wildlife in the path of fast-developing Temecula. Endangered species found here include the California gnatchater and the Quino checkerspot butterfly. The 5,548-foot Beauty Mountain dominates the landscape, with Million Dollar Spring part of its pristine watershed. On the wilderness area’s eastern boundary, the California Riding and Hiking Trail serves as the temporary route of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

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Big Maria Mountains Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Riverside County (Bureau of Land Management)
625.14 acres transferred

The 45,384-acre Big Maria Mountains Wilderness established in 1994, is just west of the Colorado River and the Arizona border. Fast-flowing streams through steep canyons formed alluvial fans called bajadas that rise to craggy peaks. Desert wildlife and migrating birds are drawn to the river in this dry, desolate land.

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Bodie Mountains

Mono County (Bureau of Land Management) 
3,748 acres transferred

The acquisition of Cedar Hills is significant not only because of the property’s size, but for its regional importance— an unbroken expanse of wild land around Mono Lake. The land is adjacent to the Mono Lake National Forest Scenic Area and surrounded by seven Wilderness Study Areas. Overlapping ecological habitats harbor a rich diversity of native wildlife.

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Bristol Mountain Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)
163.75 acres transferred

Established in 1994, the Bristol Mountains Wilderness is bordered by the Mojave and the Kelso Dunes Wilderness Areas. This 71,000-acre desert wilderness is home to migrating desert bighorn sheep, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners and several species of reptiles.

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Cache Creek Wilderness

Lake County (Bureau of Land Management) 
240 acres transferred

Cache Creek Wilderness established in 2006 encloses some 27,000 acres. At the heart of the wilderness is a 17-mile stretch of Cache Creek, which flows from Clear Lake through a steep-sided canyon to the Capay Valley on its way to the Sacramento River. Meadows scattered with valley oaks and several creeks offer oases in a dry landscape. Chaparral-covered hills rise to 3,196-foot Brush Sky High peak.

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Cadiz Dunes Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management) 
160 acres transferred

Approaching 10,000 acres, the Cadiz Dunes Wilderness established in 1994, includes the Cadiz Dune system and surrounding lowlands of the Mojave Desert. The dunes were formed by north winds pushing sands off the Cadiz Dry Lake. Rare plants, such as the endangered Borrego milk vetch, make this desert wilderness a magnet for photographers during the spring bloom.

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Cady Mountains Proposed Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)  
100 acres transferred

The Cady Mountains proposed wilderness area near Barstow is within easy reach of Los Angeles. It is home to desert bighorn sheep, as well as prairie falcons, golden eagles, Mojave fringed-toed lizards and other desert wildlife.

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Castle Crags Wilderness

Siskiyou County (USDA Forest Service)

1,257 acres owned

Sheer granite cliffs, towering spires reaching up to 7,200 feet and steep canyons hide five small alpine lakes in Castle Crags Wilderness. Indians held these rock formations in awe, rarely if ever, venturing into the heights, and battling the white miners who attempted to do so; in fact, the 1855 Battle of Castle Crags initiated the Modoc War. Below these rocky outcroppings (granitic intrusions from the Jurassic Period) most of the area is covered with fields of brush and a few wet meadows in the heads of several creeks. Mixed conifers (pine, fir, spruce, cedar) grow on the east, west, and north slopes. You will commonly encounter poison oak at lower elevations, where live oaks dominate the landscape. More than 300 species of wildflowers have been identified in the Wilderness, including the Castle Crags Harebell, which blooms nowhere else on earth. Rattlesnakes, black bears, deer, and squirrels abound, as do ticks. The Wilderness shares its southern border with Castle Crags State Park. The Pacific Crest Trail rambles for 19 miles through the area and offers many splendid views of the Crags.

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Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness

Riverside County (Bureau of Land Management) 
20 acres transferred

Established in 1994, the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness southeast of Joshua Tree National Park is a fascinating fortress of steep-walled canyons, broad valleys, washes and rock outcroppings that form a constantly changing panorama. The desert plants and wildlife are as diverse as the topography. Bighorn sheep, deer, wild burros, birds of prey, snakes, foxes and coyotes live in this rugged land. The bajada region in the southwest corner of the wilderness is crucial habitat for threatened desert tortoise. A garden-like array of ocotillo, cholla, yucca, creosote, barrel cactus and foxtail cactus cover the landscape.

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Dead Mountains Wilderness

San Bernardino County 
(Bureau of Land Management) 

273.71 acres transferred

The Dead Mountains Wilderness designated in 1994 encompasses 47,000 acres of jagged, rust-colored mountains. Mount Manchester, at 3,598 feet, is the highest peak. Alluvial fans sweep west toward Piute Valley and the Colorado River. The wilderness provides critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise.

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Death Valley Wilderness Study Area

San Bernardino and Inyo Counties (Bureau of Land Management)

2450.51 acres transferred

Death Valley  is the hottest, driest, lowest spot in North America. The 134 degrees recorded on July 10,1913 is the highest temperature recorded on the planet. Annual rainfall measures slightly less than two inches, and for six months each year, heat sears the valley floor, with July temperatures averaging 116 degrees Fahrenheit. During the other six months, the climate is very hospitable and considered the best time to visit.
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Domeland Wilderness

Tulare County (Bureau of Land Management) 

240 acres transferred

The Domeland Wilderness established in 1964 is named for its many granite domes and rugged rock formations. The Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Kern River courses for miles through deep gorges. The river and its tributaries, such as Fish Creek, attract trout anglers. There are some 45 miles of trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, which follows the river for about nine miles.

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El Paso Mountains Wilderness

Kern County (Bureau of Land Management) 

240 acres transferred

Designated in 1994, the nearly 24,000-acre El Paso Mountains Wilderness is badlands country of buttes, mesas and narrow canyons. Visitors are drawn to the cultural sites in the Last Chance Archaeological District where some of the oldest non-marine fossils ever found in the West - ancient camel-like and horse-like animals were discovered. Rock hounds also find much to their interest. Creosote bushes, the most ubiquitous desert plant, reign supreme. Joshua trees cling to the western side of Black Mountain.

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Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Mendocino County (Bureau of Land Management) 

1564.11 acres transferred

40 acres owned

Northern California’s Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness in the Coast Range harbors old growth forests and threatened and endangered species that depend on them, including northern spotted owl, bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Chinook and Coho salmon still spawn in the upper reaches of the South Fork Eel River, which bisects the wilderness. The Wilderness Land Trust and Resources Legacy Foundation worked with the BLM for years to acquire 1,565 acres of private inholdings, which cleared the way for wilderness designation in 2011. Some 11,200 acres are now under federal wilderness protection.

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Golden Trout Wilderness

Mono County (Bureau of Land Management) 

80 acres transferred

 

Established in 1978, the 303,511-acre Golden Trout Wilderness in the High Sierra is bounded by the John Muir Wilderness, the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness the South Sierra Wilderness, and the John Krebs Wilderness. California’s state fish, the golden trout, lives in relative abundance here. Two Wild and Scenic rivers, the North and South Fork of the Kern, thunder through this beautiful country, challenging white water rafters. There are some 150 miles of hiking and horse trails amid some of the Sierra’s highest peaks.

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Granite Mountain Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management) 

120 acres transferred

 

Grass Valley covers nearly three-quarters of this 30,000-acre wilderness area designated in 1994. Raptors forage and desert tortoises and Mojave ground squirrels find suitable habitat in this low-lying desert.

 

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Grass Valley Wilderness

San Bernardino County 
(Bureau of Land Management) 

55 acres transferred

Grass Valley covers nearly three-quarters of this 30,000-acre wilderness area designated in 1994. Raptors forage and desert tortoises and Mojave ground squirrels find suitable habitat in this low-lying desert.

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Jacumba Wilderness

Imperial County (Bureau of Land Management)

40 acres transferred

80 acres owned

The 30,000-acre Jacumba Wilderness established in 1994 is a jumble of granitic rock. A series of seemingly endless ridges staircases down to the Colorado Desert. The southern boundary borders Mexico. In the west near Smugglers Cave rare peninsular bighorn sheep have been seen. The eastern mountains enclose Skull Valley, a secluded basin with a dry lake.

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Kelso Dunes Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)

20 acres transferred

 

The Kelso Dunes Wilderness designated in 1994 takes its name from the large sand dunes complex at its eastern boundary in the Mojave National Preserve.  Flat-topped volcanic mountains such as Broadwell Mesa, and an extensive desert wash system are some of the unique geography of these 144,915 acres.

 

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King Range Wilderness

Humboldt County (Bureau of Land Management)

130 acres transferred

The nearly 23,000-acre King Range Wilderness, designated in 2006, is the wildest portion of the California coast. The King Range is the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the continental U.S.  Botanists consider the plants of the region’s dune system unique. California brown pelican, steelhead trout, Coho salmon, peregrine falcon, northern spotted owl and Roosevelt elk are among the endangered species here. The California Coastal Trail traverses the entire length of the area. In 2,000 the rocks and islands just offshore were designated as the California Coast National Monument.

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Kingston Range Wilderness (COMPLETE)

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management) 

1,310 acres transferred

Designated in1994, the Kingston Range Wilderness encompasses nearly 200,000 acres. The wilderness area extends to 7,323-foot Kingston Peak and enfolds the lower Shadow Mountains as well. Botanists have identified 505 native plant species of which 32 are rare or endangered. The wilderness area is in an ecological transition zone between the Great Basin and Mojave Desert with numerous species reaching their northern and southern most distribution. Amargosa Canyon contains a perennial stream and wetlands that sustain fish and attract a variety of wiidlife.

 

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Lassen Volcanic Wilderness

Tehama and Plumas Counties (National Park Service)

80 acres transferred

The Lassen Volcanic Wilderness, established in 1972, contains nearly 79,000 acres. In 1914, the 10,400-foot Lassen Peak began a series of eruptions including one in 1915 that released an enormous mushroom cloud seven miles high. Today, the 106,000-acre Lassen Volcanic National Park is a laboratory for studying volcanic phenomena. Almost four-fifths of the park has been designated wilderness, a land of gorgeous lakes teeming with fish, thick forests of pine and fir, many splendid creeks and a fascinating hodgepodge of extinct and inactive volcanoes. At least 779 plant species have been identified here. About 150 miles of trails snake through the wilderness, including a 17-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

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Little Chuckwalla Wilderness

Imperial County (Bureau of Land Management)

85 acres transferred

 

The Little Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness, designated in 1994, contains 28,000 acres.  Dry, desolate and rugged, the Little Chuckwalla Mountains, cresting at 2,100 feet, are surrounded by a large, gently sloping bajada incised by a network of washes. In the northern part of the wilderness, a bajada rises gradually to about 400 feet.  In portions of the area, you may see desert bighorn sheep, and the southern bajada has been identified as crucial habitat for desert tortoises. Several sensitive plants grow in the Little Chuckwallas, including California snakeweed, Alverson's foxtail cactus and barrel cactus.

 

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Marble Mountain Wilderness

Siskiyou County (USDA Forest Service)

640 acres transferred

The Marble Mountain Wilderness, established in 1964, totals nearly half a million acres. Craggy peaks, alpine meadows, streams and 89 lakes stocked with trout highlight this wild area. Fascinating geological features include Marble Mountain, a stark, red and gray marbled peak. Most of the lakes are gems set in rocky settings, and at least one-third of the Wilderness is cloaked in forest. Most of the peaks exceed 6,000 feet. The Pacific Crest Trail traverses the wilderness for 32 miles north to south and links to many other trails.

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Milpitas Wash Area

Imperial County (Bureau of Land Management)

80 acres transferred

Mokelumne Wilderness

Alpine/Mono County (USDA Forest Service)

180 acres transferred

The Mokelumne Wilderness is a 105,000-acre federally designated wilderness area located 70 miles east of Sacramento. First protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964. The wilderness takes its name from the Mokelumne River, which courses through a rugged canyon. Glaciers smoothed the area, leaving trails relatively easy to hike. In spring and summer, large meadows throughout the wild land bloom with wildflowers.

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Mount Shasta Wilderness

Siskiyou County (USDA Forest Service)

240 acres transferred

The Mount Shasta wilderness, designated in 1984 comprises nearly 34,000 acres.  Mount Shasta dominates the landscape for several hundred miles in all directions. At 14,162 feet, the beautiful snow-cloaked mountain is among the famous of the Cascade Range volcanoes. Although the last documented eruption occurred in 1786, geologists consider Mount Shasta an active volcano. Most of the Wilderness lies on the upper slopes of the mountain. Glaciers, ancient lava flows; a hot sulphur spring, and churning waterfalls are among the many unusual features. In July and early August, meadows below timberline explode with wildflower color. The trail system includes 20 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

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North Algodones Dunes Wilderness

Imperial County (Bureau of Land Management)

65 acres transferred

The North Algodones Dunes Wilderness contains nearly 26,000 acres.  The dune system is approximately eight miles wide and 40 miles long and is one of the largest dune complexes in North America. A small section of this desert wonder has been designated wilderness.

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Old Woman Mountains Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)

1657.18 acres transferred

 

All of this nearly 164,000 acre wilderness designated in 1994, consists of bajadas and the massive, fault-lifted Old Woman Mountains that extend some 35 miles north-south and up to 28 miles east-west. The mountains take their name from a granite monolith resembling the figure of an old woman, known as the Old Woman Statue, 5,000 feet high. The largest meteorite found in California and the second largest in the United States was found here in 1975 and is now on permanent display at the Desert Information Center in Barstow, California. The washes and canyons provide habitat for songbirds drawn to dozens of springs and seeps. Nearly 50,000 acres are critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise. 

 

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Owens Peak

Kern County (Bureau of Land Management)

836.44 acres transferred

The 8,400-foot Owens Peak is the highest point in the southern Sierra Nevada and the centerpiece of the 74,000 Owens Peak Wilderness. It presides over mountainous terrain with deep, winding canyons, many with rich riparian vegetation fed by bubbling springs. The Sierra Nevada meets the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert here, creating an unusual ecosystem—creosote bush scrub communities on the bajadas; scattered yuccas, cacti, flowering annuals, cottonwoods and oaks in the canyons and valleys; and juniper and piñon woodlands with sagebrush and digger pines on the upper elevations. Evidence of human use in this area dates to prehistoric times.

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Palen/McCoy Wilderness

Riverside County (Bureau of Land Management)

495 acres transferred

Sloping bajadas, canyons, jagged peaks and desert separate five distinct mountain ranges contained within the 259,000-acre Palen-McCoy Wilderness from one another. An intricate array of washes in the valley between the Palen and McCoy Mountains are heavily draped in ironwood and paloverde trees. The ironwood forest is the largest in the California desert and perhaps in the world. This wood is so heavy that it can sink in water.  Native Americans once used it extensively for tools and weapons.

 

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Piute Mountains Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)

160 acres transferred

The geography of the 48,000-acre Piute Mountain Wilderness varies in color and texture from angular, jagged volcanic rock to rounded, smooth granite hills and ridges cut by canyons and washes. Plants and wildlife are typical of the Mojave Desert coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes and several species of lizards. Desert bighorn sheep and prairie falcon aeries have been seen in the wilderness area, which provides critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise.

 

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Rice Valley Wilderness

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)

950 acres transferred

This is a wilderness of sand bordered to the south by the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness. The buff-colored dunes of Rice Valley rise 30 to 40 feet above the valley floor, stretching in a long, narrow band along the middle of the region.

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Sacatar Trail Wilderness

Tulare County (Bureau of Land Management)

2,430 acres transferred

 

The Sacatar Trail is an old wagon road that provides relatively easy access into this rugged and pristine 50,000-acre wilderness on the eastern slope of the southern Sierra Nevada. Valleys, canyons and alluvial fans gradually rise to granite summits of more than 7,800 feet. Creosote bush, Joshua trees and desert shrubs in the lower elevations change to scattered piñon and juniper woodlands higher up. In several of the canyons springs create riparian habitats of cottonwoods, willows and grasses. Mule deer flourish, along with golden eagles, prairie falcons and other raptors. The Pacific Crest Trail passes not far from the western boundary.

 

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San Gorgonio Wilderness

San Bernardino County (USDA Forest Service)

640 acres transferred

San Gorgonio Mountain was originally known as "Old Grayback" by locals until officially designated by the US Geological Survey (from the Spanish heritage) on the original topographical map of the area produced in 1899. At 11,502 feet, it is the highest peak in California south of the Sierras. Most of the Wilderness is above the 7,000 foot level. Two rivers (which would be called creeks anywhere but in Southern California), the Santa Ana and the White, flow out of the Wilderness. The isolated environment contains many threatened and endangered plant and animal species, as well as bear, deer, mountain lions and bighorn sheep. There are 81 miles of trails in the National Forest portion of the Wilderness, and approximately 20 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in the BLM portion.

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Sheep Mountain Wilderness

Los Angeles County (Bureau of Land Management)  

287 acres transferred

The rugged 42,000-acre Sheep Mountain Wilderness is bordered by the San Gabriel Wilderness to the east, ranging in elevation from about 2,400 feet to 10,064-foot Mount Baldy, the highest point in the San Gabriel Mountains. The East Fork of the San Gabriel River, Prairie Fork and Upper Lytle Creek drain the area. Chaparral covers the lower slopes, changing to a mountain forest of mixed evergreens. A rich diversity of wildlife includes Nelson bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, bears and mountain lions. Several inholdings remain within the wilderness borders.

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San Rafael Wilderness

Santa Barbara County (USDA Forest Service)

69 acres transferred

Here in the chaparral-covered San Rafael Mountains, elevations range from 1,166 feet near the confluence of Manzana Creek and the Sisquoc River in the west to over 6,800 feet on Big Pine Mountain near the eastern boundary and Dick Smith Wilderness. Too rocky and shallow to entice river runners, except perhaps in spring high water, all but two of the Sisquoc's 33 Wild and Scenic miles are within the Wilderness, tumbling through pools and oak-shaded grasslands, over waterfalls and past archaeological sites. The region known as Hurricane Deck stretches for 17 miles of steep escarpments, grassy potreros, dry plateaus, and wind-carved sandstone formations. Wildflowers are abundant March through June. The Wilderness contains the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary, and black bears and mountain lions also live here with numerous smaller animals.

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Sanhedrin Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Mendocino County (USDA Forest Service)

40 acres transferred

The mountain's ancient forests are so pristine that they provide critical habitat for the continued survival of the northern spotted owl. The area also contains extensive meadows, oak woodlands, chaparral, and "serpentine barrens," places where the nutrient poor blue-green soil is so inhospitable to many plants that only specially adapted species can survive. As a result, the Sanhedrin Wilderness provides habitat for at least five rare and unique plant species, including the Anthony Peak lupine, which grows only in the Mendocino National Forest. The area also includes Impassable Rock, an impressive geologic formation in the northern portion of the area, and an active fault in the southern portion that has created a noticeable gash in the earth.

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Santa Lucia Wilderness

San Luis Obispo County (Bureau of Land Management)

157 acres transferred

A stream that flows yearlong through Lopez Canyon into Lopez Lake, lush streamside vegetation, and chaparral-covered slopes and peaks that rise above the canyon are the prime ingredients in the lightly visited Santa Lucia Wilderness. Elevations range from about 800 feet down in Lopez Canyon to about 3,000 feet near Hi Mountain Lookout at the eastern end. Hiking the Lopez Canyon Trail along the stream will expose you to a wide assortment of vegetation, including stands of ancient oaks, much of them flourishing where a wildfire raged in 1985.

 

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Sheephole Valley Wilderness

San Bernardino County (USDA Forest Service)

415 acres transferred

The 187,516-acre Sheephole Valley Wilderness is bordered by the Joshua Tree Wilderness to the south and is nested between the Sheep Hole and Calumet Mountains. Sand dune formations can be found at the southwest end of the Sheep Hole range and northeastern portion of the Calumets. Borrego milk vetch occurs in the sand dunes and is listed by the California Native Plant Society as rare and endangered in California. Salt-tolerant plants such as pickle weed, ink weed and saltbush are found growing around two dry lakebeds. The area is home to many species of desert wildlife.

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Siskiyou Wilderness

Siskiyou County (USDA Forest Service)

48 acres transferred

Forested ridges and craggy peaks define the 183,000-acre Siskiyou Wilderness, along with fragile mountain meadows, open glades, shallow lakes and the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Smith River, which forms a large portion of the western boundary. Clear Creek and the headwaters of the East Fork of the Illinois River flow perennially through the wilderness. Summer populations of steelhead attract anglers. The area is notable for its diverse plant life, including one of the world's largest concentrations of lily species and perhaps as many as 20 species of conifers, such as the rare Brewers spruce.

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Soda Mountains Wilderness Study Area

San Bernardino County (Bureau of Land Management)

480 acres transferred

This large roadless area takes in both the Soda Mountains and Cronese Mountains and includes colorful canyons with steep walls that vary from red to gold. Some 10 percent of the wilderness consists of playas.  The three largest are the West Cronese, East Cronese and Silver Dry Lakes. Vegetation is largely creosote bush and saltbush.

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South Fork Eel River Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Mendocino County (Bureau of Land Management)

560 acres transferred

The South Fork Eel River is a principal tributary of the Eel River. The South Fork Eel River Wilderness is comprised of sections of the BLM's Red Mountain and Cahto Peak units. The Red Mountain unit is dominated by Red Mountain and the Cedar Creek drainage. Elevations range from 1,100 feet at the southwest end along Cedar Creek to 4,083 feet, less than three miles away at the top Red Mountain. Terrain is generally steep, consisting of rugged drainages dropping abruptly into Cedar Creek canyon. A small area of fairly gentle slopes is found near the summit. These unusual soils have resulted in a unique vegetation cover of several species of pine and cypress trees intermixed with a low brush understory. Rare and endangered plant species occupy the landscape covered by these ultrabasic soils.

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South Sierra Wilderness

Tulare County (USDA Forest Service)

80 acres transferred

 

The 63,000-acre South Sierra Wilderness straddles the crest of the Sierra Nevada bordered by the Golden Trout Wilderness to the north and Domeland Wilderness to the south.  Elevations range from 6,100 feet near Kennedy Meadows to 12,123 feet on Olancha Peak providing habitat for a diversity of species. The watershed drains to the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Kern River.

 

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South Warner Wilderness (COMPLETE)

Modoc County (Bureau of Land Management)

160 acres transferred

The South Warner Wilderness east of Alturas, California encompasses more than 70,000 acres of the Warner Mountains. Elevations range from 5,000 feet to 9,895 feet at Eagle Peak.  The highest parts of the Warner Mountains were set aside in 1931 as a primitive area.  The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the South Warner Wilderness. The Warner Crest divides waters that flow west into the Sacramento and Pit River drainage, and east into the Great Basin Alkali lakes of Surprise Valley. Much of the crest is a narrow ridgeline with notable peaks such as Emerson Peak and Squaw Peak.

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Timbered Crater Wilderness Study Area

Modoc County (Bureau of Land Management)

195.31 acres transferred

The Timbered Crater Wilderness Study Area is an outstanding showcase for the geology of extinct volcanic craters. The alternating depressions and buttes are dominated by a 500-foot butte at the rim of the crater. The crater provides the only northeastern California habitat for the Baker cypress tree. Because Timbered Crater lies at the junction of the Great Basin and Cascade Mountains ecosystems, there is a unique blend of desert and mountain plant communities. Vegetation ranges from pine, western juniper and Oregon white oak to desert plants such as big sagebrush, needle grass and blue grass.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness

Trinity County (USDA Forest Service)

2,398 acres transferred

Formerly known as the Salmon-Trinity Alps Primitive Area, the Trinity Alps Wilderness is located 50 miles west of Redding, California. The wilderness is drained in the south by the Wild and Scenic Trinity River and in the north by the Wild and Scenic Salmon River. Numerous rushing streams feed these rivers, many of them emerging from the region's 55 lakes. Scattered stands of timber, including old growth, open to large meadows wild with flowers in July and August. The Trinity Alps Wilderness contains more than 500 miles of maintained trails, including 17 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Tunnison Wilderness Study Area

Lassen County (Bureau of Land Management)

210 acres transferred

The Wilderness Study Area is on the eastern edge of the transition area between the wooded slopes of the Cascade Range and the western edge of the more arid Great Basin. It is approximately 3.5 miles wide by 10 miles long. Elevations vary from 4,200 to 6,400 feet. Ponderosa and Jeffery pines grow south of Willow Creek, while the majority of the area is in shrubs, grasses and scattered juniper. Vegetation also includes isolated patches of mountain mahogany at the higher elevations.

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Ventana Wilderness

Monterey County (USDA Forest Service)

469 acres transferred

The Ventana Wilderness, designated in 1969, straddles the Santa Lucia Mountains south of the Monterey Peninsula. The Ventana includes 240,000 acres of these ruggedly beautiful coastal mountains and steep-sided valleys hidden from the outside world. Elevations range from 600 feet where the Wild and Scenic Big Sur River leaves the wilderness, to 5,750 feet at Junipero Serra Peak. Waterfalls, deep pools and thermal springs can be found along the major streams. Virgin coast redwoods stand in the deep canyons of the Big Sur and Little Sur Rivers.

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Yolla Bolly -Middle Eel Wilderness

Trinity County (Bureau of Land Management)

920 acres transferred

The Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, established in 1964, encompasses more than 81,000 acres of the rugged headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Eel River. The river crashes through the wilderness in a deep canyon for some six miles. With 48 more miles of river outside the wilderness, the Middle Eel forms one of California's finest long whitewater runs. Chamise and manzanita in the lower elevations give way to dense pine and fir-cloaked ridges. Summer wildflowers color large mountain meadows. Bear and deer populate the area.

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Ventana Wilderness, California

 

 

 

 


On January 13, 2011, the Elkhorn

Ridge Wilderness became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.  

Many of 1,565 acres of private inholdings were acquired

by The Wilderness Land Trust.