Landscape Helena 2Tom Greco

Sonoma Post-Fire Field Trip to Pepperwood Preserve

Leader: Dr. Terrence M. Gosliner, California Academy of Sciences

Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

The Dwight family established the Pepperwood Preserve in the late 1980s following their purchase of the property. Pepperwood Preserve contains 3,200 acres of grasslands, bay/oak/madrone forests, Douglas fir groves, oak woodlands, and serpentine and mixed chaparral. The Preserve is unique in many ways, especially in terms of diversity of habitats and plant life.Much of the Preserve was severely burned in the Tubbs fire; other areas were moderately burned. We’ll see areas in these habitats with characteristic regrowth of some species that will recover on their own over time. Other areas will need active management and ecological restoration.
Pepperwood Preserve provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the response to fire. Preserve scientists and staff had monitored and studied habitats, wildlife, and ecological/climate factors for years before the fire. Much of the scientific wildfire literature on California is from the Sierra Nevada. Pepperwood Preserve may greatly increase our understanding of fire in North Coast Ranges. For instance, little is published about madrone response to fire.

Hosted by Pepperwood Preserve’s Cassandra Liu

Suggested donation: $10.00

This field trip is approximately 4 miles long, with some uphill climbs.

People joining this field trip must be punctual. We will leave the parking area for the Dwight Center shortly after 10 a.m. If you arrive late and the group has already left, you will need to leave the Preserve. Pepperwood Preserve is an active fire recovery area with inherent risks. No one is allowed to be on the property unescorted owing to these risks. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with this requirement.

Location: 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa. From Northbound 101, take exit 494, River Rd./Guerneville/Calistoga. Head east on Mark West Springs Rd. towards Calistoga. At 5.4 miles, you reach the Mark West Springs Lodge and the road changes to Porter Creek Rd. Go another 1.6 miles to Franz Valley Rd., turn left, and go about 1 mile. Just before the crest of the hill, turn onto Pepperwood Preserve Rd. Follow the paved road approximately 1 mile until it ends at the parking lot. You’ll pass the multi-story modern cement/steel/wood Dwight Center just before reaching the parking lot.