Serpentines of the Salmon Creek-Mattole River Divide

Original Publication DATE: 1/19/2013

On the divide between the South Fork of the Eel River and Mattole River exists a place I had repeatedly mapped while creating the images forĀ for Conifer Country. I knew there was a small patch of serpentine in this isolated location because of the occurrance of two tree species that are uncommmon on the North Coast outside of the Klamath Mountains proper. In the past I had asked regional ecologists about this location and the common response was “its is somewhere out near the Mattole River.” I knew that already, but how could I find the exact location?

The mystery was solved when Kyle and Dana Keegan, offered a “visit to the Salmon Creek watershed which is a tributary of the South Fork Eel. We have an especially unique diversity of plants and trees here due to a complex melange of geologic features with what we believe to be the largest, most westerly stand of Jeffrey Pine in the state, as well as vast stands of Incense Cedar. Kinda like an isolated westerly chunk of the Klamath Siskiyous–with it comes a whole host of serpentine endemics.”

Yes please…

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Kyle and Dana Keegan looking across the headwaters of the Mattole River.

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Frenzel Creek Research Natural Area

Original Publication DATE: 5/26/2011

The first journey of the summer has begun and as I make my way south to the Sierra San Pedro Martir botanically diverse destinations will craft the route I drive. The first stop was not too far from home, but a place I had not yet been. The serpentine soils along the Frenzel Creek Research Natural Area foster the sympatric overlap of two cypresses–along with many other unique serpentine plants. Enjoy the photo-blog, as I won’t have a lot of time to write with many miles to travel.

Frenzel Creek RNA

MacNab cypress grow in a shrubby form in the uplands growing with leather oak among other species.

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