Mendocino National Forest

Mendocino National Forest is a United States national forest that is located in northwestern California within the Coastal Mountain Range. The forest contains 913,306 acres of land and is located in six counties including Trinity, Lake, Glenn, and Tehama counties. It was established in 1907 as the Stony Creek Forest Reserve. It was added to the national forest system only one month later, giving it the new name the Stony Creek National Forest. After undergoing border changes and another name change, the forest was given its current name in 1932 by President Hoover.

Mendocino National Forest holds four designated wilderness areas including Sanhedrin Wilderness and Snow Mountain Wilderness. The forest contains many lakes and other water sources and about sixty thousand acres of old growth forests containing many species including ponderosa pine, white fir, and coast-Douglas fir. The tule elk, one of the largest mammals in the forest, was once hunted dangerously low levels, but conservation efforts have increased the remaining herd to about eighty individuals.

Mendocino National Forest offers many activities to visitors including boating, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, nature viewing, and hot springs and it holds many resorts. The forest is known for the Agriculture Research Service, which was established in 1974 to research plant genetics. This facility is now used for genetically altering plants and is important for cancer research.

Image Caption: Rattlesnake Creek, a tributary to the Eel River, Mendocino National Forest, California. Credit: Marcia Wright/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)