• Schonchin Butte

    Lava Beds

    National Monument California

Environmental Factors

Drilling an ice core out of a cave for testing

Drilling an ice core out of a cave for testing

Climate Change

A worldwide phenomenon, climate change may now be affecting the environment of the Lava Beds. Monument staff now monitors cave ice, wildlife populations, and other trends to detect changes.

Learn more about climate change at interpretive programs in summer. E-mail us at the link to the left.

More coming soon>>>

Fire Regime:

How often do different habitats naturally burn in wildland fires?

Learn more about fire ecology at interpretive summer programs.

A botanical illustration of common mullen, a noxious weed.

Non-Native Species

Noxious weeds are a major problem throughout the West.

Learn more about native and invasive plants at interpretive programs in summer. Your support can help fight the spread of invasive plants at Lava Beds. More information>>>


Air quality monitoring equipment

Air Quality Monitoring

Would you believe that dust storms in Mongolia can affect Lava Beds?

For more information on Lava Beds air quality please visit these sites:

http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/Permits/aris/labe/index.cfm

http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/Permits/aris/labe/impacts.cfm

http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/Permits/aris/labe/studiesMonitoring.cfm

Lightscape / Night Skies

As a designated Dark Skies Preserve, the starry skies over the Lava Beds are a dream for amateur astronomers. High altitude, clean, dry air, and a remote location far from urban light pollution are key to the great view.

In summer, night sky programs are offered approximately once per week in the campground amphitheater. Call the Visitor Center at 530-667-8113 for more information.

Print out a current star chart for your visit to Lava Beds (41* 43' N / 121* 31' W) here>>>

 
The night sky, with Milky Way, over the Lava Beds
Dan Darriscoe

Did You Know?

American Pika

The American Pika found in the monument is one of only two species of Pika that can be found in North America and is currently being monitored as an indicator species for climate change.