Bishop Pine Forest
Bishop pine forests are unique to granitic quartz-diorite soils. Fragments of bishop pine forests exist along the coast of California where the climate, soil and fire regime are just right for their growth. Here at Point Reyes, these forests are not hard to find. They grow primarily all along the northern end of Inverness Ridge. Post-fire, you can find young pines of the same age crowded together such as along the Drakes View Trail. Dense pine patches alternate with dense stands of blue blossom and the very rare Marin manzanita. Over time, young forests self-thin, giving way to mature forests mixed with bay laurel, madrone, coast live oak, tanoak, huckleberry, salal and swordfern. The bishop pine forest bounces back quickly from a fire. Over one third of the pine forest you see today was ash in 1995 after a fire raged through the Mt. Vision area. Can you guess what other national park has bishop pines? (Channel Islands NP).
Did You Know?
Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) began breeding at Point Reyes in 1981 after being absent for over 150 years. The population breeds at terrestrial haul out sites at Point Reyes Headland, one of only eleven mainland breeding areas for northern elephant seals in the world. More...