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Ponderosa Way in Deer Creek Canyon, Ishi Wilderness Area, Tehama County, California. by Zeke Lunder

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Zeke Lunder Zeke Lunder
Explore score
0.15 Gigapixels
Date added
Oct 12, 2010
Date taken
Oct 12, 2010

Dropping into Deer Creek Canyon above Cohasset California.

Deer Creek drains the Southern edge of Lassen Volcanic National Park, carving a deep canyon through volcanic mudflows of the foothills, and joining the Sacramento Valley between Red Bluff and Chico. In the first part of the last century, the famous Yahi man 'Ishi' hid in this wild, inaccessible canyons for years.

Ponderosa Way was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression. Running the length of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, generally near the transition from brush to timber, it was intended as a firebreak and firefighting access. Many of the current Calfire and Forest Service Fire Stations that are in use today were built along Ponderosa Way - generally, these were an hour apart on the road, so that firefighters could respond anywhere on the road within a half hour or so. Before radios were available, a telephone line ran alongside the road, and firefighters carried a pair of climbing spurs and a hand-cranked telephone that they could use to ring the station once they were on scene at a fire.

This section of the road is still open to the public, but is in poor condition. Undermaintained forest roads can cause erosion of the hillsides that they traverse, and this section is no exception.

In this view - straight across and atop the ridge - is the Beaver Creek Pinery - a unique ponderosa pine forest that has never been logged, and has experienced frequent forest fires in the last 100 years. It is a research site, as many scientists think that it exemplfies conditions found in natural pine forests before we began putting out wildfires.

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