Species to Look Out For
About the Park
Boulder Creek, Ca – State Park
Science Spotlight: Keeping it “Crumb Clean” in California’s Parks
Marbled murrelets are small, robin-sized seabirds that have one very interesting quality: they build their nests high up in redwood trees. Redwood forest habitats have suffered from logging during the gold rush, which in turn has contributed to the steep declines of marbled murrelet populations.
Steller’s Jays and other avian predators have been shown to negatively impact marbled murrelet populations by eating their eggs and young, according to a study at Redwood National and State Parks.
Steller’s jays are crested blue and black birds commonly found at campgrounds, attracted there by food leftover from humans. The high jay density is thought to increase the chances of Steller’s jays finding and predating the nests of marbled murrelets.
Public education programs, such as the “Crumb Clean” initiative depicted above, warn people that food waste has the potential to impact marbled murrelet populations by attracting their predators.
The moral of the story? Be careful of leaving any trace on your hikes – even a crumb can make a difference!
For more information on marbled murrelets and Steller’s jays, check out the Bay Area Naturalist article “Logging, Crumbs, and Lost Fish: The Story of the Marbled Murrelet“.
In 1902, Big Basin State Park became the first state park established in California. Its land protects mostly redwood forest and is home to the largest continuous stretch of old-growth redwoods south of San Francisco. Scientists estimate that the older trees in the park range from 1,000 to 2,500 years old.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans inhabited the park’s land for thousands of years. Evidence of the Native American’s land use can be seen in the bowl-like depressions in rocks along the trail. These depressions were used by the Ohlone people to grind seeds and acorns into flour.
In the midst of logging in the late 1800’s, a small group of citizens formed the Sempervirens Club (sempervirens being the species name of coast redwoods). They spurred a movement amongst California’s citizens, which resulted in the creation of a bill to protect the park area. The park is currently over 18,000 acres and growing.
Visit the Park
Please note that there is a $10 vehicle fee at the park. Dogs are not allowed on trails, but are allowed on leashes at picnic areas.
Here are some helpful resources to plan your visit: