Nestled in the rugged coastal mountains between San Francisco and Silicon Valley lies one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area: the Peninsula Watershed. Home to mountain lions, marbled murrelets, towering old-growth Douglas-firs, and an immense diversity of other plants and animals, the Peninsula Watershed is a unique and wild expanse of open space just minutes from one of the most urbanized parts of California.

While the watershed has remained largely undeveloped and is managed to protect natural and cultural resources, changes in disturbance regimes and other large-scale anthropogenic modifications over the past 250 years have altered vegetation dynamics and changed the distribution and structure of vegetation communities, raising many questions about the historical ecology of the watershed. The Peninsula Watershed Historical Ecology Study aims to advance understanding of landscape conditions of the Peninsula Watershed prior to major Euro-American modification, and to provide insights into the nature and drivers of vegetation change since the first Spanish explorers set foot in the watershed 250 years ago.

Purchase a printed copy of the report: $39.95 from Amazon.


2017 to 2021
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Resilient Landscapes Program
Historical Ecology
Terrestrial Ecology
Location Information