The Mt. Wanda Historical Ecology Investigation assembled historical landscape data for the Mt. Wanda unit of the John Muir National Historic Site (NHS), located in the Alhambra Valley just south of downtown Martinez, CA. The John Muir NHS preserves the home and property where John Muir lived from 1890-1914, including the 326-acre Mt. Wanda parcel, where Muir frequently took walks with his daughters Helen and Wanda.
The study draws on hundreds of maps, photographs, and texts to provide an initial assessment of historical ecological conditions for Mt. Wanda, documenting historical vegetation patterns, phenological (natural history) events, wildlife support functions, and landscape change over time. The preliminary findings presented here will support natural resource management efforts, inform future ecological research and restoration activities, and serve as an educational and interpretive resource for visitors to the John Muir NHS.
The study is intended as a first step towards reconstructing the historical ecology of Mt. Wanda; future research directions may include additional data collection, more in-depth landscape change analysis, and historical habitat mapping.