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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Paicines in San Benito County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Coast Range: an ecological meeting place

 
 
The Coast Range: an ecological meeting place Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, January 20, 2014
1. The Coast Range: an ecological meeting place Marker
Inscription. Ecology is all about how all things around us interact and affect each other, from rocks to plants to animals. Here is a place rich with different ecological interactions. How many can you see?

Millions of years ago, most of California was under the ocean. Then the Pacific plate collided with the North American plate and was forced beneath it...

Rock from the bottom of the sea was scraped up into a jumbled pile: from shale and sandstone that had formed from layers of sediments settling slowly over time, to deep oceanic crust which became serpentine.

Pressure along the San Andreas fault slowly pushed the chaotic mix of rocks above the ocean surface, creating the Coast Range we see today...

rocks that weathered to different soils where different plants can grow...

on mountains high and dry, and in valleys where rivers flow.

Soils formed from serpentine are challenging to plant life: low in nutrients and high in metals. Few plants are able to grow there. You can see serpentine barrens from here as gray, treeless patches on the mountains. But all around them, sedimentary soils support dense stands of pine, oak woodland and chaparral.

Water plays another vital role in the ecosystem, with a dramatic effect on both plants and animals. Willows and cottonwoods grow close to the river
The Coast Range #1 image. Click for full size.
By James King, January 20, 2014
2. The Coast Range #1
bank. Grassy oak woodland thrives in the moist valley bottoms, giving way to chaparral on dry, well-drained hillsides.
 
Erected by Bureau of Land Management.
 
Location. 36° 22.059′ N, 120° 49.744′ W. Marker is in Paicines, California, in San Benito County. Marker can be reached from Coalinga Road. Touch for map. This marker is located at the Laguna Mountain campground off of Coalinga Road (aka. Old Coalinga Road aka. Los Gatos Creek Road aka Los Gatos Road), 13.2 miles from Hwy 25. Turn into the campground and follow the gravel road for about 0.2 miles and the marker will be at the end of a footpath that takes off to your left. Marker is in this post office area: Paicines CA 95043, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Raymond F. Eade (approx. 2.4 miles away); Benitoite (approx. 8.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The artwork on the marker depicts the landscape before you, with arrows and notations to help the viewer understand what they are looking at.
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
The Coast Range #2 image. Click for full size.
By James King, January 20, 2014
3. The Coast Range #2
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 356 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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