Mission of the Pine Hill Preserve

The primary mission of the Pine Hill Preserve is the preservation in perpetuity of the rare plant species and plant communities of the western El Dorado County gabbro formation. The unusual properties of the rock of this geologic formation and the Rescue series soils that have developed there, have given rise to unique vegetation with at least three endemic species. Five species occurring at the Preserve are listed as endangered or threatened under both the state and federal Endangered Species Acts:

Common Name Botanical Name
Stebbins' morning glory Calystegia stebbinsii
Pine Hill ceanothus Ceanothus roderickii
Pine Hill flannelbush Fremontodendron decumbens
El Dorado bedstraw Galium californicum ssp. sierrae
Layne's butterweed Packera layneae

Two other species are listed on the California Native Plant Society's List 1B, indicating that they are "plants rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere":

Red Hills soaproot Chlorogalum grandiflorum
El Dorado mule ears Wyethia reticulata

An eighth species is listed on the California Native Plant Society's List 3, their review list for plants for which there is presently insufficient information to determine conservation status.

Bisbee Peak rush rose Helianthemum suffrutescens

A final recovery plan for six of these species (the five state and federally listed species, and Wyethia reticulata), has been issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Recovery Plan for Gabbro Soil plants of the Central Sierra Nevada Foothills). The Preserve is a primary feature of the recovery plan.

The plant communities that the Preserve is designed to protect includes at least nineteen additional species that are either endemic to, or characteristic of, gabbroic or serpentine soils.

Secondary Goals of the Preserve

  1. Promote research to find management techniques that achieve the primary management goal. Because these plants and plant communities evolved in a dynamic ecosystem that involved periodic fire among other disturbances, effective management to preserve this ecosystem will require intervention by managers. To optimize that intervention, research evaluating the impacts of different management strategies will be fostered. Additional areas of research that are relevant to successful management of the Preserve are described in the draft Recovery plan.
  2. Accommodate and facilitate educational activities including teaching, interpretation, and research that are appropriate to the Preserve and compatible with the Preserve's primary goal.
  3. Institute a fire/fuels management program with the following three objectives:
    1. Vegetation management to promote the viability of the rare plant species of the Preserve, in a manner consistent with objective (b).
    2. Protection of adjacent properties and structures from the threat of wildfire.
    3. Education of the public about fuels management and prescribed fire.
  4. Provide low impact recreational opportunities that are appropriate to the Preserve and compatible with the Preserve's primary and other secondary goals.