USGS Science in Point Reyes National Seashore (California)

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Detailed Description

Interviews with staff at Point Reyes National Seashore tell how this National Park Service unit uses USGS science to educate visitors, and manage the park.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:03:01

Location Taken: Point Reyes National Seashore, CA, US


[John] USGS scientific research,

here at Point Reyes National Seashore

has been going on for many, many years

That information is the basis
for the education programs

that we offer to the public.

[Narrator] The seashore
is a 71,000 acre unit

of the National Park Service,

located on the California
coast less than an hour's drive

North of San Francisco.

People visited the park
2.4 million times last year.

[John] We have a very, very popular

self-guided trail here in the seashore,

called the Earthquake Trail.

Probably thirty, forty
thousand people a year

walk on this trail and,
again, all of that information

is data that we've gathered
and refined over the years

from USGS.

[Narrator] The park
also uses USGS science

to manage this iconic but complex setting.

For example, local
ranchers lease 28,000 acres

of National Park land for
dairy and beef cattle.

To monitor ranch lands, the
park uses maps, air photos

and other databases from USGS.

In 2015, we helped the
park with another problem.

[Ben] We have quite a few cliffs.

We have a lot of unstable areas.

We have a lot of sea caves.

We have a lot of promontories,

and California coastline, of course,

is always eroding.

Unfortunately, about a year
ago, we had some visitors

that were out on one of these promontories

and there was a collapse,
it was basically a landslide

and one of the people lost their lives.

After this happened,
USGS, we spoke with them

actually just a couple
days after it happened,

and it was great they
sent out someone to assess

this particular rock fall,

and take a look at it and
give us some advice on

what some safety measures would be.

[John] Every single day I
pull that topo map out.

If I'm planning a route
for a search or if I know

last known location of a person,

being able to look at the
actual topography of a place

and where is not going to be
a likely route for that person

is a huge assistance.

[Dave] USGS has been a real
partner in helping us better

understand the population
dynamics of tule elk,

where several really long-term
studies conducted by the USGS

have helped us better understand
when the population grows

and what the limitations are.

[Narrator] A few USGS
researchers have been stationed

at the park for decades.

[Dave] And having USGS scientists
based here at Point Reyes

has really benefited the
Park Service's research

and monitoring efforts.

[coyote howl]

[coyote howl]

[coyote howl]