Unified Interior Regions

California

The Southwest Region includes California, Nevada, and Arizona. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 417
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Babocomari - Managed Aquifer Recharge

We are working to investigate the most cost-efficient way to recharge the Sierra Vista sub-basin aquifer using rainwater harvesting in the tributaries of the San Pedro River using low-technology methods. Research is being conducted on the Babacomari Ranch, property of the Brophy family. The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) is supporting our research with partners, Borderlands Restoration (BR), ...

Contacts: Laura M Norman
Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs;...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Forecasting Coastal Change

This project focuses on understanding the magnitude and variability of extreme storm impacts on sandy beaches. The overall objective is to improve real-time and scenario-based predictions of coastal change to support management of coastal infrastructure, resources, and safety. 

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

The original national coastal vulnerability index (CVI) assessment was motivated by expected accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) and the uncertainty in the response of the coastline to SLR. This research was conducted between 1999 and 2001, and is currently being updated using new data sources and methodology. This original study was part of the ...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Coastal Change

Goals of this task include developing and improving coastal-change assessments and supporting long-term planning and decision making to ensure sustainable coastal economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

The Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Centers are monitoring this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology of Infectious Diseases

The public is most familiar with parasites' role in spreading infectious diseases to people and domestic animals. In tropical developing countries, malaria, schistosomiasis, and other infectious diseases cause significant human suffering. While most related studies focus on treating patients, Dr. Kevin Lafferty is studying how ecology of the local environment affects transmission of infectious...

Contacts: Kevin Lafferty
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Desert Tortoise Ecology, Health, Habitat, and Conservation Biology

The desert tortoise is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. USGS WERC scientists, along with project partners have been conducting long-term analyses on how changes in the southwestern deserts of the United States can affect desert tortoise populations. Dr. Todd Esque and his team are investigating how habitat disturbances and restoration projects influence tortoise...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Southwestern Desert Ecology of At-risk Species and their Habitats

The southwestern desert region is home to many sensitive species. Species are at-risk due to past, present, and future changes to the landscape. WERC’s Dr. Todd Esque, field researchers, and collaborators are using models, monitoring plans, and decision-support tools to provide land managers with the resources they need to answer questions about how environmental change influences plants,...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecological Stressors - Rocky Coastlines, Mangroves, Marshes, Droughts, and Storms

Coastal estuaries that contain marshes and mangroves are currently being reshaped by changing ocean and atmospheric conditions through prolong drought, sea-level rise and increased extreme storm events. Many projected increases in sea-level are expected to result in loss of tidal wetlands and their component species. In addition, changing sediment loads, extreme tide and storm events, and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Supporting Informed Responses to Sea-Level Rise

To facilitate communication and outreach of sea level rise research results and implications, Dr. Karen Thorne and members of USGS WERC are hosting in-person workshops along the Pacific coast at different sites in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Filter Total Items: 556
Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Ventura Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Central Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Northern Coastal Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 30, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data Sonoma-Livermore Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for San Joaquin Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Sacramento Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Date published: November 8, 2018

2010 Estimated California Water Use

Withdrawal estimates for each category represent the total amount of water removed from the water source, regardless of how much of that total is consumptively used. In most cases, some fraction of the total withdrawal will be returned to the same or a different water source after use and is available for other withdrawals.

Date published: October 31, 2018

California Seafloor Mapping Program video and photograph portal

The USGS presents video and photographs of seafloor segments off California, from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Oregon State line. The USGS collected this imagery as part of the California Seafloor Mapping Program, a large collaborative effort supported by the ...

Date published: October 29, 2018

California Seafloor Mapping Program progress

Table showing California Seafloor Mapping Program map block mapping progress by block number, as of April 2018.

Date published: October 25, 2018

Beach topography and nearshore bathymetry of northern Monterey Bay, California

This data release presents beach topography and nearshore bathymetry data from repeated surveys in northern Monterey Bay, California to document changes in shoreline position and coastal morphology as they relate to episodic (storms), seasonal, and interannual and longer processes. Since October 2014, semi-annual surveys have been performed in late summer (September or October...

Date published: October 22, 2018

Grain size, mineralogic, and trace-element data from field samples near Hinkley, California

This data release is part of a study examining the occurrence of chromium and natural and anthropogenic hexavalent Chromium, Cr(VI) in groundwater. Data will be used to estimate naturally-occurring background Cr(VI) concentrations upgradient, near the plume margins, and downgradient from a mapped Cr(VI) contamination plume near Hinkley, CA (Izbicki and Groover, 2016).

Date published: October 5, 2018

Bathymetry, acoustic-backscatter, and time-series datasets collected between 2014 and 2016 of a field of crescent-shaped rippled scour depressions in northern Monterey Bay, California

Between 11/14-6/16 USGS PCMSC conducted 8 repeat, high-resolution bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter surveys of a small patch of seafloor offshore Santa Cruz in northern Monterey Bay, California. We also collected oceanographic time-series data over the same two-year period. This data release provides the eight bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter datasets, the time-series data, and FGDC...

Filter Total Items: 428
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Year Published: 2007

Total selenium and selenium species in irrigation drain inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April and July 2007

This report presents the results for two sampling periods during a 4-year monitoring survey to provide a characterization of selenium concentrations in selected irrigation drains flowing into the Salton Sea, California. Total selenium, selenium species, and total suspended solids were determined in water samples, and total selenium was determined...

May, Thomas W.; Walther, Michael J.; Saiki, Michael K.; Brumbaugh, William G.
Total Selenium and Selenium Species in Irrigation Drain Inflows to the Salton Sea, California, April and July 2007; 2007; OFR; 2007-1347; May, Thomas W.; Walther, Michael J.; Saiki, Michael K.; Brumbaugh, William G.

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Year Published: 2007

Preliminary analytical results for ash and burned soils from the October 2007 southern California wildfires

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected ash and burned soils from about 28 sites in southern California wildfire areas (Harris, Witch, Ammo, Santiago, Canyon and Grass Valley) from Nov. 2 through 9, 2007 (table 1). USGS researchers are applying a wide variety of analytical methods to these samples, with the goal of helping identify...

Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.
Preliminary Analytical Results for Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires; 2007; OFR; 2007-1407; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.

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Year Published: 2007

Data from theodolite measurements of creep rates on San Francisco Bay region faults, California: 1979-2007

Introduction Our purpose is to update with six additional years of data, our creep data archive on San Francisco Bay region active faults for use by the scientific research community. Earlier data (1979-2001) were reported in Galehouse (2002) and were analyzed and described in detail in a summary report (Galehouse and Lienkaemper, 2003). A...

McFarland, Forrest S.; Lienkaemper, James J.; Caskey, S. John; Grove, Karen
Data from Theodolite Measurements of Creep Rates on San Francisco Bay Region Faults, California: 1979-2007; 2007; OFR; 2007-1367; McFarland, Forrest S.; Lienkaemper, James J.; Caskey, S. John; Grove, Karen

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Year Published: 2007

Simulations of potential runout and deposition of the Ferguson rockslide, Merced River Canyon, California

INTRODUCTION An active rockslide in Merced River Canyon was first noticed on April 29, 2006 when a few rocks rolled onto Highway 140 between mileposts 103 and 104, compromising traffic on this highway and signaling the onset of renewed activity of the Ferguson rockslide. State highway 140 is one of the main entrances to Yosemite National Park...

Denlinger, Roger P.
Simulations of Potential Runout and Deposition of the Ferguson Rockslide, Merced River Canyon, California; 2007; OFR; 2007-1275; Denlinger, Roger P.

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Year Published: 2007

Dissolved solids in basin-fill aquifers and streams in the southwestern United States

The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program performed a regional study in the Southwestern United States (Southwest) to describe the status and trends of dissolved solids in basin-fill aquifers and streams and to determine the natural and human factors that affect dissolved solids. Basin-fill aquifers, which include the...

Anning, David W.; Bauch, Nancy J.; Gerner, Steven J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Hamlin, Scott N.; Moore, Stephanie J.; Schaefer, Donald H.; Anderholm, Scott K.; Spangler, Lawrence E.
Dissolved Solids in Basin-Fill Aquifers and Streams in the Southwestern United States; 2007; SIR; 2006-5315; Anning, David W.; Bauch, Nancy J.; Gerner, Steven J.; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Hamlin, Scott N.; Moore, Stephanie J.; Schaefer, Donald H.; Anderholm, Scott K.; Spangler, Lawrence E.

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Year Published: 2007

Earthquake Rate Model 2.2 of the 2007 Working Group for California Earthquake Probabilities, Appendix D: Magnitude-Area Relationships

Summary To estimate the down-dip coseismic fault dimension, W, the Executive Committee has chosen the Nazareth and Hauksson (2004) method, which uses the 99% depth of background seismicity to assign W. For the predicted earthquake magnitude-fault area scaling used to estimate the maximum magnitude of an earthquake rupture from a fault's length...

Stein, Ross S.
Earthquake Rate Model 2.2 of the 2007 Working Group for California Earthquake Probabilities, Appendix D: Magnitude-Area Relationships; 2007; OFR; 2007-1162; Stein, Ross S.

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Year Published: 2007

National assessment of shoreline change part 4: historical coastal cliff retreat along the California coast

Coastal cliff retreat, the landward migration of the cliff face, is a chronic problem along many rocky coastlines in the United States. As coastal populations continue to grow and community infrastructures are threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding trends and rates of coastal cliff retreat. There is...

Hapke, Cheryl J.; Reid, David
National assessment of shoreline change part 4: historical coastal cliff retreat along the California coast; 2007; OFR; 2007-1133; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Reid, David

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Year Published: 2007

Near-Surface Structure and Velocities of the Northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains and the Western Santa Clara Valley, California, From Seismic Imaging

Introduction The Santa Clara Valley (SCV) is located in the southern San Francisco Bay area of California and is bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the southwest, the Diablo Ranges to the northeast, and the San Francisco Bay to the north (Fig. 1). The SCV, which includes the City of San Jose, numerous smaller cities, and much of the high-...

Catchings, R.D.; Gandhok, G.; Goldman, M.R.; Steedman, Clare
Near-Surface Structure and Velocities of the Northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains and the Western Santa Clara Valley, California, From Seismic Imaging; 2007; OFR; 2007-1039; Catchings, R. D.; Gandhok, G.; Goldman, M. R.; Steedman, Clare

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Year Published: 2007

Riding the storm--landslide danger in the San Francisco Bay Area

Movie Synopsis: --A catastrophic 1982 rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides in the Bay Area, claiming 25 lives and causing $66 million in property damage. --The combination of steep slopes, weak rocks, and intense winter storms make Bay Area uplands an ideal setting for landslides. --Landslides include both swift, potentially deadly...

Adams, Karen
Riding the storm--landslide danger in the San Francisco Bay Area; 2007; GIP; 48; Producer/Director/Editor Adams, Karen

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Year Published: 2007

Summary of Survival Data from Juvenile Coho Salmon in the Klamath River, Northern California, 2006

Little is known about the survival of ESA-listed juvenile coho salmon during their seaward migration in the lower Klamath River. In 2006, the Bureau of Reclamation funded a study to estimate the survival of radio-tagged juvenile coho salmon in the Klamath River downstream of Iron Gate Dam. A series of models were evaluated to determine if survival...

Beeman, John W.
Summary of Survival Data from Juvenile Coho Salmon in the Klamath River, Northern California, 2006; 2007; OFR; 2007-1023; Beeman, John W.

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Year Published: 2007

Genetic diversity of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus from Feather River and Lake Oroville, California, and virulence of selected isolates for Chinook salmon and rainbow trout

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a significant pathogen of young salmonid fishes worldwide but particularly within the historical range of the Pacific Northwest and California. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin River drainages of California, IHNV outbreaks in juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha have been observed...

Bendorf, C.M.; Kelley, G.O.; Yun, S.C.; Kurath, Gael; Andree, K.B.; Hedrick, R.P.
Genetic diversity of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus from Feather River and Lake Oroville, California, and virulence of selected isolates for Chinook salmon and rainbow trout; 2007; Article; Journal; Journal of Aquatic Animal Health; Bendorf, C. M.; Kelley, G. O.; Yun, S. C.; Kurath, G.; Andree, K. B.; Hedrick, R. P.

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Year Published: 2007

Life history and ecological characteristics of the Santa Ana sucker, Catostomus santaanae

This study was conducted to document the life history and ecological characteristics of the Santa Ana sucker, Catostomus santaanae, within its native range in southern California. Electrofishing surveys were conducted at 3-month intervals from December 1998 to December 1999 at one site on the San Gabriel River and two sites on...

Saiki, Michael K.; Martin, Barbara A.; Knowles, Glen W.; Tennant, Patrick W.

Filter Total Items: 1,125
Photo of absolute-gravity meter next to a groundwater well in the field
April 25, 2018

Changes in Earth's Gravity Reveal Changes in Groundwater Storage

Did you know that changes in the amount of water in aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field? When the amount of groundwater in an aquifer changes, either by recharge or by discharge to surface water or wells, the gravitational acceleration at the land surface also changes. In this photo, USGS Research Hydrologist Jeff Kennedy is making measurements of

...
Attribution: Water Resources
April 20, 2018

MODIS and VIIRS Observe Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is located onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor is located onboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) and data products created by NASA provide a continuation of the MODIS data heritage. These data are crucial

View from a rooftop looking down into a cove with gentle ocean waves, coastal bluffs, surfers and anchored boat in distance.
April 19, 2018

Cowells Beach Snapshot

Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video taken on April 19, 2018, in Santa Cruz, California. View is from atop a hotel looking down on Cowells Beach, a popular surf spot. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. 

...
April 18, 2018

HayWired Scenario - Movie

The HayWired earthquake scenario, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), anticipates the impacts of a hypothetical magnitude-7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault. The fault is along the east side of California’s San Francisco Bay and is among the most active and dangerous in the United States, because it runs through a densely urbanized and interconnected region. 

Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS) used for pesticide analysis
April 4, 2018

Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS) used for pesticide analysis

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory — Sacramento, California. Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer - GCMS

Map of California showing the sections of the coast where the USGS has generated computer models of storm impacts.
April 2, 2018

CoSMoS Implementation versions

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future SLR scenarios, as well as long-term shoreline change and cliff retreat.  Resulting projections for future climate scenarios (sea-level rise and storms) provide

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View from the sky of a marsh labeled with sample locations.
April 2, 2018

Little Holland Tract and Liberty Island sample locations, 2014-2017

Sediment sampling locations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California near Little Holland Tract and Liberty Island, 2014 to 2017

Comparison maps indicating short or long times available for earthquake shaking arrival times
March 31, 2018

Earthquake Alerts: Early and Often? Or Possibly Late?

The choice when issuing earthquake warnings is to: 1) issue alerts for weak shaking and potentially provide long warning times, but risk sending alerts for the many events that do not go on to produce damaging ground shaking, or 2) issue alerts only when ground shaking is expected to be damaging, with the tradeoff that the alert will be sent much later, reducing the

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A coastline with trees on the beach berm on left, two people looking out at two jet skis, waves are gentle, sun is gleaming.
March 28, 2018

Nearshore survey of San Ysidro Creek

Two USGS scientists operate personal watercraft equipped with sonar and GPS along the beachfront off San Ysidro Creek, near Fernald Point in Montecito, California. They will use the data collected to create bathymetric (depth) maps. Collecting these data on a seasonal basis over many years provides a detailed picture of how the coastline reacts to changes in waves and

...
Two women stand together smiling on a boat wearing life jackets and sun hats with other safety gear.
March 27, 2018

Fieldwork in the Delta

Shruti Khanna (left, California Department of Fish and Wildlife) and Judy Drexler (USGS California Water Science Center) on the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s research vessel Parke Snavely during fieldwork in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

An object of two circular pieces of mixed materials are partially covered with mud and plant debris.
March 27, 2018

Instrument package for river data collection

Patches of dark sand cling to an instrument package that collected data for approximately two weeks at the Mokelumne River site—evidence that currents at the site were strong enough to carry sand, which is heavier than mud, probably during elevated river flows following two storms in the watershed.

Filter Total Items: 975
USGS
March 5, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey scientists who study trends in climate change will be presenting the results from new studies at a workshop held in Pacific Grove, Calif., March 8 – 11, 2015. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 19, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif.— A paper published today in Science provides a case for increasing transparency and data collection to enable strategies for mitigating the effects of human-induced earthquakes caused by wastewater injection associated with oil and gas production in the United States.

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
January 28, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- 

Five months after the South Napa earthquake, scientists gathered on Wednesday at the U.S. Geological Survey to talk about what they're learning from it and what it means for the next big one here in the Bay Area.

A screenshot of the Walker Basin Hydro Mapper homepage shows current Walker River Basin conditions.
January 14, 2015

The newly released web-based Walker Basin Hydro Mapper aims to provide real-time visualization of streamflow, and waterbody stage and volume in the Walker River Basin.

Image: Steve Hickman Earthquake Science Center Director
January 12, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Stephen Hickman to serve as the new director of the USGS Earthquake Science Center, headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

A group of people walk together, chatting, along a wide sidewalk elevated above a beach area in the background.
December 18, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took part in a coastal climate change field trip led by USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard on December 18, 2014.

USGS
December 18, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly a million dollars to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

USGS
December 11, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey is hosting three media availabilities on Friday, Dec. 12 at high-water areas on the Russian River near Geyserville, Calif.; the Sacramento River at Delta, Calif; and Cache Creek near Yolo, Calif. A hydrologist will be available for interviews as field crews collect data.

Historical photo of a flood on Willamette River in Oregon from 1964
December 11, 2014

The Christmas flood of 1964 encompassed about 200,000 square miles, or roughly the size of France, resulted in 47 deaths, left thousands homeless and caused more than $540 million ($3.9 billion today) worth of damage.

Map showing drought coverage of California
December 8, 2014

A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources.

Earthquake swarm near Lassen Volcanic Center Nov 6 to Nov 12, 2014...
November 12, 2014

CalVO is tracking an earthquake swarm that began on November 9 located at the Tehama County-Plumas County border within Lassen National Forest.