In these lands of the Southern Sierra Nevada, under the tallest peak in the lower 48, and beside the most massive tree in the world, among the first national sanctuary to protect migratory bird diversity, and in the air about the 1500 of constant human habitation by the Tulare and the Kawaiisu, is a prismatic wonderland of granite and forest unlike anything else.
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Southern Sierra Nevada – Key to Natural and Human history
- Audubon Kern River Preserves – One of the country’s first to receive “Globally Important Bird Area” recognition. Freshwater riparian and cottonwood-willow riparian forests provide habitat for over 250 species.
- General Sherman Tree – Nearly 275 feet tall and as much as 36.5 feet in diameter at the base, the world’s largest tree by volume and estimated to be nearly 2000 years old.
- Mount Whitney – 14,494 feet, the tallest peak in the contiguous United States. The tallest point up from sea level 100 miles to the west and only ten miles to the east.
- Trail of 100 giants – Long meadow grove of Giant Sequoia
- Nuui Cunni Native American Intertribal Cultural Center – a museum that features the stories and artifacts of local tribes including Shoshone, Paiute, Tubatulabal, and Kawaiisu.
- Tomo-Kahni State historic Park – the ancestral home of the Kawaiisu people . 1500 years of cultural residence.
- According to the Koppen system of climate, to the east of Bakersfield is one of the few spots in California designated (BSh) as Semi-arid steppe (hot) – a unique climate pattern in the state and one that deviates greatly from the Mediterranean climate that dominates the area.
- The geology of the southern terminus of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is anomalous in that while most of the range is composed of granite the southern spur between Tehachapi and Red Rock Canyon is several thousand acres of granitic soil from a the early days of the range.
- Where most of this map describes a vegetation system made mostly of Oak woodland, and coniferous forest, the vegetation topography changes south of Chimney Peak where Sagebrush scrubland begins to dominate towards the Mojave to the Southeast.
- There are between 1,400 and 1,700 different native plants in the Golden Trout Wilderness