Baker Forest History
Baker Forest and U. C. Forestry Camp have been in use since 1917. The Camp facility is managed under a Special Use Permit issued by the Forest Service and has been the learning environment for thousands of Cal foresters. The summer Camp itself is set in a forest museum-piece, with ancient trees, complete with downed trees and attendant wildlife abounding. The site is unparalleled as a location for learning in and about the forest.
In February of 1949, the Meadow Valley Lumber Company began to log 32 hectares (80 acres) of what is now Baker Forest. The harvest method was a clearcut. No efforts were made to control the erosion nor to reforest the cutover stand. Many people have looked at Baker Forest and said decidedly that it was an example of what not to do in a timber harvest. Through the efforts of local residents and the Berkeley faculty, the Regents of the University purchased the 32 hectares of cutover land in 1951 to protect the Summer Camp’s water supply.Presently, on Baker Forest, there are plantations of white fir, giant sequoia, and incense-cedar for research purposes. Students have been introduced to timber harvest practices on various hazard trees, while fuel hazard reduction work has removed some of the dense understory around the perimeter of the old cutting boundary. The area is used heavily as an outdoor laboratory and is festooned with a profusion of flagging and survey stakes.