Pine Hill Preserve logo with tagline - onserving in perpetuity the rare plant species and plant communities of the western El Dorado County gabbro soil formation

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About the Pine Hill Preserve

The Pine Hill Preserve was established in 2001 and is a cooperative conservation effort among local entities to protect the habitat of eight rare and endangered plant species that grow in the rich gabbro soils of western El Dorado County. The Preserve system consists of contiguous and noncontiguous parcels and includes lands under different ownerships. Preserve partners direct and support management at the Preserve.

These managed lands are located approximately 30 miles east of Sacramento and consist of 4,940 acres, about 70% of which has dense clusters of rare plants and is within an area designated for the recovery of five federally listed rare plants.

What are gabbro soils?

The Pine Hill gabbro formation began 175 million years ago when a volcano on the Pacific plate was pushed into the continental plate in a process known as plate tectonics. The soil that arose from this intrusion is termed gabbro soil, and more specifically the USGS has described the soils as the "Rescue series".

For in-depth information, see: CNPS El Dorado Chapter - Research from the Pine Hill gabbro formation

Managing the Preserve

The Pine Hill Preserve is managed for the well-being of the rare gabbro plants. Specific goals include protecting and managing habitat for these rare plants; promoting and conducting research; and managing vegetation for functional plant habitat and reduced wildfire risks. The Pine Hill Preserve uses a community-level strategy for recovery and conservation of the rare gabbro plants.

Particularly active are the weeds, monitoring and fuels management programs. The monitoring program focuses on documenting the location and health of the rare gabbro plants. The fuels program works to create defensible space that, in the case of a wildfire, will help protect human lives, property and the unique natural lands in and around the Pine Hill Preserve.

Compatible, sustainable activities are also encouraged. Passive recreation such as nature-watching, birding, hiking, environmental education and photography can be conducted in designated areas without harm to sensitive areas with rare plants.

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Location of the Pine Hill Preserve

The Pine Hill Preserve is centered around Green Valley Road in western El Dorado County, stretching from the South Fork of the American River in the north, southward to Cameron Park, near Highway 50.

Click maps to enlarge:

Pine Hill Preserve - General Location Pine Hill Preserve - Detail


Partners of the Pine Hill Preserve

Below are links to the public and private-sector agencies and organizations whose contributions and efforts make the Pine Hill Preserve possible.