The Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, set in a steep, north-facing canyon of the northern Coast Range, provides excellent opportunities to study plant and animal communities of both the inner and outer Coast Ranges. Differences in slope, exposure, and moisture regimes promote a variety of undisturbed habitats, including valley and foothill grasslands, blue oak woodland, chamise chaparral, lower montane chaparral, mixed riparian woodland, and intermittent foothill stream.
Year-round springs provide watering areas for many wildlife species, such as bear, mountain lion, deer, ringtail, and turkey. All together, 108 bird species (35 nesting), eight amphibian, eighteen reptile, 43 mammal, and more than 290 plant species have been found at the reserve.
Adjacent protected lands held by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Fish and Game greatly expand the effective research area.
The reserve is named in honor of world-renowned plant geneticist and long-time professor at UC Davis and Berkeley, G. Ledyard Stebbins, an avid naturalist with a strong interest in conserving natural biotic communities.
The site is fully open to the public; up to 5,000 people, mostly local hikers, visit the reserve annually and explore its canyon bottoms and ridgetops.
The reserve is available for field trips by elementary and secondary schools.
The site is visited by university courses in wildlife field techniques, California floristics, range science, wildlife biology, botany, plant ecology, and geology field studies.
- Diversity and biology of cavity-nesting bees
- Effects of fire on native ant populations
- Microlepidopteran host associations
- Sources of variation in floral nectar availability in fireweeds
- Entomological surveys
- Studies of Lyme disease
- Post-landslide plant succession
Solano and Napa Counties, 32 km (20 mi.) west of Davis campus; 10 km (6 mi.) west of Winters; 0.8 km (0.5 mi.) east of Monticello Dam.
None; site is best suited for day use.
The reserve bibliography includes citations of journal articles, books, theses, art, and other works published about or based on activities conducted at the reserve.
Natural history handbook with species lists; GIS layers.
Roving staff reserve manager; no on-site personnel.
258 hectares (638 acres)
91 to 762 m (300 to 2,500 ft.)
52 cm (20 in.) per year.
January: 8 ºC (46 ºF)
July: 28 ºC (82 ºF)