Friends of Spenceville

Friends of Spenceville was formed to educate the public about Spenceville, and in so doing, preserve Spenceville as a wildlife and recreation area.

The Spenceville Wildlife Area, an 11,213 acre wildlife preserve, managed by the California State Department of Fish and Game, is a treasure that should be celebrated and protected for present and future generations.

It is a place of gentle rolling hills and large, sheltering oaks that spread their branches over trails that meander across creeks and through grassy meadows of spring wildflowers. When March arrives, poppies, lupines, lilies and other wildflowers spread their color and fragrance over the hillsides and through riparian woodlands that provide habitat for many animals. At least 175 species of birds, including the state and federally listed California Black Rail and Bald Eagle have been seen in the area. The preserve's major stream, Dry Creek, is spawning habitat for endangered fall-run chinook salmon and steelhead trout. In some areas, Indian grinding rocks can be found near the stream and archeologists have identified Maidu dwelling sites.

The regional manager of the Wildlife Area has stated that the area "has exceptional species richness and contains many game and non-game species and unique and diminishing habitats, and animal movement corridors. Spenceville contains the greatest contiguous public blue oak woodland in the tri-county area. Not counting plants, at least six federal- and/or state-listed threatened or endangered species are known to use the wildlife area."

Friends of Spenceville has published "A Natural Guide to the Lower Sierra Foothills and the Spenceville Wildlife & Recreation Area", which isavailable in local stores. This colorful and informative map will guide you along the trails and introduce you to the flowers, birds and other animals and plants that live or migrate through Spenceville. It also covers the rich and interesting history of Spenceville.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to the Spenceville Wildlife Area from Grass Valley, drive 12.5 miles west from Highway 49 in Grass Valley on Highway 20 toward Marysville. From the Marysville Area drive East on Highway 20. Turn south from Highway 20, at the Beale AF Base sign, onto Smartville Road. After .9 mile, take the left fork and continue on Smartville Road about 3.8 miles to Waldo Road. Continue along Waldo Road for 1.8 miles to the Waldo Bridge, which was built in 1901 to serve the now extinct towns of Waldo and Spenceville. After crossing the bridge, continue to the left along Spenceville Road for 2.3 miles until you arrive at the turnout and trailhead by the old, cement bridge and abandoned mine site.



To contact FOS: 10066 Robinson King Road, Nevada City, CA 95959

(530) 265-2666

Thanks to Lonnie M. Rohde for material from her 1997 Senior Thesis Project California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Nancy Ostiguy, Advisor.

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