Michael Hawk, the creator of Nature’s Archive, featured Michael Kauffmann a few weeks back. They discussed the many things that make conifers such an amazing group of plants including their evolutionary history, what makes them different from other trees, and gives us a special look at the amazing diversity of conifers in his area – the Klamath region of far northern California. This deep dive reveals many interesting ecological processes that likely can be generalized to other regions and other plants. It’s truly fascinating.Continue Reading
‘Tis the summer for backpacking. We have seen more people in the backcountry this year than ever before. We have also had more requests from friends and family as to where they should go backpacking that ever before. In this post we explore some epic destinations to get out, walk, and learn about ancient conifers.Continue Reading
Prairie Creek Redwoods National and State Parks
This area of California contains some of the largest redwoods on Earth and holds extensive old-growth forests, protected as a national park in 1968. This particular walk, using the Zig Zag Trails and Prairie Creek Trail, is entirely in old growth. It offers an enigmatic temporal departure into a rare forest type. In addition to redwoods, other conifer specimens like Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce are coupled with clandestine western redcedar and Port-Orford cedar—be sure to look carefully and learn your conifers well. Watch for grand firs that occur infrequently along the road, particularly at the south end of Elk Prairie.Continue Reading
Conifer Country is the latest in Knot literature. Part field guide and part hiking guide, it is the product of scientist, explorer, conifer-crazy author Michael Edward Kauffmann, who shares a detectable passion for his subject. The last hike listed in the book is a 400-mile-long route that passes 32 conifer species on a winding course from mountaintop to sea. It’s doubtful that anyone has completed the traverse, except, of course, Kauffmann himself. He did it in 2009, and he called it “The Bigfoot Trail.”
American Forests Magazine has a featured story on the Klamath Mountains written by explorer and author Tyler Williams. He highlights Conifer Country in the story and uses the book to explore 3 of the featured hikes.