Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest 

Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (MHDSF) is located in Tulare County in the Southern Sierra Nevada range, 22 miles east of Porterville, California. Mountain Home has several of the largest and oldest giant sequoia trees in the world with some reaching 240 feet tall and 27 feet in diameter. Many of these specimens are more than 2,000 years old. In 1946, the State of California acted to conserve the huge redwoods on the Mountain Home tract that John Muir called "the finest in the Sierra," and purchased the land from a logging company. The result has been the preservation of more than 4,500 old-growth giant sequoias through active management of the mixed conifer forest that surrounds them. The giant sequoia flourishes among ponderosa pine, sugar pine, white fir and incense-cedar. The local Native Americans used this area in the summer to camp, hunt and gather food.  An interpretive exhibit at Sunset Point leads visitors through an archaeological site with evidence of occupation dating back 9,000 years.


Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest

Forest Stats:
Established: 1946
Area: 5,069 acres
Elevation: 4800 - 7600 ft.
Precipitation: 42 inches per year 
Temperature: Max: 78 - 45 F - Min: 45 - 25 F

Sustainable Timber Management/Demonstration

Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (MHDSF) is managed to balance forest growth with harvest and to sustain its population of old growth Giant Sequoias. CAL FIRE has actively managed Mountain Home to be a resilient, healthy forest by removing drought and beetle killed trees, strategically reducing fuel loads, and introducing prescribed fire.  These actions limited fire damage to many campgrounds and saved thousands of old growth Giant Sequoias within the heart of the Mountain Home grove when the Castle Fire (2020) moved across parts of MHDSF.    

Management activities are designed to demonstrate a variety of treatments that can be utilized by private and industrial timberland owners throughout the region.  Mountain Home is also a place where new rules and regulations can be tested, and research can be conducted over the long-term.

Recreation

Unlike the other State Demonstration Forests, Mountain Home is charged to offer public recreation as is mandated by law.  Mountain Home offers many recreational opportunities including fishing, camping, hunting, and hiking. Trailheads leading into the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park are accessible from Mountain Home. Overnight camping in the Golden Trout Wilderness requires a wilderness permit that can be acquired at the USFS Tule Ranger District office in Springville. Guide service and rental horses are available at the pack station located near the Shake Camp Campground. Informational brochures with maps of one to two mile interpretive hikes and a motor tour are available at the forest headquarters. Hunting is permitted under applicable State game laws and regulations. Off-highway vehicle use is limited and not recommended. The forest is closed during the winter.

Research

MHDSF is suited to work with cooperating research partners by writing Timber Harvest Plans that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of current research.  Working alongside academic institutions, MHDSF can meet the legislative research component of the MHDSF Forest Management Plan. Current studies are covering topics from Adaptive Silviculture, Assisted Species Migration, and Old-Growth Giant Sequoia Inventory to state-of-the-art inventory methodologies using aerial and terrestrial laser imaging.