California’s national forests are administered by the United States Forest Service. National forests cover about 8.3 million hectares (about 20.6 million acres). Within the national forests are a number of wilderness areas and wildlife refuges. Los Padres National Forest, in western California, is the largest national forest wholly within the state. Most of the other large national forests in California lie in the northern and northeastern parts of the state. Shasta-Trinity national forest, in northern California, lies in a volcanic area culminating in the beautiful snowcapped Mount Shasta. In the northern coastal uplands is Six Rivers National Forest, noted for its groves of redwoods. Extending across the Sierra Nevada along California’s eastern border are Plumas, Tahoe, Eldorado, Stanislaus, and Inyo national forests. Sierra National Forest, in the Sierra Nevada region, preserves stands of giant sequoias.
The California state park system includes more than 125 units. The largest in area is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, encompassing desert and mountain country in southern California. Humboldt Redwoods State Park, in the northwest, is the best known of the several state parks that preserve some of the tallest remaining stands of redwood trees. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, in the Sierra Nevada, is noted for its fine stands of big trees. Point Lobos State Reserve, south of Monterey, preserves a rockbound stretch of the Pacific Coast, which forms, with its varied wildlife, a magnificent outdoor natural-history museum.
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, nestled in the wooded hills overlooking the Pacific, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, preserves the lavish residence and estate of the former journalist and publisher William Randolph Hearst.
Among the many California state parks of historic interest is Columbia Historic State Park, in the tiny village of Columbia just north of Sonora. Columbia has been preserved as a typical example of a Mother Lode mining community during the gold rush.
Among the most popular of California’s other tourist attractions are Disneyland, in Anaheim; Sea World, on the coast near San Diego; the motion-picture studios of southern California; and Chinatown, in San Francisco. Most of the early Spanish missions in California have been preserved and at least partially restored. The Santa Barbara Mission, known for its fine architecture, has been called the Queen of the Missions. Of particular interest to astronomers are California’s Palomar Observatory and Mount Wilson Observatory (see Hale Observatories), and Lick Observatory, among the nation’s major observatories.
California is the home of many professional sports teams. The baseball teams are the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres, and the Oakland Athletics. The football teams are the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, and the San Diego Chargers. The basketball teams are the Golden State (Oakland) Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Sacramento Kings. The hockey teams are the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks, and the San Jose Sharks. Encarta"USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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