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McLaughlin Natural Reserve


When you get to the Reserve, make sure you ask Paul or Cathy for a Reserve Map showing roads, feature names, etc. In addition to helping you orient yourself, a map may be of use in an emergency.

Contact Reserve staff in any emergency. If you first contact 911, contact Reserve staff immediately thereafter.  We will likley be able to help direct emergency response personnel to your location.

  • Reserve office: (707) 995 9005
  • Reserve staff home phone numbers are posted in the field station. 
  • At the Reserve, you can also contact Reserve or Homestake staff on the hand-held radios (see Field Station and use policies for information on the radios).

911 - will reach fire, police, ambulance. Immediate response will likely come from Lake County, although they may also mobilize units from Napa county. It  ususally takes at least 20 minutes for any emergency vehicle to get here. Realize that the Reserve straddles 3 counties, and very few people are familiar with roads and terrain in this area, so you are going to have to provide detailed information to the emergency response personnel. 

Hospital: the nearest Hospital is Redbud Hospital, located in the town of Clearlake, approximately 30 minutes from the Reserve. The Hospital is located 2 traffic lights north of Lower Lake: to get to the hospital from the Reserve, drive west from the Reserve to Lower Lake, turn right at the traffic light, and turn right again at the second traffic light (18th Avenue). 

General Safety Information:
We try to ensure that reserve users and their plots/equipment in the field are safe and free from disturbance.  In order to do this, we need you to comply with all regulations covered in above sections and their respective links, as well as in the information below.

During your first visit, Reserve Staff will discuss with you any safety issues that may pertain to your specific use of the Reserve. For the most part, when you are on the Reserve you will need to comply with safety policies of the University. However, be aware that most of the Reserve property is still owned by Homestake Mining Company, which operated a gold mine here from the early 1980s through 2002. Homestake still has 5 employees on site who are engaged in maintaining environmental integrity of mining-impacted lands and completing some reclaimation tasks as required of them by regulatory and permiting agencies.  The University and its Reserve users need to respect work needs and safety policies of the mining company.

Do not enter or otherwise access any heavy equipment, structures or facilities in the field, or any structures near the field station unless you have received special permission from Reserve staff.  Discuss with Reserve staff any activities that will take you near any equipment, buildings, pipelines, powerlines, etc prior to engaging in these activities. Finally, a few specific locations on the Reserve are available for use only by permission of the mining company. These locations include but are not limited to the Davis Creek Reservoir, Tailings Pond, Mine Pit, and all areas that have been directly impacted by past mining. If you wish to use any of these areas in your work, the Reserve Directors will work with you to determine the level of use you require and to gain permission from Barrick to access these locations. Once use of the area is approved, you will need to comply with additional safety policies of Barrick. Not all Barrick-approval zones are obvious; in order to avoid accidentally starting work in a Barrick-approval zone without having obtained prior approval, please clear all your research locations with the Reserve Directors before setting them up.

Please also avoid setting up research next to areas that have man-made structures unless it is only for very short term. Typically, such structures need to be accessed at some point, and we would like to ensure that your research is not adversely affected by this. For example, the power company annually drives beneath powerlines on the property, and thus plots should not be placed within 50 feet of powerlines.

Be aware that from many parts of the reserve, the nearest phone is a several-mile walk away. Carry a spare tire, a jack, first aid equipment, and extra water. Cell phone service is patchy; if you need to try using your cellphone, try  walking to a local high point (although even that may not work). The Reserve  provides two-way radios which may be borrowed on a daily basis by researchers. These radios have excellent coverage across the property and provide direct communication with Reserve staff and Homestake staff.

Be aware that hunters and off-highway vehicle enthusiasts use the surrounding areas, and trespassing and poaching do occasionally occur. Please help ensure everyone's security by notifying Reserve staff of any suspicious activities. As soon as you can, call us on the radio, leave us a note at the field station, or leave a message on the phone.