Central Coast Field Office

San Benito Mountain Research Natural Area (RNA) 

Panoramic view from San Benito Mountain, photo by BLM

In 1999 the BLM designated the San Benito Mountain Natural Area as a Research Natural Area (RNA) to encourage scienfitic research and provide protection for the unique conifer forest and vegetation communities on and around San Benito Mountain.

The San Benito Mountain Forest is the only forest in the world that supports Jeffrey, Coulter, and Foothill pine (a.k.a. gray or digger pines), incense cedar, and Jeffrey-Coulter hybrids.  The federally endangered and listed San Benito evening-primrose (Camissonia benitensis) also occurs here.

The relatively intact soils toxic to most plant species, the isolated high-elevation ecological processes, and the unusual plant and animal species composition qualify the area as having outstanding and unusual ecological, geological and hydrologic features.

View to the east from the San Benito Mountain Research Natural Area, photo by BLM

San Benito Mountain RNA was designated an Instant Wilderness Study Area in 1980.

Plants of the Highest Santa Lucia and Diablo Range Peaks, California - James R. Griffin - USDA Forest Research Paper PSW-110 (1975)

Bureau of Land Management
Central Coast Field Office
940 2nd Avenue
Marina, CA 93933
Phone: (831) 582-2200
Fax: (831) 582-2266
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
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