How did Ponderosa State Park get its name?

August 9, 2016 • by Summer Program's team

How did Ponderosa state park get its name?

Ponderosa state park is nestled in the peninsula of Payette lake, but why is it called Ponderosa state park? As a group of six new grad students we adventured into the park to answer this question. Through a process of inquiry and collaboration we learned to identify the magnificent Ponderosa pine. This three is characterized by its stately stature, long pine needle found in groups of three, vanilla aroma, and seratonous cones. Although this tree is found in great number within the park, which is why the park is named so, it is not the full identity of Ponderosa State Park.

Ponderosa State Park's full identity is found in its diverse ecosystems including sage brush meadows, aspen groves, marshes, and both treated and untreated forests. As scientists we further explored the abiotic and biotic factors that define these ecosystems. Through our proposed research question we focused our data collection to gain perspective and understanding of our role as graduate students here at Ponderosa State Park. We explored the cause of fallen trees in the treated vs. untreated forest, and whether they were affected by natural causes or human interaction. We concluded that the untreated section of the forest appeared to be most affected by natural causes while the treated section had a higher percentage of clear cut stump. During a small discussion we learned this is a technique used to mitigate fire risk. Going forward it is this process of systematically exploring our new home we look forward to sharing with our students...we call it SCIENCE!!!




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