Where is Santa Rosa Plateau? Is it Near Murrieta California?

The Santa Rosa Plateau is an upland plateau and southeastern extension of the Santa Ana Mountains in Riverside County, southern California. It is bounded by the rapidly urbanizing Inland Empire cities of Murrieta and Temecula to the northeast and southeast, respectively.

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve preserves approximately 8,400 acres (34 km2) of the plateau, and includes the Moreno and Machado Adobes, Riverside County’s oldest standing structures, and other buildings from the 19th century Mexican land grant Rancho Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve was assembled in several stages; two parcels, comprising 3,100 acres (13 km2), were purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1984. The intervening parcels were purchased in the 1990s by the State of California, the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Although the parcels remain under the ownership of separate agencies, they are managed cooperatively, with biological resource management, which includes prescribed fire and habitat restoration programs managed by the Nature Conservancy, and visitor management. This includes operation of a visitor center and a 40-mile (60 km) trail system, managed by the Riverside County Parks (RivCo Parks).

A non-profit organization, the Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation, provides funding for field trips to the Reserve for all third-graders in the area.

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Habitats in Santa Rosa Plateau near Murrieta Ca

The Santa Rosa Plateau is home to several native plant communities and habitats, including purple needlegrass prairie (Nassella pulchra), California oak woodland (Engelmann Oaks—Quercus engelmannii), montane chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and vernal pools, which are increasingly rare in urbanized Southern California.

The Engelmann oak was once widespread throughout the western U.S. Now the farthest north they are found is Pasadena. The Reserve has the only protected, reproducing Engelmanns in the states.[2]

A vernal pool is a shallow depression in the soil which fills up with water during spring rains. Fairy shrimp and other minute crustaceans hatch during this time and lay eggs. These eggs remain dormant during the dry months until the next rainy season allows them to hatch.

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Santa Rosa Plateau Zip: 92562, 92563, 92564

Geo-coordinates: 33.54336N 117.26952W

Human History of Santa Rosa Plateau Near Murrieta Ca

The first Native Americans are thought to have inhabited this area for more than 8,000 years. The Native Americans known as Luiseno, due to their connection to the San Luis Rey Mission, are believed to have arrived about 1,500 years ago. It is thought they only used the Plateau during the warm weather months, and to collect acorns in the fall. The rest of the year they lived in what is now known as the Temecula Valley. They had a village called Meha near the ranch on the Plateau. The midden found there suggests it had been occupied for approximately 6,000 years. When visiting the adobes, one can see indentations in boulders used by the Native Americans to grind acorns and other food.

Before the arrival of the missionaries, these people lived in bands, each of which had its own territory. The bands would have interacted with each other through ceremonial exchanges, marriages and trade. The territories included acorn gathering sites in the mountains. The acorns they liked the best were from the black oak, which only grows above 3,000 feet. In the winter, it was traditional for these bands to move to the coast.

In 1798, the mission fathers of San Diego decided there should be a mission between there and the San Juan Capistrano mission. Thus was formed mission San Luis Rey de Francia. Native Americans that fell under the jurisdiction of this new mission were all labeled Luiseno. When Spanish rule ended in 1822, the new Mexican government decreed that mission lands would be secularized. In California this did not happen until 1834. It was during this period that the plateau received its name, probably in honor of Saint Rose of Lima.

In 1846, Juan Moreno was granted 47,000 acres by the Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico. In 1855, Moreno sold Rancho Santa Rosa to Augustin Machado. After he died, the land passed through several hands before being purchased by John Deer of England, who moved here. After him the land went to his son, Parker Dear. It is said that Parker Dear treated his Native American help like slaves and they would sometimes run away.

In 1904 Walter Vail purchased the land, mainly to raise cattle. When he died, the land went to his son, Mahlon Vail. Mahlon is said to have respected Native American rights to harvest acorns, gather wood and hunt on the Plateau. However, they were not allowed to bunk with the other cowboys and had to live off the ranch

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