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Environmental Setting

Mokelumne Hill lies at an elevation of approximately 1500 feet AMSL. This location is within the Foothill or Gray Pine-Chaparral Belt environmental zone, also referred to as the Upper Sonoran life zone (1). The area is characterized by open grasslands interspersed with blue oak, live oak and gray, or bull, pine. The town sits within a bowl formed by the surrounding hills and is favored with a uniquely mild climate for this elevation, benefiting from the mitigating effects of the adjacent Mokelumne River canyon. Vegetation in town is dominated by imported plants of enormous variety, ranging from citrus and palm trees to giant redwoods. The hills are formed of Tertiary river channels, now elevated by adjacent land erosion. Rich placer gold deposits were mined here, inspiring the founding of the town.

1. Sierra Nevada Natural History,
Storer, Tracy I.; Robert L. Usinger
, Berkeley, CA, (1963)