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Spenceville Wildlife Area facts for kids

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Spenceville Wildlife Area
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
Nearest city Marysville, California
Area 11,448 acres (46.33 km2)
Established 1968
Governing body California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Spenceville Wildlife Area is an 11,448-acre (46.33 km2) wildlife preserve managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, within Nevada County and Yuba County of northern California.


The preserve is approximately 18 miles (29 km) east of the town of Marysville and Beale Air Force Base in the eastern Sacramento Valley. The elevation of the area varies from 200–1,200 feet (61–366 m).

Natural history

Spenceville is a foothill oak woodland of Blue oak (Quercus douglasii) and Foothill gray pine (Pinus sabiniana), and a grassland habitat. It is notable for many species of native birds and wildflowers, including the California endemic Yellow mariposa lily (Calochortus luteus).

The geology of the Spenceville area is part of the Smartville Block formed during the Middle Jurassic epoch 200 million years ago. The Smartville Block is a part of the California Mother Lode for gold, and consequently Spenceville has had its share of mining activity. Cleanup from copper and zinc mining continues to this day.

The area was originally home to the Maidu and Nisenan Native Americans and evidence of their grinding holes and lodge pits still exist.


Spenceville hosts a variety of activities: hiking, biking, hunting, hunting dog field trials, target shooting, camping, equestrian trail riding, birding, and primitive camping. A popular trail leads to a double waterfall called (a.k.a. Beale Falls, Shingle Falls, or Dry Creek Falls). There can be a high level of rattlesnakes seasonally.


The Spenceville Wildlife Area may be environmentally impacted by the Waldo Dam Project proposed by the Yuba County Water Agency, and by housing development proposed between Beale Air Force Base and the wildlife area.

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