Of all the distinct, natural communities in California, only one is found throughout and only one can be said to represent the state’s most characteristic wilderness: chaparral, a special plant community characterized by drought-hardy, woody shrubs, shaped by a Mediterranean-type climate¬†(summer drought, winter rain), and¬†threatened by too many fires. It is within the chaparral where California will find its best and perhaps last chance to reclaim its wildness and preserve the quality of life made possible by the region’s natural, open spaces.

This Blog is sponsored by the Chaparral Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, research, and educational organization dedicated to the preservation of native shrubland habitats, especially the chaparral, and supporting the creative spirit as inspired by nature.

Please feel free to contribute in a comment. We’d love to hear from you. And please, don’t worry, we don’t track you or otherwise invade your privacy. That’s why we’re here, not on social media.

Richard W. Halsey, the founder and director of the California Chaparral Institute, is the author of the essays and the photographer of the images on this site unless otherwise noted.

To learn more about the chaparral, please visit our website:

Our email address: nature at californiachaparral.org

Road b.jpgThe Chaparral Road! Santa Monica Mountains, California.

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