John M. Nelson Conservancy
John M. Nelson Conservancy

                July 2022, Excerpt 

We share our mountain communities with the Black Bear.  The American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) has 16 sub species around regions of North America including Canada, United States and Mexico.  Our bears are the California Black Bear (Ursus Americanus Californiensis).  The range of this bear species is from the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, through northern and central Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as southern California and the eastern Sierras.  Their habitat is generally about 1500’ to 9500’ elevation in heavy forested land and sparsely human populated areas.  Black Bears can adapt to surviving in semi-urban areas, especially if there is ample food, vegetation and forest coverage. 
There are estimated to be 25,000 to 35,000 Black Bears in California.  They may be various shades of brown as well as black and seldom with a light face, patch or spot.  Females tend to have slenderer and more pointed faces than males.  Claws on front and hind feet are short and rounded and the same length but front claws are slightly curved.  Adult males typically weigh 150 to 500 pounds while females weigh 100 to 350.
Mating season is in the summer and sows usually produce their first litter at 3 to 5 years of age.  The gestation period is 235 days and cubs are born late January to early February.  Litters can consist of up to six cubs but typically 2 to 3.  The lifespan of a Black Bear in the wild is 18 to 24 years.  The Black Bear is the only bear found in California since 1924.
The Grizzly Bear image appears on the California State Flag even though the last grizzly to be known in California was seen in Tulare County near the Sequoia National Park in 1924.  This bear was a sub species of the North American Brown Bear that inhabited California until hunting and trapping made the bear species become extinct.  
There is no biological difference between the North American Brown Bear and the Grizzly Bear or Kodiak Bear.  (Ursus Arctos)  They are classified by their diet, habitat and their geographic location.  Biologists do not use the name Grizzly Bear but call it the North American Brown Bear.  Its range is Alaska, Canada and Northwest United States including Washington, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
The male’s weight ranges from 400 to 800 pounds and female 300 to 400.  The claws are long and pointed and there is a definite hump on the back-neck.  Colors are blond to brown to black.
Scientist, biologist and environmentalists have wanted to reintroduce the American Brown Bear back into California.  In 2014 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a proposal to follow through on such plans.


The Conservancy Museum will be open on Saturdays during June, July and August.  Please stop-by and see us.  Open times are 11:00am to 3:00pm.  We have new historical pictures, artifacts and new stories to tell.
  Mark your calendars for the events at the Conservancy Meadow.  The Mountain Festival, sponsored by the JMNC and the Giant Sequoia Group will occur August 6 & 7 in the meadow.
Donations from community members and cabin owners are our biggest source of funds.  The John M. Nelson Conservancy is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation and your donations are tax deductible.  We want to express our sincere thanks to all those who have donated to the Conservancy and thank you for your continued support.
AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to a charitable organization selected by the customers.  Your purchases can benefit John M. Nelson Conservancy.
Such purposes for why our corporation was organized are to acquire, preserve and maintain for public enjoyment those natural and historic features of the Upper Tule Region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We work closely with community members, Volunteer Fire Department, Camp Nelson Ambulance Association, Camp Nelson Chapel and the local businesses to promote the communities.  Please support your Conservancy and Museum.  You may send your contribution to 801 Highway 190, Box 110, Springville, CA 93265 or on the JMNC website.  Thank you.
As members of the conservancy, our common interests include the Meadow, Conservancy Yard, buildings and RV Park.  It takes the dedication of volunteers who serve willingly to insure that we preserve and maintain these areas for the enjoyment and use of the community and visitors.  Thank you to everyone that continuously serve.  If you are interested in helping, contact any JMNC Board Member.
The Camp Nelson RV Park is open and accepting reservations.  Call 559.542.2471 for information.
The Meadow Trail begins at the gate by Nelson Drive and Smith Drive.  Go inside the gate and follow the signs around the meadow for a half mile stroll.
The JMNC Live Streaming Webcams with views of the meadow and conservancy yard can be accessed on the Conservancy website.  A new Wifi extender system has been installed and there is now good coverage for guests while in the meadow.
We invite you to check the current weather conditions in real time by using the Weather Underground app on your smart phone or go to on your computer.  Our station’s designation is “KCACAMPN10”.
Visit our website to volunteer, make a donation, read the monthly Conservancy Article, buy a memorial brick, or purchase a copy of “The Tule River Middle Fork and its People” written by Malcolm Sillars.  Read about the Tule River communities on the middle fork and see for yourself the history of this wonderful mountain home for many people.  Here is an excerpt from Chapter Seven of the book for your enjoyment:  
Chapter Eight; Nellie Marshall, Les Bailey and Cedar Slope. 
”Nellie (Eleanor Larison) Marshall was born in Cordova, Illinois in 1851.  In September 1881, with her parents, John and Margaret Marshall, she emigrated to Visalia.  Nellie was a single woman, thirty years of age, a seamstress and an artist.  Sometime after that she homesteaded a quarter section of land up the Middle Fork of the Tule River canyon from what is now Camp Nelson.  She built a cabin on what is now Lot # 65 (Fred and Kathy Hummel’s place).  Arthur Pillsbury, in his “History of Cedar Slope,” said that the ruins of the old cabin were still there in 1954 and that he and his children searched for the old square forged nails she used.  Pillsbury said that Nellie Marshall came there in 1881 but that is probably not likely because of her arrival in Visalia in the fall of that year.  However, it is most likely that she was there very soon after 1881.”   Page 109.
For more current information and events, you can follow us on Facebook at
We invite you to attend our monthly Board meetings on the second Saturday of each month at 8:00AM in the Conservancy building; 388 Smith Drive, Camp Nelson.  The next meeting will be July 10, 2022. 
Check-out the web page at;
Mailing Address is; 801 Hwy 190, Box 110, Springville, CA 93265
Respectfully Submitted, (JULY 2022)
Dan McFadzean, Director; JMNC
Email;  phone.661.978.4679 

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