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National Park Constitution de 1857

National Park Constitution de 1857

The National Park Constitution de 1857 is one of the few forested extensions found on the peninsula of Baja California (Mexico) in the municipality of Ensenada.
This part includes an extension of the Sierra de Juárez in the north of the state of Baja California; in this area a large number of wild species find a suitable habitat, among which the bighorn sheep and the mule deer stand out.
The Constitución de 1857 National Park was established on April 27, 1962, by decree published in the Official Gazette of the Mexican Federation, taking into account the establishment of a recreation center and the protection of forest resources and fauna, also taking into account the beauty of the place because in it there is a system of small lagoons.
The application for the establishment of the park was made by the government of the state of Baja California.
Additionally on 2 February 2010, the park was also declared a site under the Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance).

Geography –
The National Park Constitution de 1857 is located entirely in the mountain range called Sierra de Juárez, within the municipality of Ensenada in the Delegation of Real del Castillo, Baja California.
To reach this park you come from the closest city which is Ensenada; the park is located about 96 kilometers east of it, taking the number 3 highway, up to the city of Ojos Negros. From there, take a dirt road until you reach the park.
Thus we arrive in this park, within the Sierra Juárez mountain system, a mountain range that resembles, in small, the Sierra Nevada, and located on the eastern border of the US state of California. The province of this region is known as Hanson Plain.
In this mountain range the maximum altitude does not exceed 1,900 m s. NO. m., being the average of the height that the area reaches from 1,600 to 1,860 m s. NO. m.. In general, the area consists of extensive plains with gentle slopes with granite soils and a sandy texture, being a slightly irregular area, in which there are two small lagoons that identify the upper and central portion of the sierra.
From a hydrographic point of view, this area is occupied by a small system of lagoons located in the central and upper portion of the sierra, and is characterized by medium and small dimensions. These lagoons become almost completely dry during the summer season and freeze over in the winter. The more outstanding of the two lagoons is the one better known as Hanson’s Lagoon.
Being a place of great natural beauty, it is very popular with locals as they practice some recreational activities, for which it has little infrastructure.

Climate –
The climate that characterizes the National Park Constitution de 1857 ranges from cold sub-humid in the upper areas to semi-dry temperate in the lower parts. Due to the altitude, rain and snow usually occur in winter, a period in which the surface of its lagoons can freeze due to the latter.
On the Pacific coast, in Baja California, a cold sea current flows which makes the climate particularly mild and arid (as also happens in San Diego, which has a similar climate). The sun often shines even in winter.
Occasionally, from June to October, but most likely in September, the area can be affected by the remnants of a Pacific hurricane west of Mexico. Typically the main effects are heavy rains or scattered thunderstorms.
The average temperature of the coldest month (January) is 13.6 °C, that of the warmest month (August) is 22 °C.
Precipitation amounts to 260 mm per year: they are therefore scarce. It ranges from 0 mm in the driest months (June, July, August) and 50 mm in the wettest (January, February, March).
The sea temperature varies between 16 °C and 21 °C. Therefore, the sea remains a bit cold even in summer.

Flora –
The National Park Constitution de 1857 is considered, together with the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park, one of the main refuges for the flora and fauna of the Baja California peninsula, hosting both endemic species (typical of the place) and other important characteristics of the the region.
According to the National Information System on Biodiversity of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) in the Constitución de 1857 National Park there are more than 640 species of plants and animals, of which 36 fall into some risk category of the standards Mexican officers NOM-059 and 29 are exotic.
The flora of the place is mainly made up of different species of conifers; among these, those corresponding to Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus quadrifolia and Pinus monophylla stand out.
Among the coniferous forests there are some deposits, and among the species that can be observed, there are Juniperus californica, Arctostaphylos glauca, Artemisia tridentata, as well as Adenostoma sparsifolium.

Wildlife –
The fauna of the National Park Constitution de 1857 includes several species of mammals and birds, some of which are in danger of extinction.
Mammals include species such as cougar, mule deer, bighorn sheep, bobcat, coyote, cacomixtle, and red deer. The bighorn sheep, known as the “Rocky Mountain ram” is a distinctive specimen animal of Baja California.
Furthermore, some smaller species also abound, such as hares, rodents and squirrels.
Birdlife in the park area includes vultures, bald eagles, golden eagles, red-shouldered falcons, woodpeckers, ravens and tree-birds. In the lagoons there are some species of ducks.

Guido Bissanti

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