Human History

Human settlement in the San Francisco Bay Area dates back 7,000 years to early Native American settlements. Today, the region is a teeming metropolis of 6 million people that collectively challenge the health of the region’s ecosystems. How it got this way — from Spanish acquisition to the Gold Rush boom and on to contemporary battles over land development — is a story that prompts a deeper understanding of our place in the landscape.

Latest from Human History

American Wilderness: Back to the Future in Vallejo

September 10, 2014 by Jonah Raskin

Environmental groups gathered in downtown Vallejo over the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, to ponder the meaning of the word and to filter the concept through the lenses of California's diverse communities.

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Marsh Once More: The Bay Trail Takes Off at Hamilton Airfield

July 10, 2014 by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

Looking out across the 650-acre project toward the distant Godzilla arm of the backhoe against the blue sky, I finally see on the ground what the planners and engineers have been describing to me ever since I first began writing stories about Hamilton ten years ago: a tapestry of habitats.

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The Last Oyster

May 20, 2014 by Sean Greene

The West Coast’s native Olympia oyster serves an important role as an ecosystem builder with its ability to filter the water. But owing to reasons that are still somewhat unclear, over the last few millennia native oysters have largely disappeared from the San Francisco Bay.

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Why Bay Nature?

April 22, 2014 by Bay Nature Staff

Publisher David Loeb had his Bay Nature epiphany while hiking in China Camp State Park. That’s when he conceived of ...

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Nature Below Dolores Park, One Way or Another

April 22, 2014 by Eric Simons

A Dolores Park construction hole filled with water. Was this the clue to an unresolved mystery, and a window into a piece of San Francisco history?

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Map Sense: From Topos to Tablets at the East Bay Regional Parks

January 13, 2014 by John Hart

Every map tells a story -- about the world, and about the person who made it.

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Letter from the Publisher: Watching Mount Diablo Heal Itself

January 13, 2014 by David Loeb

I have a mixed reaction when I hear that a place I know and love has been hit by wildfire. On the one hand, there’s a visceral recoil: Will this cherished place survive? But on the other hand, there’s a thrill that comes from anticipating dramatic changes to a familiar landscape.

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The Man Who Sees the Trash

January 06, 2014 by Eric Simons

Richard James, who keeps the beaches of Point Reyes as litter-free as he can, has an obsessive eye for the discordant note of trash. His life as a park volunteer comes with a lesson: You learn strange things when you pick up after the world.

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Traditional and Modern Methods of Acorn Preparation

December 05, 2013 by Emily Moskal

Bay Area oaks are prolific, but acorn use has diminished within the last 200 years. With the help of modern kitchenware you can rediscover the art of acorn preparation and its rich history grounded in Native American traditions.

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