Apr-Jun 2002

 

Issue Content

A Leap of Faith

April 01, 2002 by David Rains Wallace

After moving to Berkeley from Mendocino County, writer David Wallace found that he missed the springtime serenades of his local amphibians. So the dug a small pond in his backyard to see if he could get a few frogs to breed there. It turns out that despite the very real threats posed by pollution and sprawl, the Bay Area’s native frogs are remarkably resilient survivors.

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Butterflies and Bulldozers on an Island of Time

April 01, 2002 by Susan Zakin

San Bruno Mountain rises along the southern border of San Francisco, remnant of an ecosystem that once covered much of this peninsula. The mountain provides a tenuous refuge for some of the rare plants and endangered butterflies that have lost much of their former habitat. And it beckons to people who want a taste of the San Francisco peninsula as it was before Europeans arrived.

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What are your chances of seeing a black bear in the Bay Area?

April 01, 2002 by Joe Mueller

Black bears, Ursus americanus, are found in many forested regions of California. In the Sierra Nevada they occur in all forests down to about 1,000 feet. In the northwest part of the state, they may even roam beaches that border the coastal forests. In the Bay Area, black bears are present, but not commonly observed, […]

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Formation of Bay Access – San Francisco Bay Water Trail

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

You’re probably familiar with the San Francisco Bay Trail, the emerging trail network around the perimeter of the Bay promoted and managed by the Association of Bay Area Governments (www.abag.ca.gov). But have you ever thought about how great it would be to have a trail on the Bay? A group of kayakers from the Bay […]

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park Centennial Celebration

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

On Saturday, June 8, Big Basin Redwoods State Park kicks off its 100-day Centennial Celebration. Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, established under the leadership of photographer Andrew P. Hill and the Sempervirens Club as the 19th-century logging boom threatened to destroy the last of the coastal redwoods. The park is home to the […]

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ENature.com Website Launch

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

If you haven’t checked out eNature.com, now’s the time. The website has been acquired by the National Wildlife Federation and offers a tremendous resource and tools for exploring Bay Area nature. Local-Guides on the site provide you with a zip-code-based photographic primer on the wildlife common in any area, including birds, wildflowers, mammals, and butterflies. […]

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Improved Salmon Run Up Lagunitas/San Geronimo Creeks

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Assisted by generous early rains, astounding numbers of salmon swam up Lagunitas and San Geronimo creeks (on the northwest side of Mount Tamalpais) to spawn this past winter. Surveyors counted 318 active salmon redds (depressions in the stream bottom gravel where salmon deposit their eggs), the highest level since surveying began in 1982. This is […]

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Occidental Arts and Ecology Center – West County Watershed Day

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Since 1994, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org; 707-874-1557) in western Sonoma County has been thinking up unusual and surprising ways to tackle environmental problems at their roots. Through research and demonstration projects, an educational center, and a biodiversity-focused farm, OAEC concentrates on developing resources for sustainable living and generating grassroots activism for the health […]

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Oakland Museum Wildflower Show

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

After you’ve roamed the wildflower areas described in this issue, stop by the Oakland Museum of California for the 2002 California Wildflower Show on May 11-12. The museum’s crew gets up before dawn on Saturday and collects wildflowers from the Sierra foothills to bring back to the museum for this glorious and fleeting two-day display. […]

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Oil-Plagued Sea Birds

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

The mystery source of oil that has plagued seabirds outside the Golden Gate for years was finally identified in February: the SS Jacob Luckenbach, which sank near the Farallon Islands in 1953. Investigators analyzed the chemical makeup of oil samples and found that beach tar balls and oil associated with the wreck matched the oil […]

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Phil Frank Exhibit at San Francisco Public Library

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Protecting the Bay Area’s natural heritage is serious business, but it’s a good idea to keep it all in perspective and look at local environmental issues with a sense of humor. Nobody does that better than Phil Frank, creator of the “Farley” cartoon strip that appears in the San Francisco Chronicle (and Bay Nature; see […]

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Pescadero Conservation Alliance Restoration of Mountain Camp

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Over the past few years, local conservationists have devoted a fair amount of energy to purchasing land along the spectacular San Mateo coast to save it from development. Now a major effort has begun to study and restore the land already saved from development. In 2000, the Pescadero Conservation Alliance (PCA) took over Mountain Camp, […]

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River of Words Kids Art and Poetry

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Each spring, River of Words (RoW) serves up a refreshing tonic: sparkling poetry and art by kids about their ecological address. The idea for RoW—learning about local ecosystems and building communities to work together within watersheds—was hatched in 1995 by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Berkeley writer Pamela Michael, and Bay Area educators, poets, […]

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Aquarium of the Bay ‘To Eat Or Not To Eat’ Responsible Seafood Choices

April 01, 2002 by Marilyn Smulyan

Marine biologists and environmental organizations have been sounding the alarm for a number of years about precipitous declines in fish populations around the world. To help get the word out about which seafood choices are best to preserve our marine environment, The Aquarium of the Bay (on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco) is presenting “To […]

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Fields of Color

April 01, 2002 by Sue Rosenthal

Nine places to see effusive displays of native wildflowers.

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Frog or Toad…What’s the Difference?

April 01, 2002 by David Rains Wallace

Originally, these Anglo-Saxon words referred respectively to species of the genera Rana and Bufo, Britain’s native taxa. (Rana and Bufo are Latin for frog and toad—those genera are also the common ones in Italy.) As English-speakers moved across North America, however, they tended to name any aquatic or smooth-skinned anurans “frogs” and any terrestrial or […]

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Letter from the Publisher

April 01, 2002 by David Loeb

I was driving my son to school in El Cerrito one morning in late January. There had been a rainstorm the night before and it was cold; I knew there might be snow at higher elevations, but I was completely unprepared for the sight of Mount Tam across the Bay as we crested a small […]

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The Gardener and the Quail

April 01, 2002 by Judith Larner Lowry

Years ago, there was a quail refuge on the outskirts of the town of Bolinas. Seeking to restore her yard to the coastal prairie it used to be, Bolinas writer Judith Lowry decided to shape her garden to meet the quail’s habitat needs. In the process, she discovered how a covey of quail can stitch together a sometimes fractious neighborhood.

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Undercover San Francisco

April 01, 2002 by Mark Brest van Kempen

Have you ever wondered what some familiar spots in San Francisco looked like 300 years ago? Environmental artist Mark Brest van Kempen did, so he went back in time and took some pictures.

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