Apr-Jun 2011

We bring you news of a landmark conservation plan for the Bay Area, plus explorations of Bolinas Lagoon, butterflies in the East Bay, and the spring wildflowers (and otherwordly critters) at Jepson Prairie in Solano County. Cover photo by John W. Wall, jwallphoto.blogspot.com.

 

Issue Content

Big Plans for Wild Lands

April 01, 2011 by Glen Martin

When it comes to the challenge of preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, population growth, and other pressures, you have to think big. A new regional plan does just that with a proposal for a comprehensive Conservation Lands Network whose implementation would help ensure the preservation of diverse habitats essential for the survival […]

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“Seal the Deal!”

April 01, 2011 by Diane Poslosky

Dr. Marty Griffin has been working for decades to protect open spaces and wildlife along the Marin and Sonoma coasts. In January 2011, Bay Nature recognized him with our first-ever Local Hero award in conservation advocacy. His advice for getting things done? “Seal the deal!” And figure out how to pay for it later.

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A Happy Return for Bird’s Beak

April 01, 2011 by Erica Reder

It’s always nice to see plants and wildlife return to a restored site. But it’s especially nice when a plant that’s both rare and finicky shows up in a spot miles away from the nearest remaining population. That’s what happened when Point Reyes bird’s beak appeared at LaRiviere Marsh near Newark.

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Brake for Nature

April 01, 2011 by John Muir Laws

Jack Laws says we pass we pass fascinating natural hotspots every day on our way hither and yon. Try stopping between here and there now and then–you may discover biodiversity where you least expect it, just like he did at Brisbane Lagoon off Highway 101.

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Big Plans for Wild Lands

April 01, 2011 by Glen Martin

When it comes to the challenge of preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, population growth, and other pressures, you have to think big. A new regional plan does just that with a proposal for a comprehensive Conservation Lands Network whose implementation would help ensure the preservation of diverse habitats essential for the survival of healthy populations of native species.

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In with the Oaks at Bouverie Preserve

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

When Caltrans had to make good for destroying some woodlands along a road, they wanted to plant a few trees at Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen. Preserve staff suggested a holistic restoration instead, and now high school students are pitching in.

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Making up for a Bigger Dam at Los Vaqueros

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

The Contra Costa Water District is enlarging Los Vaqueros Reservoir, inundating 340 acres of land that was supposed to be permanently protected. To make up for it, they’re going on a land-buying spree.

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Restoration at Redwood Park in Los Altos

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Redwood Grove Park near downtown Los Altos has the fingerprints (and footprints) of volunteers all over it. Palo Alto-based nonprofit Acterra is leading restoration at this 5.9-acre park.

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SF Bay in Goods Hands (Thousands of Them)

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

In December 2010, Kay Kerr died at 99 years old. Kerr, along with Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick, founded the Save San Francisco Bay Association. Now, Save the Bay is turning 50 and turning out as many volunteers as ever. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory marks 30 years of its critical work banding and studying birds.

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The Laguna Gets Its Due

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

On this year’s World Wetlands Day 2011, Sonoma County’s Laguna de Santa Rosa officially became a Wetland of International Importance according to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

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Letter from the Publisher

April 01, 2011 by David Loeb

Surprise (almost) manzanita blossoms halfway up a mountain in Borneo.

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Sedimental Journey

April 01, 2011 by Jacoba Charles

For years, controversy raged about the future of Bolinas Lagoon, a significant coastal wetland that seems forever in danger of filling in, to the detriment of the fishing fleet and wildlife like seals and shorebirds. While some locals continue to push for dredging, others say this is all part of a natural cycle. But sea level rise driven by climate change might swamp the whole debate.

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Stinky Stories

April 01, 2011 by Alan Kaplan

For some flowers, bugs, and (of course) skunks, strong BO is a good MO for survival. Remember that the next time you’re dealing with smelly gym socks!

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The Color of Flight

April 01, 2011 by Joe Eaton

From migrating monarchs to giant yellow swallowtails to tiny pygmy blues, butterflies are endlessly enthralling. For folks like retired East Bay Regional Parks naturalist Jan Southworth and artist Liam O’Brien, what started as an interest in colorful insects became a passion for creating nectar gardens and protecting habitat to sustain butterfly populations in San Francisco, the East Bay, and beyond.

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Ticked Off

April 01, 2011 by Barry Breckling

Ticks can be trouble, yet you can’t help but admire their toughness as they cling to vegetation waiting for a meal to come within arm’s length. Fortunately for us, some of those meals come from western fence lizards, whose blood neutralizes the pathogen that causes Lyme disease. Now that’s a handy bit of natural selection!

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Vernal Splendor

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

The vernal pools of Jepson Prairie are transformed by winter rains and spring blooms: The dry plain gives way to muddy ponds, then concentric rings of colorful wildflowers. Don’t miss the show!

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Why are barn owls dying on the road?

April 01, 2011 by Michael Ellis

Bay Nature reader Rich saw a number of dead barn owls along I-5. What’s going on? Turns out barn owls may be the most widespread birds in the world — and they may be the original ghosts!

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