Jan-Mar 2004

 

Issue Content

Altamont Wind Resources Area

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

As migrating shorebirds pass through Northern California, environmentalists hope they don’t meet the same fate as the hundreds of raptors that perish each year at Altamont Pass in Livermore. More than 40 golden eagles, up to 300 red-tailed hawks, up to 270 burrowing owls, and hundreds of other raptors are killed annually by the wind […]

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California Wildlands Grassroots Fund

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

For small, locally based environmental groups, finding the resources to engage governmental agencies and conduct compelling scientific research can be difficult, but this could change thanks to two different funding initiatives dedicated exclusively to assisting grassroots environmental initiatives in California. The California Wildlands Grassroots Fund is about to start its second year of grant making. […]

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Contra Costa Transit Vote

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

Have you noticed that it takes longer to get to the mountain these days? Traffic congestion has become a big issue in Contra Costa County, and soon residents there will have a chance to do something about it. In early January, the Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCTA) will present an environmental impact report (EIR) in […]

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Marin Development on San Geronimo Blocked

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

In another recent victory for wetland habitat, Marin Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee ruled in early November that the County of Marin had failed to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it issued a development permit to a private landowner, allowing him to build within the 100-foot stream buffer zone […]

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MDIA Diablo Map Update

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

Also recently updated is the Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park, published by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA). Now in its fifth edition, this digitally produced map highlights new public land acquisitions (of several thousands of acres) and new interpretive material. On the back are evocative descriptions of seven popular hikes in the […]

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Napa County Breeding Birds Atlas

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

How many people does it take to figure out the number of bird species that breed in Napa County? For the Napa-Solano Audubon Society (NSAS), all it took was some 70 volunteers, most of whom surveyed separate 5-kilometer plots between 1989 and 1993. The results? The nearly 200-page Breeding Birds of Napa County, an atlas […]

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Rush Ranch and China Camp Become a NERR

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

Rush Ranch Open Space features the largest intact brackish tidal marsh in the San Francisco Estuary. That’s why it has been designated, along with China Camp State Park, as California’s newest and largest National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The NERR system is a network of 26 sites representing different bio-geographic regions of the U.S. that […]

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Sonoma Baylands, SLT, and Miwoks

January 01, 2004 by Leah Messinger

Another area along the North Bay shoreline has been in the news lately: the 1,679 acres of the Sonoma Baylands located at the intersection of Lakeville Highway and Highway 37. On November 10, 2003, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria gifted its option to purchase these wetlands, valued at an estimated $4.2 million, to the […]

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Finding the Fungi

January 01, 2004 by Matthew Bettelheim

A good rain sends all manner of mushrooms pushing their way up from underground. Here are some of the places around the Bay Area where you can admire the beauty and diversity of these charismatic fungi.

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Letter from the Publisher

January 01, 2004 by David Loeb

I wonder if the rest of you will be as surprised as I was to learn that the area around Fifth and Mission Streets in San Francisco used to be dominated by sand hills, some at least 40 feet high. It is hard to imagine such a sharply varied and shifting terrain where there is […]

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Why do mushrooms come in so many shapes and colors?

January 01, 2004 by Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin

In technical terms, mushrooms are the charismatic sexual reproductive structures of fungal individuals whose main body (fine, cobweb-like filaments called hyphae) is well hidden in the soil or amongst leaves and rotting wood. The primary role of the mushroom is reproduction-abundant spore production and effective spore dispersal-and its shape reflects this function. The basic strategy […]

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Out in the Tules

January 01, 2004 by Joe Eaton

The rounded hills by the Bay are the first thing that catch your eye at Coyote Hills Regional Park. But the brackish and freshwater marshes behind the hills have a charm of their own. Remnant of a once-extensive mix of tidal and freshwater wetlands that sustained a thriving Ohlone community for several thousand years, the marsh is now home to marsh wrens, muskrats, and one of the East Bay’s few remaining patches of tules.

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Where the Elk and the Antelope Played

January 01, 2004 by David Rains Wallace

A million years ago, in a climate much like ours today, the land around an ancestral bay teemed with large animals: mammoths and saber-tooth cats; bears, horses, and peccaries. By 300 years ago, the mammoths were gone, but grizzlies, elk, condor, and pronghorn were abundant.European settlers wiped out many of those animals, but programs to reintroduce some of them are now under way. Which raises the question: What should a healthy, native megafauna look like now?

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