Bay Nature often publishes special topic-focused sections that appear both in our magazine and as stand-alone publications on topics ranging from local climate change research to native plant gardening to making the outdoors accessible to people with disabilities.
Losing your eyesight or the use of your legs doesn’t mean you lose your desire, or ability, to explore the natural world. Until recently, opportunities for people with disabilities to do so were few and far between. Fortunately, local activists have been knocking down these barriers, creating more opportunities for access, such as kayaking on the Bay, hiking in the hills, and cycling along the shore.
Mount Diablo is such a towering icon of our landscape that it is sometimes easy to forget how much complexity lies within its familiar outline. Indeed, the mountain holds many stories: from the drama of its birth under the ocean, to its (mis)naming by early American settlers, to last year’s rediscovery of the rare Mount Diablo buckwheat. Today the story continues, with the mountain and its surrounding ridges and canyons anchoring a bold vision for a broad swath of protected open space and wildlife corridors stretching from Concord to Livermore.
On April 18, 1906, a massive earthquake centered just west of San Francisco ruptured the earth from Humboldt to San Juan Bautista. While the more dramatic traces of this 7.8 temblor may be hard to find one hundred years later, the tectonic forces that moved the earth that day are still relentlessly shaping our young and active landscape, carrying us towards another cataclysm in the near future.
How do you preserve significant parcels of open space in an era of rising land prices and shrinking public budgets? In the 1990s, more Bay Area land was protected using conservation easements, where the owner can stay on the land but gives up development rights, than by outright purchase. Though not without their critics, easements are reshaping the way we go about saving our local landscapes.
On October 3, 1995, a wildfire erupted on Mount Vision at Point Reyes National Seashore. Before the flames were extinguished a week later, 12,000 acres of this popular park had been scorched, and 45 nearby homes burned to the ground. A decade later, we return to Point Reyes for a lesson in local fire ecology to see how the landscape, and the community, were reshaped and renewed by the blaze.
We tend to take the ground beneath our feet for granted, but soil is a defining feature of the landscape around us, in the garden and on the trail.
The ambitious effort to restore thousands of acres of salt marsh in the South Bay has been germinating for the past decade. Now it’s showtime.
In the 40 years since the movement to save San Francisco Bay began, we have moved from desperately fending off more bay fill projects to proactively restoring thousands of acres of shoreline wetlands. Yet how healthy is the Bay that we are saving? What are the factors that affect the health of the Bay and what are we doing about them?
Plan a sleepover date with nature right here. With dozens of campgrounds within easy commuting distance, Bay Area residents have plenty of options for stealing away for a refreshing night out in the wild. Do you want to camp in the redwoods? Spend a night on the coast? Or greet the sunrise in a field of ancient oaks? Why not all three?
Not long ago, the Bay Area was home to wild creatures in numbers beyond reckoning. While we can’t undo generations of intensive human settlement, there’s a surprising amount of potential habitat for wildlife in the spaces in our own yards. By growing native plants, we can invite the wild back into our daily lives.