Bay Nature magazineFall 2013

Letter from the Former Editor: Farewell from Dan Rademacher

October 7, 2013

When I walked into Bay Nature’s office in February 2004, I had never run a magazine before. I was 29 years old. For the first year or two, it was often disconcerting when I’d meet authors, sources, or photographers in person after working with them for months on an issue of the magazine. They’d say, “Wait, you’re Dan? The editor I’ve been working with?” Always implying some good-natured concern that I was in over my head. I looked a bit young to be sending all those text edits and buying all those photos. A decade later, I don’t hear that so much. I guess I don’t look so young anymore.

Especially in those early years, I learned an incredible amount about local nature and the conservation community from publisher David Loeb and our board, notably president Larry Orman. I learned as much about magazine-making from our graphic designer, David Bullen.

By the time you read this, I’ll be two months into a new role for San Francisco–based Stamen Design, an innovative firm that makes digital magic out of data and maps.

When I decided to leave Bay Nature, I was moved to tally up our work over a decade: 39 magazine issues, more than 100 guided hikes, about 1,600 articles (in print and online), and some 5,000 photos, maps, and paintings. Oh, and two major rebuilds of, where you’ll find tons of news, events, and trail reviews.

But Bay Nature has always been a place of quality over quantity, and behind those numbers are incredible people — not just the folks named above but also the rest of the board and staff, volunteers, donors, funders, sponsoring organizations, advertisers, reporters, photographers, artists, and legions of experts and enthusiasts ready to share their passions with us and with our readers.

The Bay Nature staff spends a surprising amount of time indoors, on computers, pushing through all the work of running a top-notch magazine and website. But most of the best memories, not surprisingly, happened outdoors.

There was the time I got to ride with photographer Stephen Joseph on the East Bay Regional Park District’s helicopter, to get photos of the Concord Naval Weapons Station and of a majestic old oak in the Ohlone Wilderness. (The chopper was doing its normal rounds.) And then there was the time a hiker on Ring Mountain got dehydrated and had to be airlifted out in a sheriff’s department helicopter (not part of its normal rounds!).

From Clear Lake and the Palisades to Fremont Peak and the Big Creek Reserve south of Carmel, I’ve been to so many places and met so many remarkable people. Thanks to all of you for the opportunity to do that! I look forward to discovering more places through Bay Nature for years to come.

About the Author

Dan was editor of Bay Nature from 2004 until 2013, when he left to work for SF-based Stamen Design. He is now executive director of GreenInfo Network, a nonprofit mapmaking organization. A onetime professional cabinetmaker, he considers himself a lifelong maker of things and teller of stories. Dan has been working at the intersection of journalism and technology since, at age 16, he began learning reporting, page layout, and database design. His enduring interest in environmental issues crystallized into a career path in 1998 when he assisted former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass in a cross-disciplinary nature writing and ecology course at UC Berkeley, from which Dan received a Masters in English literature. In 1999, he became Associate Editor of Terrain, the erstwhile quarterly magazine of Berkeley's Ecology Center. In addition to editing and art-directing Bay Nature magazine, he was also Bay Nature’s chief technology strategist, fixer of broken things, and designer of databases and fancy spreadsheets. And he was even known to leave the office and actually hike outdoors.