Fire played a critical role in shaping Bay Area ecosystems in pre-settlement times, moving through the landscape unabated by anything but topography and weather. Native Californians used fire to promote the production of seeds and acorns and to aid in hunting. With the arrival of European settlers and subsequent growth of suburban communities, such active, deliberate fire management ceased. The resulting buildup of fuel has created a high risk for fire around the Bay Area. Ray Moritz, a longtime firefighter, fire ecologist, and founder of FireSafe Marin (www.firesafemarin.org), will be speaking in late January at Marin’s Seahaven community on the Point Reyes peninsula about the benefits of reintroducing active fire management through carefully controlled burns. Using the 1995 Mount Vision fire in Point Reyes National Seashore as a case study, Moritz will look at catastrophic fire from nature’s perspective. For example, he will explain how the bishop pine forest—seemingly devastated by the fire—has actually been thriving, because bishop pine’s tight-fisted cones require extreme heat to open and release their seeds. The talk is sponsored by FireSafe Marin, the National Park Service, and the Inverness Public Utility District and Fire Department. For more information, contact Ray Moritz at (415) 381-2339.
Most recent in Stewardship
On October 4, 2015, the Committee for Green Foothills honored Bay Nature co-founders David Loeb and Malcolm Margolin (publisher of Heyday Books) for their significant contributions to the Bay Area nature community.
Temescal Creek flows through concrete culverts from Lake Temescal through the flats of Oakland and Emeryville, into San Francisco Bay—out of sight and largely out of mind. Creek advocates are hoping to change that.
Stewardship | Urban Nature
The 23,000 acres around Crystal Springs are prime hiking territory in an urban region desperate for more places to get outdoors. They're also home to numerous endangered species, and critical to San Francisco's drinking water supply.
Recreation | Stewardship | Urban Nature