After three years of drought, the forecast for a wet El Nino winter this year is welcome news indeed. Unless you’re an oak or tanoak tree. Researchers fear a wet year could mean an epidemic spread of sudden oak death (SOD). But a new preventive treatment and easy precautions could help contain the disease.
At 2,463 feet, Sonoma Mountain is not even close to our region’s tallest peak. But its broad slopes hold a remarkable diversity of iconic Bay Area landscapes, from redwood groves to oak woodlands to ranchlands and vineyards. And at the summit, the views sweep from ocean to valley. With new acquisitions and trails in the works, public access to those views keeps getting better and better.
Just north of Santa Rosa, land that has seen three generations of the McCullough family is on its way to becoming the newest of Sonoma County’s regional parks. With 22 miles of well established and maintained trails, the property includes grassland, chaparral, oak woodlands, Douglas fir and redwood forests, almost two miles of Mark West Creek, and ridges with spectacular views.
Is it possible to find a summer job that lets you be outside, learn new skills, get educated about the area’s environmental richness and gives you the occasional free sandwich? Some Bay Area teens did just that. This summer crews of local youth are working in parks all over the Bay Area, thanks to federal stimulus money.