John Hart

Marin County freelancer John Hart is the author of many articles and several books on environmental issues in the Bay Area, including Farming on the Edge (UC Press, 1992), San Francisco Bay: Portrait of an Estuary (UC Press, 2003) with photos by David Sanger, and the forthcoming Legacy: Portraits of 50 Bay Area Environmental Elders (UC Press, 2006) with photos by Nancy Kittle.

Bay Area Wild: Reflections on 50 Years of Wilderness Protection

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In a world thoroughly worked over by humankind, wilderness is our term for those places that seem the least altered, the least managed. It identifies the rawer end of a spectrum, with downtown San Francisco on one end and, say, the Wrangell Mountains on the other. But the word is elastic.

Planned Wilderness

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In eastern Contra Costa and Alameda counties, an ambitious vision for protecting big pieces of remaining open space is taking shape: From Black Diamond Mines and Mount Diablo to Brushy Peak and Sunol, several major agreements promise to replace ad hoc mitigation projects with a broader canvas of protected and connected habitat.

Suburban Slough

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There is a godwho sits upon the sea’s blue monumentand breathes into the tide.He sits far off, and yet his breath is here. It is a little channel, barely wideenough to have some mud and pickleweed,with bulkheads hemming it on … Read more

Sherman Island

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The Delta’s westernmost island, which shields major water-export pumps from incoming saltwater, is a testing ground for several efforts to prepare this fragile region for the threats of sea level rise and levee degradation.

Liberty Island

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This flooded island has become a surprising refuge for endangered Delta smelt, which have ended up living here full time, much to the surprise of biologists. But an invading exotic plant threatens that success, unless land managers can make some changes to tilt the game back in the smelt’s favor.