A visit to remnant native grasslands in Richmond or diverse oak woodlands in eastern Alameda County gives a taste of our region’s native habitats. But few of us are aware of an important element that helped shape those habitats: the regimes of burning, pruning, and digging carried out over centuries by the East Bay’s indigenous inhabitants, some of whom still carry on those traditions today.
Art & Design | Botany | Climate Change | El Niño | Fire | Fungi | Geology | History | The Bay | The Ocean | Urban Nature | Water | Weather | Wildlife
The several thousand sandhill cranes that come to the Cosumnes River Preserve each year are just a fraction of the 250,000 sandhills that visit California, with populations as far north as the Klamath Basin and as far south as the … Read more
From a modern perspective, it is difficult to imagine the time when women in this country were discouraged from seriously pursuing vocations in science and natural history. But until the late 1800s, there were few if any women working in … Read more
2005 “By the Water’s Edge: A Chronicle of Two Creeks” Our January-March 2005 issue highlighted the riparian habitats of the East Bay’s Alameda Creek watershed. Recently, the Alameda Creek Alliance (ACA) received $1 million from the National Fish and Wildlife … Read more
At Vasco Regional Preserve, stone balls the size of dinosaur eggs litter the landscape, the winds burrow into stone, and cup-sized pools tucked into sandstone outcrops teem with fairies (of the crustacean variety). The preserve, owned by the East Bay … Read more
Thirty years ago, few people gave a second thought to the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the North Coast’s largest freshwater wetland. The once-teeming marshland had become a dumping ground. But things are changing, and this complex waterway is finally beginning to recover some of its former glory.
Eastshore State Park, an 8.5-mile-long ribbon of East Bay shoreline between the Bay Bridge and Richmond’s Marina Bay, is proof that many good things don’t come easily. The park is the result of 20 years of advocacy, negotiation, and planning … Read more
Enter the woods on Inverness Ridge and pause for a moment to listen. Natural history weaves itself into stories for those willing to hear—whether teased from the patterns in stone, distilled from the rings of a tree, or gathered from … Read more
On a clear January day in 2005, I took a walk up from my house on the east slope of Inverness Ridge to the trail that runs south from Mount Vision in Point Reyes National Seashore to Drakes View Drive … Read more
Fire dwells deep in the human psyche. It is among the oldest of words, the most elemental of tools, and the primary means by which early man projected himself onto the world. The torch and the hearth fire enabled our … Read more