Letter from the Publisher

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About 15 years ago, I took a solo backpack trip in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness near Ebbets Pass in the Sierra. On the first morning, camped beside a small lake, I was awakened—much too early!—by the sound of moos and bells, … Read more

Video: The Return of the California Condor

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The Big Sur coast has always provided nature lovers with an abundance of breathtaking scenery. But one of the most majestic elements of this coastal landscape, the California condor, nearly disappeared entirely in the early 1980s. Down to as few … Read more

Duck! It’s Time for Winter Waterfowl

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San Francisco Bay and its surrounding wetlands become a mallard mecca every winter. Mallards come by the thousands to spend the relatively balmy fall and winter months here while their breeding grounds are locked in snow and ice. And they’re … Read more

Bay Area Migrations

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Thanks to our mild climate and productive ecosystems, many species of animals (including people) migrate to and through the Bay Area. Winter is a great time to learn about some of them. In the North Bay, on Mare Island in … Read more

Lead Poisoning in California Condors

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When California condor number 307 saw biologists capturing other condors at Pinnacles National Monument last summer, she apparently spooked and flew northeast to San Luis Reservoir. By the time she returned three days later, biologists were concerned: Of the ten … Read more

Making Peace with Coyote

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Clementine is a 130-pound great Pyrenees—a white shag carpet of a dog who sleeps through the day out in the rolling hills of West Marin, guarding up to 1,500 head of sheep owned by Bill Jensen. Jensen lives on 240 … Read more

Standing the Tests of Time

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Walk patiently along a few ocean beaches in the Bay Area, and you just might find objects of stunning beauty that also provide clues to a lost world, fossil sand dollars that are as much as 2 million years old. These fossils, not shells but skeletons called tests, show up only near Daly City and Point Reyes, so it’s a privilege to find intact specimens that have survived the rigors of the coast for many centuries.

The Napa Valley, and a History of Water and Wine

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The Napa Valley was once a place of enormous natural bounty, fed by a vibrant, healthy river teeming with salmon and steelhead. Today, the valley is more famous for its managed bounty of grapes and fine wine. The river, hemmed in by vineyards, has too often been relegated to the status of a waste canal. But now a unique alliance of growers and scientists has come together to give the Napa’s upper reach a chance to regain some of its wildness.