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July-Sep 2014

It’s the 50th anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act, and a time for reflecting on the meaning of wild and nature. Bay Nature’s July-September 2014 issue explores the wilderness areas in our region, places that prove you don’t have to be far from the city to find land “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

We also turn to natural areas still in the making, like the Hamilton Wetlands restoration project, where a levee breach this spring will allow the Bay to slowly reclaim its former territory. On the 25th anniversary of the Bay Trail, 2.7 miles of new trail has just opened at Hamilton, a “yellow brick road” around the edge of the marsh where hikers and bikers can watch a wetland reborn.

The July-September issue also features stories from a generation of retiring East Bay Regional Park District workers that came into the parks in the 1970s suffused with the spirit of the environmental, equal rights, and anti-war movements, leaving behind the largest regional park district in the nation. We uncover the majesty of sparkling bioluminescence; the fun and science behind a wild nature-counting weekend in the Golden Gate National Parks; and an attempt to really understand the effects of climate change at the local level.

Cover photo of the Pinnacles at sunrise by George Ward, georgeward.com


Marsh Once More: The Bay Trail Takes Off at Hamilton Airfield

July 10, 2014 by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

Looking out across the 650-acre project toward the distant Godzilla arm of the backhoe against the blue sky, I finally see on the ground what the planners and engineers have been describing to me ever since I first began writing stories about Hamilton ten years ago: a tapestry of habitats.


TBC3: Wrestling Climate Change to the Ground

August 04, 2014 by Mary Ellen Hannibal

It’s not “news” to Bay Nature readers that climate change is in the process of giving a serious thwack to living systems. But what’s less well understood is how plants and animals and the habitats they inhabit are moving—and being altered—in response to changing temperature and precipitation patterns.

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Bay View: America’s Wild Anniversary

July 10, 2014 by David Loeb

As far as I know, the passage of the Wilderness Act 50 years ago was the first time in human history that a society has declared by statute that certain areas shall never be developed, nor exploited for commercial gain, nor intruded on by motorized transport.

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Making Their Mark

July 11, 2014 by Victoria Schlesinger

The ideas driving the environmental and social movements of the early 1970s gained a strong foothold in the East Bay Regional Park District, thanks in large part to a cohort of young park workers hired during that decade.

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It’s Fun! It’s Science! It’s a Bioblitz!

July 10, 2014 by Joe Eaton

On the last weekend of March, 9,000 people armed with binoculars, butterfly nets, cameras, and smartphones, spread out over an archipelago of national park lands from Point Reyes in Marin County to Mori Point on the San Mateo coast. Their goal: document as many species as possible of plants, animals, and other living things in […]

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In Summer and Fall, the Pacific Ocean Shines at Night with a Living Light Show

July 10, 2014 by Claire Peaslee

Another phenomenon, equally fabulous but much lower in the food chain, can also occur in the ocean at this time of year: bioluminescence, or “living light.”

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Bay Area Wild: Reflections on 50 Years of Wilderness Protection

August 04, 2014 by John Hart

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.

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