Those of us behind the technological times may bristle at the convergence of computers and nature. What, you might ask, does an iPod have to do with an egret? “Education,” responds Caroline Warner of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, a consortium of agencies and nonprofits that works to protect habitat for waterfowl and other […]
All that springtime rain may seem a distant memory now, but the record still holds: San Francisco had the rainiest March on record, and the city’s season-to-date rainfall is 12 inches above the norm of 22 inches. What effect did all those relentless storms have on the Bay Area’s flora and fauna? Bay Nature asked […]
Plants and Fungi
San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program is in the final stages of hammering out a plan to guide the management and improvement of its designated Natural Resource Areas. Of the 3,480 acres managed by the Recreation and Parks Department, 31 sites totaling 860 acres host the last remnants of San Francisco’s historic landscape—and even a hint […]
Recreation | Stewardship | Uncategorized
This San Mateo coast reserve--home to brilliantly colored nudibranchs, 20-armed sun stars, and pupping harbor seals--has been transformed from a place of collection and plunder to one of exploration and wonder.
Habitats: Freshwater, Bay, Marine | Uncategorized | Wildlife: Invertebrates, Reptiles, Amphibians
Sure, it can be frustrating to see that land purchased for a park is still closed to the public. But buying open space is only the first step in creating a new park. After that come the land-use plans and the search for funds to pay for facilities and staff. Here we take a look at what it will take for the East Bay Regional Park District to transform the 15,000 acres in its land bank into parks.
Back in the mid-1970s, as a newcomer here, I felt a certain pride in learning to orient myself by sighting either Mount Tamalpais or Mount Diablo (or even better, both). While Tam is a more constant presence for those of us living around the inner Bay, you don’t have to go too high up a […]
Organizations Several local nonprofit organizations work to protect open space on and around Mount Diablo and to inform the public about the natural and cultural history of the area. Save Mount Diablo Save Mount Diablo (SMD) was founded in 1971 to expand the existing state park and protect natural lands around the mountain through advocacy, […]
Mount Diablo’s woodlands and canyons provide habitat for a fantastic variety of raptors, from kestrels to golden eagles (of which the northern Diablo Range hosts perhaps the world’s densest population). In the 1950s, however, the mountain lost one of its key raptor species when peregrine falcons, which had nested on cliffs in and near the […]
Stewardship | Uncategorized | Wildlife: Birds, Mammals, Fish
Mount Diablo is such a towering icon of our landscape that it is sometimes easy to forget how much complexity lies within its familiar outline. Indeed, the mountain holds many stories: from the drama of its birth under the ocean, to its (mis)naming by early American settlers, to last year's rediscovery of the rare Mount Diablo buckwheat. Today the story continues, with the mountain and its surrounding ridges and canyons anchoring a bold vision for a broad swath of protected open space and wildlife corridors stretching from Concord to Livermore.
Geology | Human History | Stewardship | Uncategorized
This strenuous 5.3-mile hike circumambulates Mount Diablo’s summit, and traverses many of the mountain’s geological and botanical features. When I was there in early April 2006, the air was startlingly clear, and the snowy masses of the Sierra Nevada and Mount Lassen floated all along the eastern and northern horizons, while the watery realm of […]
Beginning in 1860, botanist William H. Brewer accompanied state geologist Josiah Dwight Whitney on an expedition to perform “an accurate and complete Geological Survey” of California’s rocks, fossils, soils, minerals, and botanical and zoological specimens. Brewer’s accounts of his travels, eventually published as Up and Down California, provide a vivid window on California’s past landscapes. […]
Human History | Stewardship | Uncategorized
Mount Diablo is such a towering icon of our landscape that it is sometimes easy to forget how much complexity lies within its familiar outline. Indeed, the mountain holds many stories: from the drama of its birth under the ocean, to its (mis)naming by early American settlers, to last year’s rediscovery of the rare Mount […]
Fog rolling over Twin Peaks may not seem like a boon for salmon, sea lions, and blue whales, but it is. Coastal upwelling is the phenomenon that brings nutrient-rich colder water to the ocean surface just off our coast most every spring and summer, and that means fog for us and plenty of food for everything from phytoplankton to humpback whales.
Climate Change | Habitats: Freshwater, Bay, Marine | Uncategorized
It’s rare for a Bay Area city to be in the position of deciding what to do with a windfall of thousands of acres of open space within existing city limits. Yet that is precisely the challenge—and the opportunity—that the City of Concord faces in coming up with a plan for the Concord Naval Weapons […]
In what ought to be a landmark action to restore steelhead trout runs in the region, two dams are slated for removal this year on Alameda Creek, which drains the Bay Area’s second-largest watershed. A third barrier will go by the end of 2007. But the removal of the dams will be mostly symbolic until […]
Habitats: Freshwater, Bay, Marine | Stewardship | Uncategorized | Wildlife: Birds, Mammals, Fish