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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2014

Tonto Nat. Forest ORV Plan Harmful To Habitat

Press release Center for Biological Diversity

Tonto National Forest ORV Plan Will Hurt Wilderness, Wildlife, Water and Cultural Artifacts

PHOENIX, Ariz.— Conservation and archaeological groups joined thousands of other Arizonans this week in submitting formal comments asking the Forest Service to revise its proposed travel-management plan for off-road vehicles in the Tonto National Forest to protect wildlife, air quality, cultural resources and wilderness values. The plan would add more than 600 miles of open motorized routes and almost 7,000 acres of unrestrained off-road vehicle areas — allowing damaging motorized use in protected wilderness areas, beaches, rivers and essential wildlife habitat.

Read More…

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2014

Southern Utah Fall Color 9/18/14

Fall Color Report | Scenic Southern Utah. has the following report for September 18 to 25:

High Elevation – Alpine  Brian Head, Cedar Breaks
and Panguitch Lake

Percent of Change: PEAK

Color Report: Reports are coming in that the popular leaf viewing areas in the high elevation have reached their peak. This weekend will be an ideal time to come and view the golden yellows, fiery reds and vibrant oranges. Fingers crossed the colors will remain through next week but to guarantee being able to see these magnificent change, this weekend is the best time to come. Please be sure to check back for further updates.

 Mid Elevation – Sub-Alpine   Parowan Canyon and Cedar Canyon AreaPercent of Change: LOWColor Report: Leaf watchers are reporting that the leaves in the mid elevation are just starting to change and as the weather continues to cool more of the bright yellows and glowing oranges will appear. Please check back for regular updates.
Low Elevation – High Valley Cedar City and Kolob Canyons AreaPercent of Change: LOWColor Report: Reports are predicting that the leave in the low elevations will start changing mid to late October. However please check back in for regular updates.

To see photos, map and suggested drives go to: Fall Color Report | Scenic Southern Utah.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2014

Birding Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary 9/19/14

Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary is at the east end of Marsh Beach in the town of Alameda. It harbors aquatic birds and other salt marsh creatures. Arriving at high tide we watched the mudflats slowly be revealed and the shorebirds go into action. Most abundant were Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings, Double-crested Cormorants, Marbled Godwits, Western Sandpipers and Western Gulls.. Also seen in double digits were Snowy Egrets, Elegant Terns, Semipalmated Plovers, American Avocets, Willets and Long-billed Curlews. Other birds of interest today were seven Black Oystercatchers, two Brown Pelicans and a Heermann’s Gull.  It was probably the most Black-bellied Plovers and Semipalmated plovers I has seen at one time. Twenty-one species were identified in all.

Elsie Roemer Bird List  9/19/14

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2014

2014 Colorado Desert Symposium November 7 to 9

Celebrating the Wonder of Wilderness: A Colorado Desert Natural History Symposium

Join Anza-Borrego Foundation, in partnership with California State Parks and the UC Irvine Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center, for a weekend devoted to current natural history research in our beautiful Colorado Desert region. There will be a research poster display at the Welcome Reception, a full day of lectures covering a plethora of natural history topics, a banquet dinner, field tours and plenty of opportunities to learn about the natural history of our fragile desert.

For more information and registration click read more Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2014

New Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

See a new free fall color guide by Son Nguyen at Weekend Travelers Blog: Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide. It includes photos, locations and a map.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Colorado Fall Color 9/18/14

Denver Colorado Channel Seven reports

The best color over the northern mountains should be from September 20th to the 30th. The central mountains will be about five days behind, with the southern mountain areas rounding out the last days of the month and the first 10 days of October.

See map, drives and more fall color features at Where to see Colorado’s fall colors: Fall Color Guide 2014 for the best drives and hikes – 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Rocky Mt National Park Fall Color 9/18/14

Rocky Mt. Nature Photographers reports

Rocky Mtn National Park – Bear Lake area is at peak. Aspens that are visible from the Bear Lake Road are 30-60 % depending on the stand of trees.

Follow reports at Photo Critique Forums.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

San Juan National Forest Fall Color 9/18/14

 San Juan National Forest  has the following fall color update for 9/18/14

Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango – 5% 
Molas Pass – 10%
Silverton/Red Mountain Pass – 25% aspens
Pagosa – 5
Dolores/Rico – 10
Mancos – 10%

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:
Color reported from the north aspects around Silverton and around Ouray.

Estimated Peak Viewing Period:
High country maybe the weekend of the 20th getting well started. The majority of areas should be the week after.

Viewing Suggestions / Tips:
4WD in Silverton and the alpine loop. Lake City to Creede. Ouray.

Trees That Are Currently Turning Color:

For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact:
San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (970) 247-4874

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Eastern Sierra Fall Color: Mono County 9/18/14

California Fall Color has the following report

Warm temperatures in the Eastern Sierra, both at day and at night, are extending both the summer camping season and the show of fall colors.

prime fall color viewing areas are: Rock Creek US 395 at Tom’s Place, the Mammoth Rock Trail Mammoth Lakes, Virginia Lakes between Lee Vining and Bridgeport and Sonora Pass Hwy 108.

Patchy 10-50% Rock Creek Road – Yellow and lime lead up into the High Sierra.

Just Starting 0-10% Convict Lake – A hint of yellow along the edge of the lake.

Just Starting 0 – 10% Mammoth Rock Trail – Still lots of lime.

Patchy 10-50% Sonora Pass/Hwy 108 – Showing at about 15% of color.

Patchy 10-50% Conway Summit – Color has progressed to 20%.

Patchy 10-50% Parker Lake/June Lake Loop – Color is painting the upper slopes yellow. Still too early for the big show. A fire at June Mountain is 50% contained and, while the south entrance to June Lake/Hwy 158 from US 395 is closed to traffic, the north entrance remains open.  The trail to Parker Lake is reached from the north end of the June Lake Loop.

See photos at California Fall Color

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Eastern National Forests Fall Color Reports 9/17/14

Eastern Regional National Forests have the following Fall Color updates:


  • Shawnee National Forest: The Sassafras, Sumac and Dogwoods are just starting to get a touch of red, and the Tulip Poplar is turning yellow and brown. On the ground can be seen the beginning drop of Sycamore and Tulip Poplar leaves.  Color is currently at about 5%.


  • Hoosier National Forest: The Hoosier has yet to have any changes other than a slight yellow tint to leaves on a couple of trees. But standby, colors are on the way.


  • Hiawatha National Forest: One can observe a glimpse of what is to come with the beginnings of fall color.
  • Ottawa National Forest: The color on the Ottawa is just starting, with some “stressed” trees beginning to change. One can catch a hint of orange and red, but for the most part the Ottawa is still green. Color is currently at about 10%.


  • Chippewa National Forest: Yellow and red (sumac) are the prevalent colors right now on the Chippewa. Along with cooler temperatures, we expect to see more and more fall color! We’ve noticed more yellow of leaves this week.
  • Superior National Forest: Color is very sporadic, with some bright trees and branches showing early signs of fall. Though color is only at about 5-10% right now, more colors are appearing every day.


  • Allegheny National ForestThere is just a hint of color in the Allegheny. And, with no sign of frost as of yet, the Forest anticipates it will be sometime before peak color.


  • Eastern Regional Office: There are slight tinges of color on ash, birch and maple trees in the Milwaukee metro area.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Rocky Mountain Fall Color 9/18/14

Rocky Mt. Nature Photographer Net has a new fall color update for Buffalo Pass in Northwestern Colorado

Well, its happening on the Buffalo Pass road at about 8,500 ft. here in NW Colorado. This was yesterday afternoon and the mountain ash are very vibrant and a few stands of aspen have already fully turned to gold. Lower down its still very green but starting to turn. Ive been watching it every day and just the last few days it seems to have accelerated.

See photos at Photo Critique Forums.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2014

Sharks & Manta Rays Gain Protections

Press Release Defenders of Wildlife

Sharks and Mantas Gain Needed Protections Under CITES

New International Trade Regulations In Effect

WASHINGTON – Five species of sharks and two manta ray species will officially be listed today, as a result of the 2013 Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES. During the last 18 months, countries from all regions have been preparing diligently to enforce the listings.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2014

Eastern Sierra Fall Color: Bishop Creek Canyon 9/17/14

Parchers Resort has a new fall Color report for Bishop Creek Canyon 9/17/14

Overall Conditions Above 8500ft Elevation Near Peak – (50 – 75% – Go now!)
We’ve really seen an explosion of color over the past week with many of the best views in the canyon rapidly progressing from patchy color to near peak color. The higher groves on the mountainsides are showing the most yellow and orange with the lower lying aspen along the road a mix of brilliant yellow and lime green. It’s impossible to know how long the color will stick around but we’re hopeful that we have a few more weeks of spectacular color to enjoy.

Overall Conditions 7000ft to 8500ft Elevation Patchy (10 – 50%)
The lower reaches of the canyon is showing a bit of color, patchy at best, but deep or lime green still dominates the landscape. It will be interesting to see if the lower lying aspen turn as quickly as the trees higher in the canyon. Either way, there is still a lot of color to come over the next few weeks if the weather holds out.

Near Peak (50 – 75% – Go Now!) – Weir Pond (9650ft)
Still some green along the road and stream but the hillside above the pond and many of the aspen along the far side of the pond are turning very fast. I’d wager that peak color will happen here sometime in the next week.

Near Peak (50 – 75% – Go Now!) – Parchers Camp (9260)
The color has really come on strong the past week with about half of the aspen and willow around the camp turned or turning.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2014

North Carolina Fall Color 9/18/14

 Asheville NC Fall Foliage Color Leaf Report 2014  has September 18, 2014 update:

Leaves in the highest elevations are starting to turn and autumn weather has arrived.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2014

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Denied Injunction

After the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by Tomales Bay Oyster Company and a suite of West Marin restaurants for a preliminary injunction against the closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Company. They sought an injunction in a last desperate chance to help the Drakes Bay Oyster Company stay open. The federal judge not only denied the injunction but called the lawsuit frivolous. Maybe now the Coastal Wilderness area can go ahead without further legal obstacles.

Read the full story at: Injunction denied for Drakes Bay | The Point Reyes Light.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2014

New York Fall Color 9/17/14

I Love New York  has  a new fall foliage report for New York for September 17 to 23.

Adirondacks, Catskills and Thousand Islands-Seaway regions showing most change

Beautiful Fall Colors Continue to Emerge Across New York State

This is the second 2014 FALL COLOR REPORT for New York State. Reports are obtained from field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. FALL COLOR REPORTS are issued every Wednesday afternoon.

Bright, beautiful fall colors are continuing to emerge in New York State, with the most significant changes this weekend expected in some of the higher elevations of the Adirondacks and Catskills regions, and the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, according to observers for Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2014

Watercraft Threat to Manatees

Press Release  Center for Biological Diversity

New Report: Fast-track Permit System for Watercraft Access Ignores Manatee Deaths,
Speedily Approving Thousands of New Docks, Ramps

Boat Strikes Remain Lead Cause of Death for Endangered Manatees

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— A new report issued today by the Center for Biological Diversity reveals that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state of Florida have failed to consider cumulative impacts of thousands of recently permitted docks, piers and boat ramps on manatees, slow-moving and gentle endangered marine mammals. Today’s report finds that the government’s fast-track authorization of watercraft-access projects without analyzing their collective impacts is likely a key factor in enabling the boat collisions that continue to be the leading killer of manatees, resulting in an average of 82 manatees every year.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Eastern Sierra Fall Color 9/16/14

Inyo National Forest has a new fall color report

Falls colors are starting to be seen early this year. This is due, in part, to the extended drought that adds an additional stress to deciduous trees. They enter winter dormancy early as survival mechanism.

Having said that, falls colors are just starting to show in many places on the forest; around 9, 000 feet in elevation to the north, and closer to 8,000 feet further south.

One of the best places to view fall colors at this time is in the Bishop Creek Drainage. South Lake and Sabrina Lake areas are showing about 1/3 of the aspen trees have turned. The Tyee Lake Trailhead area is particularly vibrant.

In the Mammoth Lakes area above 9,000 feet a little color is just beginning to emerge. The Lakes Basin is likely a few weeks away from turning.

Patches of color are appearing in the Rock Creek, Convict Lake, along the June Lake Loop, and Lundy Canyon areas.Cooler temperatures over the past few days may encourage more color change; however, a warming trend is in the forecast.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Help Save Klamath Wildlife Refuge Birds

reblogged from Audublog Help us avoid a disaster for birds in the Klamath.

Help us avoid a disaster for birds in the Klamath

Lack of water in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge has resulted in dangerous overcrowding at nearby Tule Lake, where thousands of vulnerable birds have already died from disease. What makes this situation even worse is the fact that it is totally avoidable. Our reports tell us that there is water available for the refuges — we just have to put pressure on the Bureau of Reclamation to release it. That’s where you come in. Take a moment to send an email right now to the Secretary of the Interior demanding help for migratory birds. With enough voices, we can make this happen. Send your email today.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Superior Nat. Forest Fall Color 9/15/14

Superior National Forest has a new report for fall color:

Fall colors are about 5 – 10% of the trees, and very spotty.  The overall impression is of a green forest, with occasional bright spots of color.  Things are starting to progress faster now, and more color is visible everyday.

via Superior National Forest – Recreation.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Great Smoky Mts. Fall Color & Elk Rut 9/15/14

Fall Color updates from Great Smoky National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association

Fall Leaf Color Updates | Great Smoky Mountains Association reported on September 15

With sunny days and cool nights in the forecast, the march of fall colors should be picking up the pace very shortly. Reports from New England portend that the timing of this year’s colors may be normal to a tad late across the Appalachians.

Sourwood trees on the drier slopes are showing nice reds now. Witch-hobble leaves at the higher elevations are burgundy. A smattering of dogwood trees have begun the change. Blackgum trees will soon be blushing red. Fruits, such as the fuchsia seedpods of magnolia trees and oak acorns are now conspicuous.

By late September look for more color at the higher elevations as American beech and yellow birch trees transition to gold. Early changers at the lower elevations like sourwood, blackgum, dogwood, yellow buckeye, Virginia creeper, sumacs, and tuliptree should then be near peak. Parkwide, the peak of fall colors generally occurs between late October and early November.

The elk rut is now in full swing in both Cataloochee Valley and at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center area; and bears are busy gobbling acorns in Cades Cove.

Fall Colors – Great Smoky Mountains National Park U.S. National Park Service has a Fall Color mid September Report

The main fall leaf season is still more than a month away (mid to late October), but some early color is starting to develop on a few trees. Some dogwood trees have a reddish cast that will develop into brilliant reds later in October. Other species such as sourwood, red maple, witch hobble, sumac and blueberries are also beginning to sport a few red leaves, especially on trees and shrubs at higher elevation. Overall however, there’s not much fall color to see yet — just scattered trees here and there, and their colors are still just a hint of what they’ll become in a few more weeks. Fall flowers such as asters, Joe-Pye-weed, jewelweed, ironweed, and golden rod are blooming now. And the colorful fruits of hearts-a-bustin’ are splitting open.

For fall photos and updates from the park, visit our official facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainsNPS

You can also check out the park’s webcams to see how fall colors are progressing:
Purchase Knob (high elevation)
Look Rock (middle elevation)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Controversial Desert Solar Project Approved

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the disappointing decision to go ahead with with a large solar project in the Mojave Desert

Despite environmental concerns, the California Energy Commission has given a preliminary green light to an Oakland company’s second big solar project in the California desert.

Read full story at Big solar plant in Mojave Desert gets state’s OK – SFGate

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers 9/15/14

Great Smoky Mountains Association has a new wildflower report for September 15

Meigs Mountain From Jakes Creek Trail to Curry Mountain Trail – Golden Rod Erect, White Top Aster, White Snakeroot, Pink Turtlehead, Mountain Gentian really nice ones and Hearts-a-busting.

Curry Mountain B-E – Golden Rod Erect, Curtiss Milkwort, White Snakeroot, Great Lobelia,  Dark Jewelweed, Wild Golden Glow and Red Clover.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2014

2014 California Coastal Cleanup Day Is September 20

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2013, over 58,000 volunteers removed almost 750,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and people come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California’s fabulous coast and waterways.

The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet! To learn more and find out where you can take part go to Coastal Cleanup Day

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

Jewel Lake Birds & Others 9/15/14

Midday isn’t the best time to bird the Jewel Lake area of Tilden Park but that’s when I went today. There was a fair amount of bird song and most id was by sound. Unfortunately there were many sounds beyond my knowledge to name. I did manage to comfortably identify 12 birds.  Tilden Park -Jewel Lake Bird List  9/15/14   I didn’t include Wilson’s Warbler which flew by quickly so I didn’t get a clear look and I was not completely confident I heard a Nuttall’s Woodpecker but both of them have been seen in the area recently T

Field Crescent and Cabbage White Butterflies were flying about.  A Dragonfly landed near on tall spiked leaves. A Crawfish and Pond Slider Turtles (an introduced species) crawled along the edge of drought shrunken Jewel Lake. Many of the Western Sword Ferns were showing attractive geometric patterns of sori on the bottom of their leaves. White Snowberries contrasted with dark woodland areas.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

Rocky Mountain Fall Color 9/14/14 – Updated 9/16/14

Rocky Mountain Nature Photographers has several new fall color updates for the Rocky Mt. region:

  • 9/16/14 Drove over Weston Pass today. Not 100%, but will be in next 7-10 days. There are many isolated spots, some easily accessible from the road that are in full color, so worth a trip this weekend and then again next weekend.
  • 9/14/14 I was hiking in the Sangres yesterday (west side) The leaves down low are pretty healthy and 10-20% changed–up high it’s closer to 30-40% but there were a lot of dead aspen thanks to tent caterpillars.
  • 9/14/14 Drove Aspen–Twin Lakes–Buena Vista– Fairplay–Bailey this morining. Small patches coloring up, but not more than 5%. Undergrowth above Aspen colored up nice. I’d call the 1 week away predictions above accurate. Most trees look healthy with large leaves.
  • 9/14/14 Hw9 north of Silverthorne to Green a Reservoir will peak in one week. I think that area can be counted on every year to peak in week 3.
  • 9/13/14 Drove over I-70 last evening. Isolated patches starting to turn in high elevations. Some spots with brilliant orange/reds. Aspens look healthy with lots of edges just starting to turn yellow.

See older reports at Rocky Mt. Fall Color 9/12/14

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

North Carolina Fall Color 9/14/14

Department of Biology | Appalachian State University has a new fall color report for North Carolina for  9/14/14

This week is the first in which I can report the leaves they are a’changing; at least at the highest elevations.   As noted by Jesse Pope, in my post yesterday, there is visible leaf color now starting to show up at the highest elevations, around 5, 000’ and on down to around 4,000’.  Below 4,000’, most trees are still predominantly green.  As noted last week, burning bushes continue to redden ahead of schedule, and more red maples are showing splotches of color.  What is unusual about most of these red maples, many of which are varieties of urban trees planted for their fall leaf color display, is the extremely dull red of the leaves so far.  Generally, red maples end up a bright red color.  Perhaps these dull red leaves will brighten up in the next few weeks, something I will keep an eye on.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

Great Smoky Mts. Fall Leaf Color Update 9/12/14

Great Smoky Mountains Association reports on September 12

 Witch Hobble, Sourwood, Dogwood, Red Maple and Blueberries on Sugarland Mountain.

Follow reports at Fall Leaf Color Updates | Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

Lake Sabrina Fall Color 9/8/14

Lake Sabrina Boat Landing has photos showing increase fall color around the Lake at This Weeks Report.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2014

Northern Sierra Partnership Protects Lands & Creates Public Access

The Sacramento Bee reported on the efforts of the Northern Sierra Partnership to protect land from development and to protect open space and make it accessible to the public.  In 2007, the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Feather River Land Trust and the Sierra Business Council – joined together to form the Northern Sierra Partnership.

As a result of the recession they were able to buy land that was targeted for development and create a quasi-public park system. The partnership has been able to protect key areas  such as watersheds, lakes and mountain meadows.

Read more at Conservation groups snapped up large swaths of Sierra Nevada during recession – Our Region – The Sacramento Bee.

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