Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 10, 2014

Red Knot Gains Endangered Protections

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

Rare Atlantic Coast Shorebird Protected Under Endangered Species Act

Red Knot, Imperiled Long-distance Flyer, Threatened by
Loss of Horseshoe Crabs, Habitat and Climate Change  

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected the red knot as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The robin-sized shorebird, which twice a year makes an epic 9,000-mile migration between southern South America and the Canadian Arctic, has declined by 75 percent since the 1980s. Threatened by loss of an essential food, horseshoe crabs, as well as habitat destruction, the bird is also at risk from climate change, which threatens to destroy many of its shoreline stopover areas as well as its breeding habitat in the far north. Today’s decision was made in accordance with a settlement requirement with the Center for Biological Diversity that requires the agency to make decisions on protection for 757 species.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 9, 2014

2014 Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Dec. 13 to 14

EarthSky reports

The peak night of the 2014 Geminid meteor shower will probably occur on the night of December 13 morning of December 14. The night before December 12-13 may offer a decent sprinkling of meteors as well. Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night. A last quarter moon will rise around midnight, but Geminid meteors are bright! This shower favors Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, but it’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere, too. If you’re at a temperate latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, try waiting a little later – until close to midnight – to see the beginning of the Geminid shower.

To learn more about the Geminid meteor shower in 2014 go to EarthSky at Everything you need to know: Geminid meteor shower

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 8, 2014

New Mushroom Found On UC-Berkeley Campus

Phys.org reported on the discovery a new species of mushroom on the UC Berkeley Campus. The new species is called Helvella dryophila, a beautiful black “elfin saddle” and is associated with oaks

Two researchers who recently named the first new species of mushroom from the UC Berkeley campus in more than 30 years are emphasizing the need for continued green and open space on campus, as well as a full-fledged catalog of all North American mushroom species.

Read more at Phys.org New mushroom discovered on campus is the first since 1985.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 7, 2014

Five Holiday Gifts to Help Birds

Media Release from American Bird Conservancy

Top Five Holiday Gifts to Help Birds

(Washington, D.C., December 4, 2014) Looking for that last-minute gift for someone who cares about birds? With 45 million Americans who enjoy bird watching, there certainly is a demand for such products. The experts at American Bird Conservancy have a few suggestions that can help solve that gift-giving dilemma and make a real difference for the thousands of bird species that call the Americas home.

  • Bird-friendly Coffee: Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. As a result, the way coffee is grown has a big impact on habitats—and birds. Unfortunately, most coffee on the market today is produced through destructive farming practices such as clearcutting of tropical forests and using large amounts of pesticides. Anything we can do to discourage such actions ultimately helps birds. That’s where bird-friendly coffee helps: Achieving this certification requires that coffee producers do such things as reduce or eliminate pesticide use and increase the amount of shade cover provided at coffee farms. Here are two of the many sources for coffee that helps birds: Birds and Beans, Caffe Ibis.
  • ABC BirdTape: Recent studies say that up to a billion birds are killed each year in the U.S. by colliding with glass, nearly half at homes. ABC BirdTape is an affordable solution that is easily applied, removable, and lasts up to four years on outside surfaces. Most important, tests show that this translucent tape can significantly reduce bird collisions with glass windows or doors. It comes in a ¾-inch tape in a 75-foot roll or 3-inch x 3-inch pre-cut squares in a 30-foot roll. Order some now for application before the spring migration, a time when bird collisions are at their highest.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 6, 2014

Regional Park Botanic Garden Photos & Observations

I was at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley today for the Roderick Lecture on “Botanizing Baja California by mule: Adventures into remote regions of Baja California, including cowboy uses of indigenous plants” by Sula Vanderplank. Before the lecture I did a short walk around the garden and took a few pictures with at compact camera. Many of the Manzanitas are starting to bloom as well as at least one species of Ribes. There is still a bit of fall color. The rains have brought out bright green in the mosses, show off the lichens, and have brought up some mushrooms. There is also a fair amount of bird activity although today the only ones I really paid attention to were Anna’s Hummingbirds and a Song Sparrow.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 6, 2014

Record Progress In Protecting Endangered Species

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

Record Progress Made on Backlog of Endangered Species Awaiting Protection 

 Spurred by Landmark Agreement to Protect Nation’s Most Endangered Species

WASHINGTON— After several decades when endangered plants and animals were allowed to languish indefinitely on a waiting list, an annual federal summary released today reveals that for the second year in a row, the number of species waiting for Endangered Species Act protection decisions remains below 150 — the lowest number since the list, in its current form, was created in the 1990s.

The steady progress the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making in addressing the backlog highlights the success of a landmark agreement reached with the agency by the Center for Biological Diversity in 2011, which requires the Service to speed protection decisions for 757 species. The 2014 “candidate notice of review” released by the agency today includes 146 species now awaiting protection: 79 animals and 67 plants. So far under the agreement with the Center, 140 species have gained final protection and another 12 have been proposed for protection.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 6, 2014

Richardson Grove S. P. Redwoods Protected

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

Plans Halted for Widening Highway Through Ancient Redwoods in
California’s Richardson Grove State Park

 

SAN FRANCISCO— After years of opposition, Caltrans has rescinded its approvals for a controversial highway-widening project that would endanger ancient redwood trees in Richardson Grove State Park, along Highway 101 in Humboldt County. Conservation groups and local residents this week dismissed a lawsuit they filed in federal court in July in exchange for Caltrans abandoning the project approvals and agreeing to restart the environmental review if the agency pursues the project. Caltrans has been prohibited from any project construction activities by both a 2012 federal court injunction and a recent state court order.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 5, 2014

Birding Emeryville Shoreline 12/5/14

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

 

At high tide the Emeryville shoreline is loaded with Marbled Godwits, Willets, several Whimbrel and others (today we saw one Western Sandpiper and One Black Turnstone) on the rocky area just south of the sidewalk between the Fire Station and Chinese Restaurant. We walked the shoreline and through the park next to the Marina.

 

Marbled Godwits and Willets at High Tide at Emerville Shoreline

Marbled Godwits and Willets at High Tide at Emerville Shoreline

Highlights besides the 100’s of birds along the shoreline included, Common Loons displaying, a Horned Grebe bobbing and dancing (we weren’t quite sure what it was doing), a Crow aggressively mobbing a Gull and getting very close looks at a Great Blue Heron.  Other birders reported Townsend Warblers in the trees in the park, but we were unable to find them. We identified twenty-six species in all.  See Bird list at Emeryville Shoreline Bird List 12/5/14.

Least Sandpipers

Least Sandpipers

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 5, 2014

65% Chance Of El Nino

 From National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

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December 4, 2014 – There is an approximately 65% chance that El Niño conditions will be present during the Northern Hemisphere winter and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 5, 2014

Yuba Watershed Institute Fungus Foray Dec. 13-14

The 17th Annual Fungus Foray on the San Juan Ridge and Wild Mushroom Exposition in Nevada City will take place December 13 and 14, 2014.

Stay tuned for the presenter schedule and other details

The 17th Annual Fungus Foray Saturday, December 13

Our traditional Saturday morning wild mushroom hunt and identification will wrap up with an afternoon of displayed discoveries and identification workshops. Bring a lunch and be prepared to walk in the damp woods. You also might find a useful: a collection basket, waxed paper bags, knife, hand lens, and a notebook. In the morning, after registration and a brief introduction , we will drive to sites 10 to 30 minutes away. Please carpool and be open to sharing a ride with other attendants. The afternoon will focus on identification and will include hot mushroom soup.

Rain or Shine

When: Saturday, December 13, 9a.m. to 4p.m. registration begins at 8:30am

Where: North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

17894 Tyler Foote Crossing Road, Nevada City, CA

On the San Juan Ridge, approximately 25 minutes from Nevada City

Admission: $20 general; $15 for YWI members; $10 for half day (afternoon); Under 18 Free

The Nevada City Wild Mushroom Exposition  Sunday, December 14

The fourth annual Wild Mushroom Exposition is bringing the Foray mushrooms to downtown Nevada City! The Sunday Exposition is filled with presentations, interactive displays, and workshops based on our seasonal Sierra mushrooms.  There will be wild-crafted food concessions and mushroom merchandise available for sale.

When: Sunday, December 14, Stop by anytime between 11am and 5pm

Where: The Stonehouse Bar and Grill

107 Sacramento Street, Nevada City, CA

In downtown Nevada City

Admission: $10 general, $8 for YWI members; $5 for Students; Under 18 Free

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 4, 2014

63 Year Old Albatross Returns To Nesting Site

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports

On Saturday morning, Wisdom (left), the world’s oldest (at least 63 years old) known albatross was observed with her mate for the first time this breeding season within feet of their usual nesting site.  Wisdom has a highly visible band labeled Z333 which allows us to recognize her from a distance.  Her mate, who was first sighted last Wednesday, has the band number G000. It is typical for Laysan albatross males to arrive first and stake claim to the nest site. Wisdom was gone by Sunday morning which is also not unexpected.

The breeding albatrosses, both male and female, typically return to sea shortly after mating.  After about 5-10 days, the female will return and lay a single egg in a bowl-like nest made from sand and grass.  The males will return shortly thereafter, though some may remain to guard the nest site while the female is away.  Midway Atoll is crowded with hundreds of thousands of albatross pairs that are currently staking out their nest sites.   Although it’s not set in stone that they will successfully breed and raise a chick in any given year, this pair has successfully bred in each of the last seven years.  We’ll keep an eye on them and post updates of their progress.  We use telephoto lenses from about 30 feet away to avoid disturbing them too much.

Write-up by: Bret Wolfe/USFWS

For more information on this amazing long-lived matriarch of the seabird world go to: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Midway_Atoll/Whats_New_Wisdom.html

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 4, 2014

California’s Tricolored Blackbirds Get Emergency Protection

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

California’s Tricolored Blackbirds Get Emergency Protection

Central Valley Birds Suffered More Than 60 Percent Decline in Six Years

VAN NUYS, Calif.— The California Fish and Game Commission today enacted emergency protections for tricolored blackbirds in response to a petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in October. The commission has protected the tricolored blackbird under the California Endangered Species Act for 180 days. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will next evaluate the petition and recommend to the commission whether to protect tricolors on a permanent basis and impose limits on activities that kill or injure tricolored blackbirds.

Tricolored blackbird
Photo courtesy USFWS. Photos are available for media use.

“This species has been in a dangerous decline for years, so this is a very important step to protect tricolored blackbirds and their nesting colonies,” said the Center’s Jeff Miller. “Tricolors are particularly vulnerable to human impacts, because a small number of breeding colonies can contain most of the entire population. These new protections and limits on killing of tricolors are vital tools to try to help recover the population.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 3, 2014

Yosemite’s Waterfalls Booming

Press Release Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite’s Waterfalls Booming Due to Recent Storms

Yosemite Falls 12-3-14

NPS

 

Yosemite National Park’s waterfalls are flowing again due to two days of significant rainfall in the Yosemite area. Waterfalls such as Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, and Cascade Fall are going full force due to recent storms. Snow levels remain high and roads leading into Yosemite Valley are open and clear.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 3, 2014

Largest Critical Habitat Designation in History

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

Largest Critical Habitat Designation in History Would
Protect 226 Million Acres for Alaska’s Ringed Seals

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Arctic ringed seals threatened by climate change today received proposed protections for more than 226 million acres of critical habitat in Alaska’s Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Ringed seals were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 as a result of a Center for Biological Diversity petition. Today’s critical habitat proposal from the National Marine Fisheries Service would be the largest such designation in history, protecting more than 350,000 square miles, an area more than twice the size of California.

Ringed seal
Photo courtesy National Marine Mammal Laboratory, NOAA. Photos are available for media use.

“We’re thrilled that the ringed seals are getting the habitat protections they so desperately need as their sea-ice home melts beneath them,” said Shaye Wolf, climate science director for the Center. “Now the Obama administration needs to make these protections count, by reducing the greenhouse gas pollution that’s rapidly making the Arctic uninhabitable for ringed seals and other ice-dependent animals.”

Ringed seals, which are the primary food for polar bears, excavate snow caves on top of sea ice to create protected shelters for nursing pups. As the Arctic warms, the sea ice is breaking up earlier, and rain is falling on snow, causing snow caves to collapse and leading to the deaths of pups.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2014

Last chance to protect Knowland Park!

You probably know by now on November 18 the Oakland City Council
voted  6–2  against preserving a critical area of  Knowland Park. This is
one final opportunity to let the Oakland City Council your concerns
and to help save Knowland Park

from Save Knowland Park

ACTION: Less than 20 seconds: Send NEW ONE-CLICK letter to City Council
now – before Tues Dec 9 meeting
Read More…
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2014

2014 Bay Area Fungus Fair December 6 & 7

 
This year’s annual fungus fair is December 6 and  7at the San Francisco Fair Building, next to the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park, 1199 9th Ave (at Lincoln).   It is sponsored by The Mycological Society of San Francisco and will include displays, mushroom identification, talks and cooking demonstrations. For more information go to:MSSF Annual Fungus Faire.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2014

Fall Leaves In Berkeley

 

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Berkeley, CA has many trees that are still showing good fall color. Unfortunately, we also have many power, phone and cable lines above ground. When I walked around town today taking fall color photos, I found I did much better photographing the leaves on the ground. I did include one photo of the trees and power lines just for show. The street with the power lines and trees is McGee Street by the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery. It has some of the best local color due to the street being lined with Sweet Gum/Liquidambar styraciflua trees.

 

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2014

Edgewood Park December Wildflowers

Friends of Edgewood Park have updated its website to show what plants are typically blooming in December. There are 23 photos of plants you might see. Explore plant locations, plant species, which plant blooms when, and answers to a host of other questions at  What’s Blooming This Month

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2014

President Obama May Be The Environmental President

He is no Al Gore and President Obama has often been criticized about not taking stronger environmental stands, but he may be doing more than most of us realize.  The New York Times has a story saying it is possible he may have “the most aggressive, far-reaching environmental legacy of any occupant of the White House.” Although no major environmental legislation has been passed during his time in office, he has used the Clean Air Act of 1070 to issue regulations on air pollution, soot, smog, mercury and carbon dioxide.

The Clean Air Act created the Environmental Protection Agency and gave it a lot of flexibility in how it interpreted law. President Obama has used Clean Air Act to great the first national policy for dealing with global warming and reshaped auto manufacturing and electrical utilities industries.

The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970 by a bipartisan vote in the senate of 73 to zero and signed by Richard Nixon. In 1990 the Clean Air was strengthened and passed with 89 senators voting for it including Mitch McConnell and signed by George H. Bush. The Times reported

“I had to choose between cleaner air and the status quo,” Mr. McConnell said at the time. “I chose cleaner air.”

Today Mr. McConnell is one of the most vocal critics of the President’s environmental actions. Not surprisingly he represents a state that is a major producer of coal.

It is possible some of the President’s efforts may be overturned by challenges in the Supreme Court. Time will tell.

Read the full New York Times article at Obama Builds Environmental Legacy With 1970 Law – NYTimes.com

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 30, 2014

Fall Color Photos At UC Botanical Garden 11/28/14 – updated

Updated with high quality photo link at Flickr

Although about a week past peak there is still plenty of fall color at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, especially the area around the pond in the Asian section.

See high quality size photos on Flickr at  https://www.flickr.com/photos/sandysteinman/sets/72157649117907560/show  (Click on box in bottom right corner for full screen.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 30, 2014

Marin Winter Naturalist Walks

From Marin County Parks Newsletter

NATURALIST WALKS -Winter Naturalist Led walks in Marin County from December 2013 to February 2014

These outings are for ages 15 and up who are interested in the diverse flora and fauna of Marin County. Our walks cover a variety of topics; some are quite specific, others are more general, but we never fail to take a moment to marvel at whatever natural wonders we encounter. Binoculars, a pocket sized magnifying lens, and your favorite field guide(s) are recommended for all walks. Most of the walks are moderately paced and cover less than 5 miles. Walks that are longer or more strenuous are noted in the descriptions. Bring a lunch if you plan to stay all day, and remember to bring plenty of water.

Thursday, December 4. 9am to 2pm

Mushrooms at Indian Tree

The mixed forests of this Novato preserve usually host an amazing array of mushrooms at this time of year. With luck we’ll make it to the top where we’ll enjoy spectacular views in every direction (Distance: 6.5 miles; elevation gain: 1,300 feet). Remember to bring enough water and food. This walk is for ages 15 and up. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. Rain may cancel. If questionable weather call (415) 893-9527 after 8am on the morning of the event to hear a recorded message if cancelled. Questions: Contact David Herlocker at (415) 893-9508 or DHerlocker@marincounty.org. Meet at the trailhead on Vineyard Rd in Novato. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 in Novato, take the exit for San Marin Dr west 2.7 miles. San Marin Dr turns into Sutro Ave at Novato Blvd. Follow Sutro Ave 1 mile, turn right at Vineyard Rd and follow 1 mile. Trailhead is on the left where the paved road becomes a dirt road.

Tuesday, December 9. 10am to 2pm

Focus on Gulls

Gulls are certainly challenging but with a few tricks and a little patience we’ll learn to differentiate between the species we regularly see here in winter. We will discuss identification, plumages, and life-histories as we attempt to demystify these beautiful birds. We’ll carpool to several different locations in Pt. Reyes searching for the various gulls that frequent these areas. This walk is for ages 15 and up. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. Rain may cancel. If questionable weather call (415) 893-9527 after 8am on the morning of the event to hear a recorded message if cancelled. Questions: Contact Shannon Burke at (415) 893-9520 or SBurke@marincounty.org. Meet at the Chicken Ranch Beach pullout. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 in Larkspur, take the Sir Francis Drake exit 20.4 miles to Olema. Turn right onto Hwy 1 and go 2 miles. Turn left onto Sir Francis Drake and follow 4.7 miles, parking is on the right.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 29, 2014

More Anza-Borrego Fall/Winter Wildflowers

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has a new wildflower post at Anza-Borrego Wildflowers. The post is my Fred and Carla who write the Borregohiking.com blog and website, which also has some other recent wildflower posts and lists upcoming Anza-Borrego hikes.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 29, 2014

December 2014 Field Trips

December Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Field Trips

For information on trips below go to Golden Gate Audubon Field Trips

  • Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley (1st  Friday bird walk) Friday, December 5,  8:30-10:30 am
  • Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont Saturday, December 6, 9:00 am – Noon
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden (1st Sunday bird walk) Sunday, December 7, 8 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Birding the Bay Trail by Bicycle, Berkeley to Richmond Saturday, Dec 13, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Oakland Rose Garden (3rd Wednesday Bird Walk) Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 8:30am – 10:00am
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco (3rd Friday bird walk) Friday, December 19, 8 – 10 a.m.
  • Aquatic Park and Waterfront, San Francisco Saturday, December 20, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Birding at Arrowhead Marsh/ MLK Shoreline – Oakland  Sunday, December 21, 2014, 9:45 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco (3rd Sunday bird walk) Sunday, December 21, 8 – 10 am
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland, Alameda County (Fourth Wednesday bird walk) Wednesday, December 24, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  •  Tilden Park, Berkeley (Special fourth Friday bird walk) Friday, December 26, 2014, 8:30-10:30 am Gorge Trail (Meet at the Meadows Playfield (where Lone Oak Road and Central Park Drive meet in Tilden Regional Park)
  • Hidden Lakes Park, Martinez Friday, December 26, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM

For more Bay Area birding  field trips through out the Bay Area click on the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society Calendar 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 28, 2014

Help Count California Monarch Butterflies

from the Xerces Society

A new web site is launched to support volunteers counting monarchs in California — and new energy is brought to monarch conservation in the United States thanks to a memo from the president.

Knowing how many monarch butterflies there are and where they overwinter is vital information that shapes protection efforts. Monarchs ranging from British Columbia to Arizona migrate primarily to the California coast, where they overwinter in wooded groves scattered from San Diego to Mendocino. The Western Monarch Count is an annual citizen-science project that collects data on the status of these monarchs during the overwintering season. Xerces has launched the Western Monarch Count web site to support this effort and help coordinate the count.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2014

Birding The Richmond Bay Trail 11/27/14

The Richmond Bay Trail has many waterbirds at this time of year. Today’s was highlight was being thankful to see Ridgway’s Rail. It was especially surprising as we saw it right during a low tide. It was the first time I have seen one since its name has changed from Clapper Rail.  It was also the first time I have seen Black-crowned Night-heron right at the beginning of trail by the first bridge.

Most abundant today were the Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, and Coots. We identified 42 species and I am sure there were more. There were possibly Lesser Scaup mixed in with the greater and walking through the residential area we heard what as either an Oak Titmouse or Chestnut-backed Chickadee. We didn’t even see a Canada Goose or House Sparrow.

Today’s List Pt. Isabel Bird List 11/27/14

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2014

An Endangered Species Success Story

Science Daily reported on an endangered species success: Idaho salmon regaining fitness advantage

Once on the brink of extinction with only a few fish remaining, Snake River sockeye salmon are regaining the fitness they need to rebuild wild populations. A new analysis shows that naturally spawned offspring of fish saved by a hatchery program are now surviving to return at increasing rate — high enough to not only sustain the population but also to rebuild it.

Read full story at Endangered species success: Idaho salmon regaining fitness advantage — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 26, 2014

What Will Glacier Park Be Called When The Glaciers Are Gone?

The New York Times wrote about how Glacier National Park is losing its Glaciers. From 150 Glaciers a century ago the park is down to 25 today. In 30 years it is possible there will be none. Who says Global warming doesn’t exist.  Read story at  Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park – NYTimes.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 25, 2014

Fed Cancel Idaho Idaho Predator-killing Derby

Press Release Center for Biological Diversity

With Lawsuit Pending, Feds Cancel Idaho Predator-killing Derby

BOISE, Idaho —In response to a lawsuit from conservation groups, the Bureau of Land Management has decided to cancel a permit allowing an anti-wolf organization to conduct a “predator derby” on more than 3 million acres of public lands near Salmon, Idaho.

As lawyers for the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Project Coyote and Defenders of Wildlife were preparing to file a request to stop this year’s derby on BLM lands, the agency decided to withdraw its decision to allow “Idaho for Wildlife” to conduct a contest to kill the most wolves, coyotes, and other species over three days every year for five years, beginning Jan. 2, 2015.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 25, 2014

Plant Carbon Dioxide Absorption Underestimated

Plant Carbon Dioxide Absorption Underestimated But It Won’t Slow Global Warming

The BBC reported on how global climate models have underestimated the amount of CO2 being absorbed by plants. Scientists reported that over the last 110 years plants have absorbed 16% more of the carbon dioxide than estimated. This explains why models consistently overestimated the growth rate of carbon in the atmosphere. However experts believe this will change current global warming predictions. Read story at

Read Story at BBC News – Climate change: Models ‘underplay plant CO2 absorption’.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 24, 2014

Assorted California Fall Color Reports 11/23/14

California Fall Color had the following new fall color reports. Go to the website to see photos.

Joshua Tree National Park (Peak 75-100%) - Cottonwood are peaking at Cottonwood Springs Oasis.  GO NOW!

Yosemite Valley a dusting of fall leaves, instead of dusting of snow

Lake Shasta and Lake Siskiyou lot of color to be seen around the edge of Lake Shasta, though because the lake level has dropped so significantly, it isn’t reflected in the lake.  However, travel north to see Mount Shasta and fall trees reflected in the still waters of Lake Siskiyou.

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