Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 8, 2023

Mindful Birding

Audubon California and Weaving Earth are offering an experiential dive into the practice of Mindful Birding and Bird Language from March 6 – 30, 2023.

Mindful bird sits are a simple yet potent way to cultivate relaxation, a quiet mind, and a deep love for birds. The practice dovetails perfectly with the awareness and presence needed to learn the language of the birds.

The program includes weekly educational webinars and guided mindful bird sits from March 6- 30, 2023.  All webinars will be recorded so you can enjoy live or on demand. Learn more about the program details and weekly schedule here.
Space is limited to register early.

Register now for the Mindful Birding and Bird Language webinar series.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 8, 2023

Help Save Mono Lake

from Mono Lake Committee

Now is an important time to speak up for Mono Lake!

Despite January’s wet weather, Mono Lake’s surface elevation is so low that an intervention is needed.

The Mono Lake Committee has asked the State Water Board to suspend stream diversions until the lake rises enough to protect wildlife and the ecosystem, and to quickly schedule a hearing to implement long-term stream diversion changes that will ensure Mono Lake can rise to the healthy, sustainable level mandated by the Board decades ago.

We are urging people to write a letter to the State Water Board to ask that stream diversions be suspended and a hearing scheduled. You can personalize and send a letter here.


Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 8, 2023

Birds stashed 700 pounds of acorns in a Sonoma County vacation rental

The San Francisco Chronicle reported

A Glen Ellen vacation rental was discovered to be holding 700 pounds of acorns in an unused chimney, apparently put there by woodpeckers.

Read more at  Birds stashed 700 pounds of acorns in a Sonoma County vacation rental

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 8, 2023

Internships: Coastal Advocate Applications Open

from Environmental Action Committee of West Marin

An important part of our advocacy and community engagement work is providing high school, college, and graduate internship opportunities for young people to gain real-world job training in the environmental field. Every year, we welcome legal, policy, and coastal advocates into our internship program to gain experience in environmental policy, law, advocacy, community science, and education.

These mentoring opportunities not only provide a meaningful and applicable experience that can be applied to future education and career goals, but they help to foster the environmental stewards of the future who will help protect the resilience and health of the natural world.

We are now accepting applications for our summer Coastal Advocate program through March 10th. Apply Here

NPR reports

Scientists point to climate change and rapid population growth — Utah is one of the fastest growing states and also one of the driest — as the culprits. A recent scientific report from Brigham Young University warned that if no action is taken, the Great Salt Lake could go completely dry in five years.

Read article Climate change and a population boom could dry up the Great Salt Lake in 5 years : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 7, 2023

Job Openings California State Parks

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 7, 2023

Yosemite Entrance Reservation Update

Tomorrow on Wednesday, February 8, at 8 am Pacific time, additional day-use reservations for Friday, February 10, will be released online at All remaining reservations will continue to be released two days prior to each reservation date at 8 am PT. A day-use reservation is required for those staying outside of the park and first driving into Yosemite on Feb 10-12, 17-19, and 24-26 due to the Horsetail Fall event. For example, reservations for February 11 will be released on February 9, for February 12 on February 10, for February 17 on February 15, etc.
A day-use reservation is good for seven consecutive days beginning on the reservation date. Visitors who first arrive Mondays through Thursdays don’t need a reservation. The $35/vehicle entrance fee is valid for entry for seven consecutive days, regardless of day of arrival.
Learn more about the Horsetail Fall event:
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 7, 2023

Why more dead whales are washing up on U.S. beaches : NPR

NPR reports

Researchers are trying to figure out a mystery: Why are so many humpback whales, right whales, and other large mammals dying along the U.S. East Coast? One possible explanation is a shift in food habits. And while theories are circulating that blame the growing offshore wind industry, scientists say there’s no proof to support that idea.

Since Dec. 1, at least 18 reports have come in about large whales being washed ashore along the Atlantic Coast, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The losses are hitting populations that were already under watch, due to ongoing rises in unexpected deaths.

Read more at Why more dead whales are washing up on U.S. beaches : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 7, 2023

8th Annual Virtual Park District Youth Job Fair Coming in February!

from the East Bay Regional Park:

Explore the many paid seasonal and year-round jobs available in the Park District at this year’s Virtual Youth Job Fair on Saturday, February 11, 2023 from 10 am to 1 pm. Whether you like spending time outdoors, working with the community, or lifeguarding, we have a wide variety of opportunities for youth, young adults, and students. The Job Fair is designed for applicants who are ages 15-24, although the minimum age requirement for most jobs is 16 years old. Application and interview tips will be provided! More Info.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 6, 2023

Partial Closure of San Miguel Island

from Channel Islands National Park

Partial Closure of San Miguel Island Due to Safety Concerns
All trails and facilities on San Miguel Island, except the sandy beaches of Cuyler Harbor, are closed to the public until emergency repairs can be made to Nidever Canyon Trail.
A rockslide occurred on the Nidever Canyon Trail during the series of storms in January 2023. The trail is the only practical public access point to San Miguel Island. The rockslide occurred at a time when there were no visitors on the island. Large boulders are now blocking the trail and hazardous conditions persist due to continuing erosion.
“The safety of our visitors is a top priority for the park and this closure is necessary to protect the public from potential harm,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley. “The National Park Service will work diligently to conduct repairs in order to reopen the island as soon as possible.”
This temporary closure will continue until further notice.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 6, 2023

Living with Wildlife Presentation 2/7/23

Outdoor Explorer Presents: Living with Wildlife

Tuesday, February 7  6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Join us for an evening with Peter Alagona, conservation scientist and author of The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities. Peter will discuss what it means to be neighbors with wild animals and help us explore how we might thrive together.

Register for this online event

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 6, 2023

Webb Telescope Presentation 2/7/23

Presentation: First Results from the Webb Space Telescope  

Tuesday, February 07 2023   4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM

Virtual program; register now

UC Berkeley professor of astronomy Alex Filippenko explores the first stunning images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Find out more.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 6, 2023

Garden Photos

Photos from yesterday in my garden.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 6, 2023

Scenic Trails In Southern California For Each Month Of The Year

Only in Your State has a post of 12 scenic trails In Southern California. They suggest one for each month of the year at Scenic Trails In Southern California For Each Month Of The Year

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2023

Celebrating 50 Years of Endangered Species Act Success

EarthJustice New Release

Conservation and wildlife advocacy groups are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) this year, commemorating five decades of effective and crucial protection for imperiled animals and plants.

Passed nearly unanimously by Congress and signed into law by Richard Nixon on Dec. 28, 1973, the Endangered Species Act continues to be a bedrock environmental law for the United States. The Act has been tremendously successful at preventing species that are protected under it from going extinct. The Act has saved countless imperiled species, and 90% of the plants and wildlife listed under the law are recovering on schedule to meet the timetables in their recovery plans.

Read more at Celebrating 50 Years of Endangered Species Act Success | Earthjustice

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2023

Job Openings

4 New Job postings one the CNPS Botany and Wildlife Announcements Page. Click on each to see job description and application process

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2023

Anza-Borrego Land Purchase

from the Anza-Borrego Foundation

Thanks to a private donation made by John & Betsy Swallow, we secured a five-acre parcel in a critical area of the Park. Located near The Slot Trailhead, these five acres help secure public access across this property and preserve this corridor’s scenic views. Just one more little piece in the big puzzle of making Anza-Borrego Desert State Park whole!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2023

UpcomingClasses & Workshops Theodore Payne Foundation


from Theodore Payne Foundation

Horticulture, design, maintenance, botany, nature walks, ethnobotany, art, poetry, and more! Our extensive Education Program offers a range of classes for both beginners and experts with training by TPF staff and guest instructors. Classes are held at TPF in our La Fetra Nature Education Center, on TPF grounds, at various off-site locations, and on Zoom.

See event calendar at : Classes & Workshops | Theodore Payne Foundation

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 4, 2023

 Upcoming UC Botanical Garden Programs & Workshops

See upcoming UC Berkeley Botanical Garden programs at  Seasonal Programs & Workshops – UC Botanical Garden

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 4, 2023

Garden Photos 2/4/23

Photos from yesterday in my garden.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 4, 2023

Good News for Monarch Butterflies

Bay Nature reports

The Xerces Society reported 335,479 Western monarch butterflies tallied in the annual Thanksgiving count. True, they were battered by the storms that came after, but the count is evidence the monarchs have continued to rebound since their troubling near-disappearance in 2020. “Monarchs here recovered from a near-death experience,” says butterfly expert Stu Weiss, who monitors monarchs and designs habitat for them. They’ve giving us a second chance, is how he sees it.

ScienceDaily reports

A new analysis of more than 20,000 trees on five continents shows that old-growth trees are more drought tolerant than younger trees in the forest canopy and may be better able to withstand future climate extremes. The findings highlight the importance of preserving the world’s remaining old-growth forests, which are biodiversity strongholds that store vast amounts of planet-warming carbon, according to forest ecologists.

Read more at Old-growth trees more drought tolerant than younger ones, providing a buffer against climate change — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 3, 2023

Upcoming Marin County Bird & Nature Walks

from Wild Birds Unlimited

Sun, 2/5: Indian Tree, Novato, Marin Parks
Tues, 2/7: Birds at Hamilton Wetlands, Marin Parks
Sat, 2/11: Birds at Shollenberger Park, Petaluma, Petaluma Wetlands Alliance
Sat, 2/11: Beginning Birding at China Camp, San Rafael, Friends of China Camp
Sun, 2/12: Senior Stroll at Bothin Marsh, Mill Valley, Marin Parks
Tues, 2/14: Tennessee Valley, Marin Parks
Weds, 2/22: Five Brooks, Point Reyes, Marin Parks
Sat, 2/25: Birds at Ellis Creek Ponds, San Rafael, Petaluma Wetlands Alliance
Sun, 2/26: Family Walk at Indian Valley, Novato, Marin Parks
Thurs, 3/2: Birds at Las Gallinas Ponds, San Rafael, Marin Audubon

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 3, 2023

The 25 Best National Parks for Birding

From the National Parks Conservation Association

Find out which national park sites have the most bird species, with a highlight of what you might see at each place at: Get Your Binoculars: The 25 Best National Parks for Birding · National Parks Conservation Association

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 2, 2023

Viewing Cranes and Other Birds in Stockton delta wetlands

from the Lodi Sandhill Crane Association

Although reports indicate the recent rains and resulting flooding have dispersed the cranes, there is still time to enjoy them before they head north to spring breeding areas. The Stockton delta wetlands provide the largest area of freshwater marsh wintering habitat in the state, not only for Sandhill Cranes but for other waterfowl as well.

The cranes remain in this area typically until late February. There are also many other birds to see, including several varieties of ducks, Greater White-fronted Geese, Aleutian Cackling Geese (a type of Canada goose), Snow Geese, several species of egrets, and Great Blue Herons. Shore birds such as Black-necked Stilts, Crested Cormorants, and Coots are present. Also check for raptors, including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, and Kestrels. Many of the ducks and geese leave at about the same time as the cranes, although Snow Geese stick around a bit longer.

Cosumnes River Preserve on the Cosumnes River offers excellent viewing opportunities. Visit their website for information on the status of their trails, some of which were damaged in recent storms.

Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is another major viewing site. It is managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which offers tours. See their website for more information.

The third major viewing site in the Lodi area is 9,200-acre Staten Island, a prime example of how wildlife-friendly farming can contribute to wildlife conservation. It is located at 23532 N Staten Island Rd, beyond the end of Thornton Road, west of Interstate 5.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 2, 2023

Important Plant Areas- Zoom 2/9/23

From Yerba Buena CNPS Chapter

IPAs (No, not the beers, Important Plant Areas)

February 9, 2023, 7:30 PM  Speaker: Sam Young

Register here

California is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. With roughly 6,500 native plant taxa, the Golden State boasts similar botanical diversity to Japan and New Zealand. It’s mild climates and rugged landscapes have also made California a highly desirable place to live, with a population close to 40 million people and growing. Demands for housing, resources, and a changing climate are placing increasing pressure on California’s unique flora.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 2, 2023

The Missing Mammal That May Have Shaped California’s Kelp Forests

The New York Times reports

Researchers claim that the behavior of a massive extinct herbivore, the Steller’s sea cow, might inform conservation efforts of threatened ecosystems today.

Read more the impact of Steller’s sea cow on California Kelp Forests at The Missing Mammal That May Have Shaped California’s Kelp Forests – The New York Times

The Daily Mail  reports

Scientists frequently warn about deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

But a lesser-known process called ‘degradation’ – where trees have been affected by logging, mining, fires, expansion of roads or other human activity – is just as harmful.

According to a new study, 38 per cent of what’s left of the Amazon has been degraded in some way by humans – more than previously realised.

Read more at  Human activity has degraded more than a THIRD of the remaining Amazon rainforest, report reveals | Daily Mail Online

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 1, 2023

Mono Committee Field Seminars for 2023

from the Mono Lake Committee

You can view a complete list of the 2023 seminars below. Registration will open for Mono Lake Committee members on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 9:00am. Non-members can register starting on March 1, 2023 or join as a member to register on February 1.  See schedule and registration information at  Field Seminars

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 1, 2023

Green comet photos and video

EarthSky reports on a first green comet’s first  pass of earth since the time of the wooly mammoths

On February 1 and 2, Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its closest point to Earth (0.29 AU/ 27 million miles/ 44 million km). At that point, it’ll still be more than 100 times the moon’s distance away. With a first quarter moon on January 28, the moon is setting just after midnight.

For those who wish to view the comet around closest approach (perigee), the viewing is better in the morning hours after the moon has set. The comet is on the verge of being visible without optical aid. Try observing from a dark-sky site for your best chance to see it with your eye alone. No luck? You can always use binoculars or a telescope to spot this green visitor from the outer solar system.

Source: EarthSky | Green comet photos and video: Editors’ picks

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