Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 5, 2020

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Closed Starting Dec. 7, 2020

East Bay Regional Park District decides that the Garden will be closed to the public starting on Monday morning, December 7, 2020 through January 4, 2021. All reservations after Monday are cancelled.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 4, 2020

Trump Sets Up Sale Of Oil Drilling Rights In Arctic Wildlife Refuge

NPR reports

In a last-minute push, the Trump administration announced Thursday that it will auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in just over a month, setting up a final showdown with opponents before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Read more Trump Sets Up Sale Of Oil Drilling Rights In Arctic Wildlife Refuge : NPR

from Sierra Club

Time is running out to defend the Arctic Refuge — Interior could hold a lease sale as soon as January. Now is our chance — will you send them a letter they can’t ignore?

Source: Write Letters to Protect the Arctic Refuge!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 3, 2020

Hike and Bike Day” at Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. 12/5/20

from Redwood State and National Parks

This Saturday is an official “Hike and Bike Day” on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. This event is held on the first Saturday of each winter month. Bring your skates, strollers, bikes, leashed pets and family to enjoy ten miles of paved road underneath towering redwoods – no motorized vehicles will be on the parkway. #RecreateResponsibly #findyourpark

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 3, 2020

Job Opportunity: Senior Maintenance Aide Antelope Valley

The Guardian reports

Climate crisis, voracious beetles and disease are imperiling the long-term survival of a high-elevation pine tree that’s a key source of food for some grizzly bears across the US west.

Whitebark pine trees can live up to 1,000 years and are found at elevations up to 12,000 feet (3,600 meters), conditions too harsh for most trees to survive.

Read more at  Whitebark pine trees are dying across the US west. Could a federal proposal protect them? | Environment | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2020

Native Plant Sale in Pacifica

Location:  Pacifica Gardens, 830 Rosita Road, Pacifica, CA

Easy-to-grow mostly local (and some hard-to-find!) California native plants for purchase, suitable for coastal and San Francisco bay gardens.

Funds raised will be split between Pacifica Gardens, a community garden that donates food to local pantries; Pacific Beach Coalition, supporting environmental education for kids and adults, beach and street clean-ups, and habitat restoration on the ocean bluffs; and the Pacifica Land Trust, a non-profit that purchases and manages local recreation and wild lands.

A list of plants for sale and descriptions can be found on the Pacifica Land Trust website.

https://www.pacifica-land-trust.org/native-plant-sale/

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2020

Job Opportunities: Botany Aide Positions

2021 Sierra Pacific Industries Botany Aide Positions

See job description and application process at  SPI Botany Aide 2021.pdf (4.19 MB, 4 views)
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2020

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos 12/1/20

Photos from a visit to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley on December 1, 2020

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a botanic garden of California native plants. The garden is open for visitors Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free but reservations are required. For reservations click here.

You  can see other photos from the Regional Parks Botanic Garden on the garden’s Flickr group page at Regional Parks Botanic Garden.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 2, 2020

Which factors trigger leaf die-off in autumn?

ScienceDaily reports

Researchers have identified a self-regulating mechanism in European deciduous trees that limits their growing-season length: Trees that photosynthesize more in spring and summer lose their leaves earlier in autumn.

Read article at  Which factors trigger leaf die-off in autumn? — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2020

UC – Berkeley Botanical Garden Photos 11/30/20

Photos from a visit to the UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden on November 30, 2020.

The garden is currently open daily to the public from eleven to five by reservation .  Garden members can enter at ten. There is an entrance fee (free for garden members) and paid parking.  For more information and to make reservations  go to UC-Botanical Garden.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2020

YouTube and Zoom: Native Plants for Year-Round Color 12/3/20

Native Plants for Year-Round Color  by Madeline Morrow at Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:30 am

Learn how to select and group plants with varying bloom times so your garden is never without color. You’ll enjoy it and so will the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! See how to choose different plant forms and include beautiful bark, berry, and seed producing species for maximum interest all year long.
Madeline Morrow is a past President of our CNPS Chapter and current board member. A former computer programmer, she now volunteers in her community and works extensively on her native garden. Her garden was featured in Bay Nature magazine in March 2013; and she solved her drainage problem by installing a rain garden.
This talk will be live streamed on YouTube and Zoom:
https://www.youtube.com/c/CNPSSantaClaraValley
Zoom requires advance registration:
https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZEsf…
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 1, 2020

Upcoming Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Webinars

Dec. 4, Fri., 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Changing Oceans: Climate Change, Threatened Species, Food Supply,
and the Role of Marine Aquaculture (Webinar)

 Register

Dec. 12, Sat., 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Life as a Reptile (Webinar)
Speaker: Lee Grismer, Ph.D., Herpetology   

No charge, but donations requested. Register

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft biological evaluation today finding that glyphosate is likely to injure or kill 93% of the plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The long-anticipated draft biological evaluation released by the agency’s pesticide office found that 1,676 endangered species are likely to be harmed by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and the world’s most-used pesticide.

The draft biological opinion also found that glyphosate adversely modifies critical habitat for 759 endangered species, or 96% of all species for which critical habitat has been designated.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 29, 2020

Zebra finches amazing at unmasking the bird behind the song

Berkeley News reports

If songbirds could appear on “The Masked Singer” reality TV competition, zebra finches would likely steal the show. That’s because they can rapidly memorize the signature sounds of at least 50 different members of their flock, according to new research from UC Berkeley.

In findings just published in the journal Science Advances, these boisterous, red-beaked songbirds, known as zebra finches, have been shown to pick one another out of a crowd (or flock) based on a particular peer’s distinct song or contact call.

Read more at  Zebra finches amazing at unmasking the bird behind the song | Berkeley News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 28, 2020

Learn your feeder birds!

                                                from Birds Canada
Are you new to bird feeding and bird watching? Want to learn more?
Join this beginner ID workshop with Birds Canada’ Project FeederWatch leader Kerrie Wilcox and Urban Bird Coordinator Andrés Jiménez for tips on identifying your feeder birds. Learning who is at your feeder is lots of fun and a great way to enhance your bird feeding experience.

Watch Webinar at Learn your feeder birds!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 28, 2020

A Great California Native Plant Resource

TOTAL-PLANT: NATIVE PLANTS OF CALIFORNIA is a website that is very useful for identifying and learning about California Native plants. It has an easy to use identification tool that does not require knowledge of botanical terms. It has a large photo gallery of California native plants. There is also a study section to compare plants and learn plant vocabulary.

Check it out at TOTAL-PLANT: NATIVE PLANTS OF CALIFORNIA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2020

Fall Color – Bradford Pear

Bradford Pear/Pyrus calleryana tree in front of my house.

Callery Pear or Bradford Pear/Pyrus calleryana

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2020

Webinar: The Importance of Native Plants in the Environment

 A Webinar  talk from last week about native plants and their importance in the environment. Why native plants? Where do we find them? How can we advocate for them? Presenter is Richard Rachman, CSUN Graduate Student, Ecologist, & IS Biodiversity Coordinator. Learn all about California native plants, their importance, and more!

Webinar is on YouTube and can be viewed at anytime at: CSUN Sustainability Webinar – The Importance of Native Plants in the Environment – YouTube

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2020

Webinar: Native Wildflower Meadow 12/1/20

Register now for “A Stunning Visual Tour of Native Wildflower Meadows” Webinar with Rob Badger and Nita Winter on December 1,, one week from today! This is a partner program between Daily Acts, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, The Habitat Corridor Project, and CNPS Milo Baker Chapter. It’s free and open to all.
Rob and Nita will take you behind the scenes on their 27-year journey capturing images of wildflowers throughout California using unique field techniques. For the budding photographer, this is an amazing chance to learn from the pros! Through a series of photographs and stories, they’ll seed inspiration for the astounding beauty of California wildflowers and native meadows.
Following the presentation, we will host a Q&A session for the authors and will be joined by additional guests April Owens of the Habitat Corridor Project and the California Native Plant Society and Allison Titus of the Laguna Foundation. After soaking up the mesmerizing beauty of native California flora, our panelists can answer questions about how you can design and install a native wildflower meadow as an alternative to high water-use landscapes.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 27, 2020

What Biden’s Presidential Win Means for Birds and the Environment

Audubon reports on  What Biden’s Presidential Win Means for Birds and the Environment Climate and conservation. 

Activists see opportunities for the president-elect to make major progress beginning on day one.

For four years, birds and other wildlife have been under attack. The Trump administration has weakened or spiked more than 125 environmental policies, the Washington Post reported recently, including protections for wetlands, Arctic breeding habitat, endangered species, and migratory birds themselves. It has not only dismissed the climate crisis but doggedly pursued an “energy dominance” agenda that has favored extracting planet-warming fossil fuels over other uses of our public lands. Before last week’s election, environmentalists feared that this regulation-slashing spree would only accelerate in a second Trump term.

Read more at What Biden’s Presidential Win Means for Birds and the Environment | Audubon

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 26, 2020

Fallen Leaf Photos

Many leaves have fallen in the last day or so. Photos from sidewalk and front walk in front of my house.

 

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 26, 2020

Army Corps Rejects Disastrous Pebble Mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay

National Parks Conservation Association News Release

In an about-face decision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today rejected a permit for the environmentally disastrous Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The rejection comes after the Army Corps demanded environmental mitigation measures for the proposed mine back in August, after previously rushing forward final reviews of the project.

The Pebble Mine and related construction activity would directly jeopardize the highest concentration of brown bears in the world along with the world-class salmon fisheries which are the bears’ primary food source. Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks are within the Bristol Bay watershed and provide habitat for brown bears that rely on Bristol Bay’s healthy salmon populations. Bristol Bay salmon are the foundation of the region’s traditional culture, way-of-life, and a support a $1.5 billion-dollar commercial and sport fishing industry.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 26, 2020

Indigenous People and Natural History Collections

from Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology 

Indigenous People have played an important role in natural history collection that oftentimes is not properly credited, if at all. Not many egg collectors acknowledged Native assistants and guides when they recorded specimens. The Inuvialuit people—the Inuit of the Western Canadian Arctic—are Indigenous Peoples living in the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Russia who had a significant role in the success of the well-known natural history collector Roderick MacFarlane.

Read the full article here 
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 25, 2020

Trump Administration Bars National Park Diversity & Disability Training

National Parks Conservation Association News Release

Interior Must Resume Critically Needed Trainings to Keep Parks Safe

“This will have a chilling effect on staff who are facing discrimination, sexual harassment, and racial bias among other difficult situations.”

Today, The Washington Post reported on chaos and confusion at the National Park Service as a result of the agency’s response to an Executive Order from President Trump and a memo from the Office of Personnel Management, each seeking to bar the use of federal funds for workplace diversity trainings.

National Park Service staff told The Post that in the wake of the order, Park Service officials have indefinitely frozen critically needed staff trainings related to racial equity, bias, harassment, and more. Some of the trainings included in this freeze go well beyond the scope of trainings banned under the Executive Order, including Director’s Order 16E on harassment, and a training on how staffers can assist park visitors who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have low vision. These trainings are designed to keep our national parks and public lands safe and equitable for staff and visitors. Suspending these trainings puts park staff at risk and makes it harder for them to do their jobs.

This Executive Order and its fallout will have serious impacts on the Park Service, particularly given the agency’s lack of staff diversity and past struggles to address sexual harassment in its ranks. The National Parks Conservation Association is calling on the Department of Interior to immediately restore all frozen trainings without delay.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 25, 2020

John Kerry To Be Presidential Climate Envoy

NPR reports

After decades advocating for action on climate change as a U.S. senator and then secretary of state, John Kerry has been tapped for a newly created post — special presidential envoy for climate, based on the National Security Council.

“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry said on Twitter shortly after the announcement by President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team. “The climate crisis demands nothing less than all hands on deck.”

Defense leaders have warned for years that warming temperatures and rising seas pose an array of national security challenges, including mass displacement, political instability and food scarcity.

Kerry helped negotiate the Paris climate agreement

read more at John Kerry Tapped For Newly Created Role As Presidential Climate Envoy | Nevada Public Radio

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 24, 2020

UC – Berkeley Botanical Garden Photos 11/23/20

Photos from a visit to the UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden on November 23, 2020.

The garden is currently open daily from noon to five by reservation.  There is an entrance fee (free for garden members) and paid parking.  For more information and to make reservations  go to UC-Botanical Garden.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 24, 2020

An Indigenous Effort to Return Condors to the Pacific Northwest

Audubon reports on

An Indigenous Effort to Return Condors to the Pacific Northwest Nears Its Goal The Yurok Tribe plans to soon reintroduce North America’s largest bird to northern California, where the raptor hasn’t soared for a century.

Read story at  An Indigenous Effort to Return Condors to the Pacific Northwest Nears Its Goal | Audubon

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 23, 2020

Help Protect Walker Ridge

Protect Walker Ridge: The upcoming weeks matter most!

Walker Ridge is home to 27 rare plant species, including the ephemeral adobe-lily. In this northern California landscape, bald eagles soar overhead and captivating amphibians emerge with elusive rain. This vital habitat and the flora and fauna that call it home are under threat by wind developers, even though the California Energy Commission found it to have marginal to low energy potential. Please join us in asking the BLM to permanently protect Walker Ridge by signing our petition (link below).

Visit Walker Ridge in 360 augmented reality

Join CNPS’s lead conservation scientist Nick Jensen and Protect Walker Ridge campaign coordinator Sara Husby on an immersive tour through the plants and places of Walker Ridge. Adventure with us.

Sign the petition

Help us get to 5,000 signatures by Dec. 1 in support of protecting Walker Ridge from uneccessary and damaging development. Sign today.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 23, 2020

Singing Dogs Re-emerge From Extinction for Another Tune

The New York Times reports

The New Guinea Singing Dog, a dingo-like animal with a unique howling style, was considered extinct in the wild. But scientists reported Monday that the dogs live on, based on DNA collected by an intrepid and indefatigable field researcher.

Read story and hear the dogs “sing” at Singing Dogs Re-emerge From Extinction for Another Tune – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 22, 2020

Fall Color Photos in Berkeley 11/ 21/20

There is a lot of fall color in Berkeley right now. Many of the street trees are approaching or at peak color including Chinese Pistache, Liquidamber, Japanese Maple, Persimmon, non-fruiting Pear and Ginko. Photographed in the North Berkeley Flatlands on November 21, 2020.

This is part of my continuing project,  the “Stay at Home Photo Project”.  It includes many street photos from Berkeley and Albany as well as photos from the UC Berkeley campus, my yard and neighbors’ yards  You can see larger higher quality versions of many of the photos at Flickr in my collection Stay at Home Photo Project which includes the following albums

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