The East Bay Times reports

Four black bears have been hit by cars in Yosemite National Park over the last three weeks, leading rangers to urge motorists visiting the famed Sierra Nevada destination to slow down in a summer in which the human traffic has been cut in half because of the coronavirus.

Read more Yosemite: 4 bears hit by cars, rangers urge motorists to slow down – East Bay Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2020

New 937 Acre Property for Santa Clara Valley Open Space

The Mercury News reports

The largest remaining piece of property connected to San Jose’s agricultural history as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” began a new chapter on Monday with the finalizing of a $93 million deal to purchase 937 aces in Coyote Valley, a rural expanse of farmland and open space on Silicon Valley’s southern edges.

The close of escrow ends development battles dating back 35 years and started a new chapter on a public process to help shape the property’s future uses.

“We can reconnect people to this natural landscape and create something that is truly novel in the Bay Area,” said Matt Freeman, assistant general manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority,

Read more at Coyote Valley deal closes, public input sought for 937-acre San Jose property – The Mercury News

National Parks Conservation Association News Release

Court of appeals sends U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service back to the drawing board to protect Yellowstone and Grand Teton grizzly bears

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the Montana District Court’s opinion that reinstated Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone region’s grizzly bear population. The decision spares the grizzlies from plans for trophy hunts in the states of Wyoming and Idaho.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2020

Where to hike, run, and get outside in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article with a map that is regularly updated for outdoor recreation

The Chronicle has mapped out a comprehensive list of parks, beaches and nature trails in the Bay Area and Northern California with the status of each place — letting you know if the area is open to the public, has visitation restrictions or is closed until further notice. So if you want to see the marine life splendor in the tide pools of Ocean Beach or walk the tranquility path of the labyrinth at Lands End, check our interactive map first. We can save you the headache of arriving at a closed location, and point you toward somewhere that will welcome you.

We’ll be updating this list, so check back periodically

Read full article and see map with links at Map: Where to hike, run, and get outside right now in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2020

COVID-19 closes Ventura County trails through September

The LA Times  reports

A popular Ventura County hiking area will remain off-limits for the next two months as officials look to stave off potentially unsafe crowding conditions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Under an order from the Los Padres National Forest, part of Santa Paula Canyon — from the forest boundary to about three miles above the area known as the Punch Bowl — will remain closed until Sept. 30.

Also closed will be the Big Cone, Cross and Jackson Hole campgrounds and the Last Chance Trail.

Read more at COVID-19 closes Ventura County trails through September – Los Angeles Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2020

Albany and Berkeley Street Photos 8/2/20

Photographed in the North Berkeley Flatlands and Albany on August 2, 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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Center for Biological Diversity News Release

The Trump administration issued a new proposal today that will severely limit the government’s ability to protect habitat that imperiled animals and plants will need to survive and recover.

The proposal, the latest in its attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act, focuses on a crucial aspect of the law that protects “critical habitat” for threatened and endangered species. The new proposal limits protections to habitat that could currently support the species — but not areas that could be restored or safeguarded to provide additional habitat for future recovery. That would preclude protecting habitat that had been historically used by a species as well as habitat that could be important as species move in response to threats such as climate change.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2020

Port of San Francisco Internship

The Port of San Francisco has just issued this announcement seeking a graduate student (or very capable undergrad) for a paid short-term internship (late summer through fall 2020).  Suitable for History, Sociology, or science majors with good research and writing skills and an interest in racial equity. Internship duties will include research on the history of race inequity along the San Francisco waterfront. This important research will help the Port come up with a plan to reverse those inequities. To apply, please click here.

The Brink, a Boston University publication wrote about research that Combating a Pandemic Is 500 Times More Expensive Than Preventing One

For decades, scientists and environmental activists have been trying to draw the world’s attention to the many harms caused by the rapid destruction of tropical forests. One of these harms is the emergence of new diseases that are transmitted between wild animals and humans, either through direct contact or through contact with livestock that is then eaten by humans. The SARS-CoV-2 virus—which has so far infected more than 15 million people worldwide—appears to have been transmitted from bats to humans in China.

They discovered that significantly reducing transmission of new diseases from tropical forests would cost, globally, between $22.2 and $30.7 billion each year. In stark contrast, they found  that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely end up costing between $8.1 and $15.8 trillion globally—roughly 500 times as costly as what it would take to invest in proposed preventive measures. To estimate the total financial cost of COVID-19, researchers included both the lost gross domestic product and the economic and workforce cost of hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.

Read full article at  Why Combating a Pandemic Is 500 Times More Expensive Than Preventing One | The Brink | Boston University

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2020

UC – Berkeley Botanical Garden Photos 8/1/20

The UC – Berkeley Botanical Garden  is now  open to the general public.  It is open daily from noon to five by reservation.  There is an entrance fee and paid parking. For more information and to make reservations  go to UC – Botanical Garden.

Here are some photos from my visit

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2020

Candlestick Point Job Opportunities

Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is hiring seasonal, part time, and year-round park aides. Locals with language skills encouraged to apply. Duties include interpretative programming, greeting visitors, office duties, and assisting with park maintenance, among other tasks. Interested in applying? First, fill out an online application by clicking here. Once you’re finished, email James Aliberti at james.aliberti@parks.ca.gov. Candlestick Point will accept rolling applications for these job opportunities. 
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2020

It’s Past Time to Dismantle Racism in the Outdoors 

The Sierra Club reports on the history of racism in the National Parks and outdoors.

A recent National Park Service study shows that Black Americans remain far less likely than whites to visit national parks, forests, and wilderness areas;a result of the exclusionary history of parks and public spaces in this country. Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many national parks in the South and “border” states maintained segregated bathrooms, restaurants, picnic areas, lodgings, and campsites, and restricted access to other “white-only” spaces.

Read article at “That legacy has a long afterlife,” says Our Wild America press secretary Courtney Bourgoin.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2020

Today is World Ranger Day 

World Ranger Day is celebrated on 31 July to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage.

Climate change, poaching and armed conflict are some of the challenges facing World Heritage. The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified these issues affecting sites and the managers who protect them.

Read more, see some ranger stories and learn about activities at: World Ranger Day 2020 – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2020

How Old are Joshua Trees?

Joshua Tree National Park reports
Age is just a number… but for Joshua trees, we don’t know that number!

Determining the age of Joshua trees has been a challenge. Joshua trees are part of the agave family and so they don’t have tree rings. Tree rings are the typical way scientists measure a tree’s age. Since Joshua trees don’t have rings, scientists have instead tried to come up with different cues on its lifespan to determine the age.

For now, we can say Joshua trees are timeless. It’s rude to ask someone or something for their age anyway!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2020

Build An Inclusive Outdoors

from Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2020

Limantour Road at Point Reyes Closed

Pt. Reyes National Seashore reports

Effective immediately, Limantour Road at Point Reyes National Seashore is closed until further notice. Road construction crews this morning encountered highly unstable subsurface soils so the road is closed for safety concerns. For up to date park information, go to our park website https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/conditions.htm#coronavirus (fo)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2020

Keeping Drones Out of the Wild 

The Sierra Club  reports

Park officials grapple with unmanned aircraft in natural areas

The National Park Service has recorded more than 2,000 illegal drone incidents since 2015—with 40 of them occurring in Yellowstone last year.

Read story at  Keeping Drones Out of the Wild | Sierra Club

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2020

Documentary on Betty Soskin, 98-year-old National Park Ranger

No Time To Waste – Available to stream on Vimeo  through the end of July.
This documentary chronicles the life of Betty Reid Soskin, a 98-year-old National Park Ranger and great granddaughter of a slave. Learn about her urgent mission to use the final years of her life to tell an authentic story of what it means to be black and a woman in the United States. There is a fee to stream the film and all proceeds from film rentals go to Rosie The Riveter Trust, a non profit organization.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2020

Job Opening: Conservation Intern

CNPS Job announcement

The CNPS Natalie Hopkins Conservation Intern is a part-time to full-time non-exempt position directly supervised by the Lead Conservation Scientist. The internship honors Natalie Hopkins, lifelong supporter and mentor of women in plant sciences and the 2nd president of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS. As a member of the Conservation team, this position supports on-going initiatives and campaigns. The Hopkins Intern will increase CNPS’s capacity to ensure the conservation of California’s flora and natural communities. A primary goal of this internship is to train early career professionals who are expected to make ongoing contributions toward the conservation of California’s plants and places.

Read more at Natalie Hopkins Conservation Intern California Native Plant Society Job Announcement

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2020

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos 7/28/20

Today I visited the  Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley. It is a botanic garden of California native plants. The Garden is now open four days a week by reservation.  To see how to visit the garden go to  Regional Parks Botanic Garden Reopens – reservations required

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

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2020

The Emu Thief

NPR reports

A pub in the Australian outback has banned an emu named Carol and her brother Kevin for “bad behavior” after they learned to climb the stairs and created havoc inside. Bar staff say the pair have been snatching toast and french fries from customers, stealing from behind the bar and leaving droppings everywhere.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 29, 2020

New Zealand’s incredible shrinking glaciers

Stuff.co.nz reports

New Zealand’s mountain glaciers are vanishing. They have shrunk by nearly a third since the 1970s and could be gone by the end of the century unless we move quickly towards zero emissions. And, as they retreat, we are losing more than ice.

via New Zealand’s incredible shrinking glaciers | Stuff.co.nz

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2020

Berkeley Street Photos 7/27/20

Photographed in the North Berkeley Flatlands on July 27, 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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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2020

Tidepool Presentation 7/30/20

Bay Nature has a presentation on tide pools this Thursday Talking about Tidepools

As nature-lovers, we all know that spending a day on the coast checking out anemones, sea stars, and nudibranchs is a great time. But did you know that keeping tabs on what you see during your day at the tidepools can help scientists working to understand and protect these species?

This Thursday, join California Academy of Sciences co-directors of citizen science, Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young, along with Bay Nature digital editor Eric Simons for a deep dive into tidepools. You’ll learn where to go, what you might see, and how you can record your observations and become a citizen scientist.

Register Today!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2020

Virtual Visits to Marine Sanctuaries

Get Into Your Sanctuary!
Looking for fun this summer? Join us July 31 through August 2 for a virtual Get Into Your Sanctuary weekend!

We are excited to announce that this year Get Into Your Sanctuary weekend is going virtual! Join us from July 31 to August 2 for a unique opportunity to experience all of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System from wherever you are. From taking an ocean safari to virtually diving through shipwrecks to learning how to cook sustainably from a professional chef, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

Tune into our LIVE Get Into Your Sanctuary programming July 31 to August 2 by visiting our Facebook page!

Friday, July 31, 2020 4:00 PM PST
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: Explore & Discover Sunken Legacies

Sunday, August 2, 2020 1:00 PM PST
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: A Revival of Maritime Culture 

Click read more to see details of programs

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2020

Berkeley Yard Photos July 26, 2020

Photographed in my yard on July 26, 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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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2020

Audubon Webinar Wed. July 29: David Sibley and Photo Awards

You’re invited to the next installment of I Saw a Bird this Wednesday at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET on Zoom and Facebook Live.

This month, we’re excited for a special visit from ornithologist, author, and the most soothing bird sketch artist around, David Sibley. Then we’re taking a deep dive into the winning pictures from the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards with guest judges Melissa Groo and Allen Murabayashi followed by a few rounds of Stump the Expert with Purbita Saha and Kenn Kaufman as they try to ID some of your #WorstBirdPics.

Click below to RSVP for Wednesday’s show, and if you don’t already follow us on Facebook, click here to like our page. See you on the internet!

RSVP
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2020

How the monkeyflower gets its spots | Berkeley News

Berkeley News reports

The intricate spotted patterns dappling the bright blooms of the monkeyflower plant may be a delight to humans, but they also serve a key function for the plant. These patterns act as “bee landing pads,” attracting nearby pollinators to the flower and signaling the best approach to access the sweet nectar inside.

Read full article at  How the monkeyflower gets its spots | Berkeley News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 25, 2020

Berkeley Street Photos 7/24/20

Photographed in the North Berkeley Flatlands on July 24, 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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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 25, 2020

How Do Flying Snakes Glide Through the Air?

The New York Times reports on snakes who glide through the air

Flying is a bit of a misnomer for what the snakes do. The slithering airborne creatures tend to fall strategically or glide, meaning they do not gain altitude like a bird or an insect. Their flights generally last only a couple of seconds, at a speed of around 25 miles per hour, and they land without injury. To the untrained eye, it might look as if the snake just fell out of a tree by accident, wiggling frantically as it plummets to earth. Not so.

Once it goes airborne — after inching out on a tree limb and pushing off the branch — the snake moves its ribs and muscles to extend the width of its underside, transforming its body into a structure that redirects airflow like a parachute or a wing. A cross section of the snake’s body midair would show that its normal circular shape becomes triangular and the whole body undulates as it glides toward its target.

Read full story at How Do Flying Snakes Glide Through the Air? ‘It’s Hard to Believe’ – The New York Times

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