Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 6, 2021

Lake County News reports

On Tuesday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA03), a former deputy secretary of the Interior during the Clinton Administration, released a discussion draft of the “Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act” for public review and comment.

This draft legislation would expand the National Monument to include a federally owned land parcel known as the “Walker Ridge” tract.

This ridgeline in Lake County has cultural significance to Native Americans and is home to bald eagles and rare wildflowers.

Read more at  Lake County News,California – Proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument expansion would add Walker Ridge tract

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2021

Job Opportunity: Biological Science Technician

Biological Science Technician, Botany

Job Description:
Re-vegetation treatments aim to mitigate the degradation of Mojave Desert shrublands impacted by invasive annual grass-fed wildfires. USGS is actively monitoring the effectiveness of ecological restoration so that successful practices can be scaled up to create fuel breaks and re-establish habitat islands burned by large-scale fires. Availability of locally-sourced native seed, however, is limited due to low seed production characteristic of many desert plants.
Seeds are traditionally collected from distant or unknown sources and used for re-vegetating disturbances in the Mojave Desert, yet the consequences of re-introducing non-local versus local plant sources is largely unknown. To address these seed sourcing issues, BLM and USGS developed a focused strategy for understanding the genetic variability of native species and the potential for their commercial development. Research occurs at multiple common gardens distributed across the Mojave Desert, and in combination with genetic testing, is guiding resource managers when and where to use local plant materials for promoting restoration success on desert lands under current and future climates. USGS is seeking to hire two Biological Science Technicians whose core duties will support the common garden research in particular, with additional duties that support the Mojave Desert ecological restoration research in general.

Core duties:
Collect, enter, and conduct QA/QC checks on data for currently-planted species – Ten common gardens located across the Mojave Desert represent a range of temperature and seasonal rainfall, and have seven different native Mojave species currently planted into them. The incumbents will continue data collection on survival, reproduction, growth, and physiology of plants at these gardens, and compile and conduct QA/QC checks on the collected data.
Read More…

from Los Padres ForestWatch

The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, the nation’s largest year-to-date wildfire, has burned over 413,000 acres since starting on July 6 and merging with the smaller Log Fire on July 19. An independent analysis of the landscape that has burned so far has revealed that tens of thousands of acres of recent thinning, fuel breaks, and other forest management—similar to what has been proposed on Pine Mountain and Mt. Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest—fail to stop or slow the fire’s rapid spread.

Read moreOregon’s Bootleg Fire Grew Rapidly in Areas Subject to Logging and Other Management Activities

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2021

Job Opening: CNPS Executive Director 

CNPS Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) serves as the lead executive of the organization, responsible for the implementation of the strategic goals in alignment with the mission, vision, and values of CNPS. In collaboration with staff, more specific areas of responsibility include fundraising; budgeting; Board and Chapter Council support and relations; organizational operations; partner cultivation and stewardship; and staff leadership, support, and management. Learn more.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2021

August CNPS Talks

August 4, 7:30 pm Container Gardening with Native Plants, a talk by Pete Veilleux – SCV Chapter
August 5, 5:30 pm
Native Gardening: Plant Selection 101
August 12, 7:30 pm
Climate Change Impacts on California Biodiversity – Yerba Buena Chapter
August 14, 9 am California Native Garden Design – Waterwise Community Center
Aug. 18 Paintbrushes in Peril: Rare Castilleja Species of North America, Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Aug. 19 Gardening in Fire Landscapes, CSU Chico Herbar

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2021

Closures in Los Padres National Forest

from Los Padres ForestWatch

The Forest Service has closed Sunset Valley Road, Davy Brown, and Nira Campgrounds to all traffic including pedestrians through March 30, 2022. The closures relate to repairs and bridge construction that are part of a project aimed at improving fish passage in local streams. All trails in the Figueroa Mt. Recreation Area except the Catway OHV Trail are to remain open and accessible through alternate points.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2021

Bishop Creek Road Photos 7/8/21

Photos taken along Bishop Creek Road (Highway 168) on July 8, 2021.

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021 https://www.flickr.com/photos/sandysteinman/collections/72157719602142613/

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2021

Secrets of ‘1,000-year-old trees’ unlocked

The BBC reports

Scientists have discovered the secret of how the ginkgo tree can live for more than 1,000 years.

A study found the tree makes protective chemicals that fend off diseases and drought.

Read more Secrets of ‘1,000-year-old trees’ unlocked – BBC News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2021

Job Openings: Wild Birds Unlimited 

Wild Birds Unlimited of Novato is now hiring for the position of part- and full-time Sales Associate.

Applications can be obtained at the store or downloaded here. Applications and/or resumes may be submitted to wbumarin@gmail.com or in-person at our Novato location. For more information, contact Mike or Jack Gedney by phone at (415) 893-0500 or at wbumarin@gmail.com.

Read more at  Wild Birds Unlimited – Nature Shop

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2021

Bristlecone Pine Photos 7/7/21

Photographed in the Patriarch Grove on White Mountain July 7, 2021.

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from Wikipedia

Pinus longaeva (commonly referred to as the Great Basin bristlecone pine, intermountain bristlecone pine, or western bristlecone pine) is a long-living species of bristlecone pine tree found in the higher mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah. Methuselah is a bristlecone pine that is 4,852 years old and has been credited as the oldest known living non-clonal organism on Earth. To protect it, the exact location of this tree is kept secret. In 1987, the bristlecone pine was designated one of Nevada’s state trees. The tree  named “The Partriarch” in 1951 it was added to the American Forestry Association’s list of big trees as the largest Bristlecone PIne.(included in photo slideshow below)

These ancient trees have a gnarled and stunted appearance, especially those found at high altitudes, and have reddish-brown bark with deep fissures. As the tree ages, much of its vascular cambium layer may die. In very old specimens, often only a narrow strip of living tissue connects the roots to a handful of live branches.

You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2021

Two Fee Free National Park Days August 4 and August 25

Enjoy your “free” time in the national parks. 120 national parks and monuments that normally charge an entrance fee will be free on several days during the year. The other parks are free all of the time.

August 4, 2021: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

August 25, 2021: National Park Service Birthday

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2021

This Insect Drinks Your Milkshake

The New York Times reports

The froghopper has amazing powers of suction, scientists found. It also produces astonishing amounts of urine.

A meadow froghopper urinates so much that it could drown itself. Luckily, the insect Philaenus spumarius, which is approximately the size of a Tic Tac, has a butt catapult that regularly flicks its globules of liquid waste into the air and safely away from its body.

mong entomologists, the froghoppers’ urinary powers are well understood. But the insects’ suction abilities, which long confounded scientists, have turned out to be much more impressive, according to a paper on the meadow froghoppers’ feeding mechanisms published on Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Read more This Insect Drinks Your Milkshake – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2021

Eastern Sierra Rock Creek Photos 7/6/21

Photos taken along Rock Creek Road in the Eastern Sierra Nevada on July 6, 2021.

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021 https://www.flickr.com/photos/sandysteinman/collections/72157719602142613/

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2021

How preserved eggs could provide insights into avian ecology

Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology Conservation Seminar Series

Preserved but not forgotten: how preserved eggs continue to provide insights into avian ecology.
Seminar May 28th, 2021 @ 6:00pm PDT

The WFVZ is hosting Dr. Daniel Hanley, a researcher and Assistant Professor of Biology at George Mason University, who is interested in understanding the diversity of life.  He will speak about the function and evolution of natural coloration of birds’ eggs.  Get your tickets here!!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2021

Mono Basin Photos 7/5/21

Photos from the Mono Basin taken on July 5, 2021.

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2021

Sunday will be the best view of Saturn this Year

NPR reports

Star gazers, are you ready to witness the best show from Saturn of the year? On Sunday, about an hour after sunset, look to the horizon for the bright “star” of Jupiter and then locate nearby Saturn. Here’s what to look for.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2021

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 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2021

Urge Congress to Support the Migratory Bird Protection Act

From National Audubon

Earlier this year, a federal rule dramatically weakened the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), our nation’s most important bird protection law. Under the weakened law, companies are no longer liable for preventable bird deaths from industrial hazards. For example, if this policy had been in place in 2010, BP would have faced no consequences under the MBTA for the one million birds killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But there is hope.
Legislation has just been reintroduced in Congress to restore and strengthen the MBTA.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2021

Mono Lake Photos 7/5/21

Photos from Mono Lake taken on July 5, 2021.

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2021

On the Verge of Extinction, These Whales Are Also Shrinking

The New York Times reports

North Atlantic right whales are struggling to survive, and it shows.Most of the 360 or so North Atlantic right whales alive today bear scars from entanglements in fishing gear and collisions with speeding ships and, according to a new study, they are much smaller than they should be.

Read more at On the Verge of Extinction, These Whales Are Also Shrinking – The New York Times

ScienceDaily  reports

Poor air quality caused by food production in the U.S. is estimated to result in 16,000 deaths annually, 80% of which are related to animal production, according to a new study. The study also shows how improving animal and crop management practices, as well as how eating more plant-rich diets, can substantially reduce mortality from food-related air pollution.

Read article at  Animal production responsible for vast majority of air quality-related health impacts from U.S. food — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2021

Today is Buffalo Soldiers Day

from Yosemite National Park
Today is Buffalo Soldiers Day, a day where we remember and celebrate the six African-American army regiments that initially served on the Western frontier beginning in 1866. Buffalo Soldiers were among the first park rangers in the world, patrolling and serving parts of the American West.
Here in Yosemite, we have been asked over the years “so why honor the African American soldiers who served in Yosemite and Sequoia?”
Because these U.S. Cavalry and Infantry troops served as rangers before there were National Park Rangers. They built the first usable wagon road into Sequoia’s Giant Forest, and the first trail to the top of Mt. Whitney in 1903. They constructed the first National Park museum, a nature trail with plants identified in English and Latin, in Yosemite in 1904.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2021

Bodie Hills Photographs July 4, 2021

Photographs from the Bodie Hills on July 4, 2021.

The Bodie Hills are a transition zone between the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin and thus harbor a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. including pika, lodgepole pine, Sierra juniper and Utah juniper. The Nature Conservancy has noted that the Bodie Hills “are among the most biodiverse in the Great Basin ecoregion” (from the Bodies Hills Conservation Partnership)

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2021

Monitor Pass Has Reopened

Caltrans has opened State Route 89/Monitor Pass from its fire closure. ⚠️
PLEASE NOTE: It is open to through-traffic only and there is no camping in the area. There will be no access to U.S. Forest Service lands. Please be aware of firefighters still working in the area. Expect delays this weekend for utility repairs.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 28, 2021

Female elephant seals hunt nonstop, sleeping just 1 hour a night

reposted from Channel Islands National Park

Female elephant seals hunt nonstop, sleeping just 1 hour a night
By Sofia Moutinho

There’s no 9-to-5 for female northern elephant seals. After the winter breeding season, the animals spend more than 19 hours—and up to 24 hours—per day hunting in the northern Pacific Ocean, killing up to 2000 small fish daily to survive, according to a new study of these elusive animals. The work, made possible by cameras and devices attached to the seals’ heads, could also help scientists monitor other deep-ocean life.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 27, 2021

Flash Floods in Death Valley

Death Valley is currently undergoing flash flooding in multiple areas.
-Beatty Cutoff Rd, Titus Canyon, and 20 Mule Team Rd are closed.
-Hwy 190, Mud Canyon/Daylight Pass, North Highway, and Badwater Road are open, but with debris on the road.
– Most backcountry roads have not been assessed.
Those driving in the park should use extreme caution. Do not try to drive through flowing water, wait for the water to recede and, in some cases, authorities to clear the road.

The Revelator reports on how European “explorers” left their mark not only on the environment, but also in knowledge systems.

Ecology has developed through a western knowledge production process that has gone hand in hand with extraction, violence and imperialism. Early European explorers and collectors were integral to the systems of colonial land management, and insights from what would become ecology have been used to justify social and environmental control.

Recognizing that science is not free of power and violence is a step towards improving knowledge systems and making them fit for purpose for an inclusive world.

In a recent paper we explore what is needed to change knowledge production in ecology, but our arguments also have further reach. We reflected on ecology as a subject of scientific inquiry and on the research process, and argue that it needs to change.

Read more Five Shifts to Decolonize Ecological Science — Or Any Field of Knowledge • The Revelator

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2021

High Sierra Photos 7/3/21

Photos taken in the Sierra Nevada along highway 120 between highway 395 and the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite on July 3, 2021. Includes the Nunatak Nature Trail.

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You can see large high quality version of these photo and other photos from the Eastern Sierra/White Mt. trip in a Flickr collections at Sierra Nevada and White Mt. Trip July 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2021

Eastern Sierra Road Updates 7/26/21

US 395 is back open from its closure due to the Tamarack Fire. Hwy 89 (Monitor Pass) remains closed but Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) is open.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 26, 2021

Wildlife Restoration in the Presidio 7/30/21 at 11 am

from the San Francisco Public Library

Nature Boost: Wildlife Restoration in the Presidio Join Presidio Trust’s Wildlife Ecologist Jonathan Young to learn about the past, present and future of Presidio wildlife.July 30, 11 a.m. To watch click on Watch the Nature Boost on YouTube 

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