Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 14, 2022

Red Fire burns in Yosemite backcountry

SF Gate reports

A California fire burning about 8 miles south-east of Yosemite Village was mapped at 167 acres as of Friday evening, officials said.

Read more at Red Fire burns in Yosemite backcountry as heat wave hits Calif.

The fire is being monitored and updates can be found on their Yosemite Fire Information and Updates webpage.

NPR reports

Voluntary conservation is embraced by some farmers who get payments. But some governors are comparing Biden’s new plan to up conservation goals to a government takeover.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $20 billion to boost voluntary land conservation in farm country. And it is coming at a time when some Republican politicians are attacking the Biden administration after it announced a goal to conserve 30% of the country’s land and water by the year 2030.

Read more Some governors are turning voluntary land conservation into a culture war item : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2022

Judge Reinstates Obama-Era Coal Leasing Moratorium on Federal Lands

EarthJustice News Release

A federal judge in Montana District Court ruled today to reinstate a moratorium on new coal leasing on public lands, halting all coal leasing on federal lands until the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completes a more sufficient environmental analysis.

Read More…

EarthJustice News Release

Conservationists today hailed a new scientific study that identifies an ambitious network of protected areas, with wolf and beaver restoration as a centerpiece, as a sound strategy for restoring native ecosystems and wildlife diversity on western public lands. The benefits of this proposal would contribute significantly to stream restoration and help mitigate drought, wildfires, and climate change. The study uses scientific modeling to identify 11 large-scale reserves, then identified connectivity habitats to allow the dispersal of native species among the Western Rewilding Network.

“This scientific blueprint for large landscape conservation, and its focus on retiring public land livestock operations and restoring wolves and beavers is a major call to action for policymakers in Congress and the administration,” said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “The ecological success of Yellowstone National Park shows that this combination restores biodiversity, and replicating this success across the West is an enterprise well worth our collective efforts.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2022

Job Opening: USGS Biological Science Tech, Plants

USGS Biological Science Tech, Plants

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.


Read More…

From the National Parks

The National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights (AACR) Grant Program is now accepting applications. The goal of the AACR Program is to preserve and protect sites associated with the long struggle for equality from the transatlantic slave trade forward.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2022

Climate change is causing rapid Arctic warming

NPR reports

The Arctic is heating up nearly four times faster than the Earth as a whole, according to new research. The findings are a reminder that the people, plants and animals in polar regions are experiencing rapid, and disastrous, climate change.

Read more at : Climate change is causing rapid Arctic warming : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2022

Blake Garden Photos 8/9/22

Photos from Blake Garden.

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Blake Garden is in Kensington and is relatively unknown as it is only open to the public on weekdays. To learn more about Blake Garden read my posting A Secret Garden – Blake


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2022

Supermoon Tonight 

NPR reports

The last time in the year to catch a supermoon, the biggest and brightest full moons, begins soon.

The astronomical event started Wednesday, but isn’t expected to be visible to the naked eye until 9:36 p.m. EDT Thursday and will stay in that phase until Saturday morning, according to NASA.

It is the fourth and final supermoon of the year.

Read more The last time to catch a supermoon in 2022 is nearing : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2022

Catalina Conservancy: 50 Years of Island Stewardship

from the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Catalina Conservancy: 50 Years of Island Stewardship

Thursday, August 18 @ 7 pm in person

Celebrating our very own island paradise and its protected wildlands, we’re thrilled to host a live talk and visual presentation at the museum by Catalina Island Conservancy president and CEO Tony Budrovich. We invite you to delve into Catalina Island’s history and its renowned beauty, as well as the role of the conservancy—marking 50 years of stewardship!—in keeping this natural treasure pristine and accessible to all.

Learn More & Register
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2022

Arctic Drilling Threat

from Defenders of Wildlife

The Arctic is in grave danger: A proposed oil drilling project threatens to destroy habitat for polar bears & add over 250 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The Biden administration now faces its biggest climate test: the BLM must decide whether it will allow the Willow project to industrialize a massive swath of Arctic habitat, or whether it will stand up to protect wildlife & our nation’s future from the deadly threat of climate change.
Join us & urge BLM to shut down this massive oil drilling plan that imperils the future: #ProtectTheArctic
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2022

Death Valley Closure and Roads Update 8/10/22

from Death Valley National Park

Roads update 8/10/2022 ⚠️
State Route 190 is open to the western portion of Death Valley National Park. The road remains closed from the Trona/Wildrose Junction in Panamint Valley through Death Valley Junction. Additional areas are expected to open no earlier than August 19 as work to clear debris and repair roads continues.
This partial opening allows for access to limited areas, including, Panamint Springs Resort (a private inholding), Father Crowley Overlook & Lee Flat
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2022

Rare hummingbird last seen in 2010 rediscovered in Colombia

The Guardian reports

A rare hummingbird has been rediscovered by a birdwatcher in Colombia after going missing for more than a decade.

The Santa Marta sabrewing, a large hummingbird only found in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, was last seen in 2010 and scientists feared the species might be extinct as the tropical forests it inhabited have largely been cleared for agriculture.

But ornithologists are celebrating the rediscovery of Campylopterus phainopeplus after an experienced local birdwatcher captured one on camera.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2022

Death Valley Closure and Roads Update 8/8/22

from Death Valley National Park

Roads update 8/8/2022 ⚠️
⛔️ State Route 190 will remain closed through at least August 17 as Caltrans maintenance crews continue to clean up after last week’s flash floods. Drivers are urged to stay clear of the highway and respect closure points that allow crews to safely work within the incident area.
🚧 There are no current open entrances to the park, regardless of what some navigation systems may say. Check our webpage ( for most current conditions.
⛔️ All park roads remain closed as damage assessments, crucial repairs, and flood recovery work are underway.
⚠️ Conditions are subject to change as the Death Valley area is expecting a chance of additional thunderstorms this week. Always check weather and conditions prior to leaving:
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2022

Upcoming Theodore Payne Foundation Events 

See the upcoming classes and event from Theodore Payne Fondation at  Theodore Payne Foundation Events | Eventbrite Programs are both virtual and in-person.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2022

Good News! Drilling, Fracking Blocked on 1M Acres of Public Lands

from Los Padres ForesWatch

We’ve secured a legal agreement that protects more than one million acres of public lands in central California from oil drilling and fracking.
The agreement—signed by ForestWatch and several partners, the State of California, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management—suspends all new federal oil and gas leasing in Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Kern counties and beyond, safeguarding some of our region’s most cherished open spaces and our communities.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2022

California Native Plant Society Conference

CNPS holds California’s largest native plant-focused conference. Our aim is to bring together the native plant community and the diverse disciplines and voices that definite it. The theme for 2022 is Rooting Together: Restoring Connections to Plants, Place, & People.

We’re excited to share that registration is now open for two action-packed days in San Jose, from October 20-22. If you register now, you’ll get early bird pricing and your pick of workshops and field trips. Financial supportopportunities are available. The days will be filled with sessions and talks in Conservation, Plant Science, Horticulture, and Education, not to mention good times like the native plant tattoo contest, music jam, and more. Ain’t no party like a native plant party!

Conference Highlights Include:

  • Over 800 attendees
  • Inspiring keynote speakers
  • Two days of workshops and field trips
  • Over 300 presenters across four tracks: Conservation, Plant science, Horticulture, and Education
  • Associated meeting opportunities
  • Special student session
  • Art, poetry, music, and photography
  • Networking events
Register Today

Visit to find out more. 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2022

Garden Flower Photos 8/7/22

Flowers blooming in my garden right now.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2022

More Money for National Parks

from The National Parks Conservation Association

Yesterday the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which would invest $500M in hiring National Park Service staff and $500M in restoring and protecting our parks from the impacts of the climate crisis. This future of our parks and gateway communities depends on Congress acting now.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2022

Restoration Outcomes on California Coastal Grassland 8/11/22

from Marin CNPS

Restoration Outcomes on California Coastal Grassland

August 11th, THURSDAY, 7:30pm   Speaker: Dr. Justin Luong

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2022

People don’t know what climate experts are talking about

Anthropocene  reports

Members of the public have trouble understanding words and phrases that climate scientists often use, according to a new study. The confusion affects both people who accept the reality of climate change and climate change doubters.

If climate change is to be stopped, scientists can’t just communicate amongst themselves. They also need to make their findings understood by policymakers and the general public so that we can collectively take action. This need has led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate-science organizations to step up their efforts at science communication.

Read more at People don’t know what climate experts are talking about

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2022

Yosemite Fire & Air Quality Update

Yosemite National Park reports
The air quality has greatly improved with the Washburn Fire at 100% containment and the Oak Fire, outside of the park, at 90% containment. How exactly do we measure air quality?
Absorbent filter tape is used for Beta Attenuation Monitors or BAM for short; BAM is how we measure PM.25 content in the air. PM 2.5 is a category of organic compounds small enough to enter the lungs and cause both short-term and long-term harmful effects. Filter tape traps particles over a set time for the monitors to measure air quality. Those values are used to calculate the Air Quality Index which is a system used to report how clean or polluted the air is, and what health effects might be of concern.
Wind carries particulates far and wide. When people enter Yosemite, they breathe the air that is shared across mountains, cities, and nearby communities. There are no boundaries for the breeze; thus, consider the wind for there is no distance between the lungs and the sky above.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2022

Sonora Pass Photos 7/11/22

Photos take along Highway 108 driving through Sonora Pass.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2022

Death Valley Road Closure Updates

from Death Valley National Park
Maintenance crews are continuing their work on State Route 190. The highway will stay closed through the weekend into next week as there is still a lot of cleanup that needs to be done in Death Valley National Park. The closure of State Route 190 extends from the junction of State Route 136 to the junction of State Route 127.
Drivers should not attempt to get around any closure to access the park.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2022

Calflora Garden Plant Selection Tool

What Grows Here? generates a list of species that grow at the location you choose.

You decide which lifeform(s) should be included, whether non-native plants should be omitted, and how the results should be formatted.

You can:

  • opt to include or omit photos
  • print the page to carry in field
  • search by a location name
  • use layers (over the map), e.g., Protected Area, to home in on your location
  • draw a polygon around your area of interest; map area is the default area
  • customize in many other ways using the options in the Criteria section

Get started using What Grows Here? !

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2022

East Mono Basin Photos 7/10/22

Photographed in the East Mono Basin, primarily in the Adobe Valley on July 10, 2022.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2022

Debunking the myths that discourage public funding of clean energy

from Yale School of the Environment

To spur decarbonization, public investments must go beyond government support of research and development and expand into the manufacturing and deployment of new technology. To do this, governments must move beyond the myths surrounding public investment in clean energy that discourage use of public funds, a newly published Yale School of the Environment-led commentary in “Nature Energy” explains

.In 2021, worldwide investment in low-carbon energy transition was $755 billion, far below what is required, the authors note. Climate finance must grow by a factor of almost six by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, government support in helping to advance clean energy technology, the authors say, has been hampered by three key myths that permeate the discussion: government should not pick “winners” by throwing funding behind key innovators; public financing of a specific technology company could lead to excessive government support known as “rent-seeking”; and publicly funded clean energy technology that fails is tantamount to policy failures.

Read more at Debunking the myths that discourage public funding of clean energy | UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2022

Flash floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park 

AP reports

Flash flooding at Death Valley National Park triggered by heavy rainfall on Friday buried cars, forced officials to close all roads in and out the park and stranded about 1,000 people, officials said

Read more at  Flash floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park | AP News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2022

Death Valley Road Closures 8/5/22

UPDATE 8/5 ⚠️ HWY190 is closed and additional roads in the park may be impacted or impassible due to flash floods. Use extreme caution.
If you see flowing water or debris, remember: turn around, don’t drown!
Road conditions and closures change rapidly. Please visit prior to travel.

from Los Padres ForestWatch

I’m writing to you today with utmost urgency. The fate of the Los Padres National Forest hangs in the balance, and what actions we take in the next three weeks will determine the ecological health of these lands and wildlife—and our communities—for generations to come.
Days ago, the Forest Service announced its latest logging and vegetation removal scheme, and it is simply mind-boggling: 235,495 acres of native chaparral, forest, riparian habitat, and other ecosystems across Los Padres National Forest will be ground up, chopped down, logged, grazed, and burned. That’s 368 square miles.
Dubbed the “Ecological Restoration Project,” this misnamed proposal will destroy wildlife habitat, fragment open spaces, promote the spread of invasive weeds, pollute streams with sediment, and permanently scar the landscape in ways that are truly staggering.
The one (and possibly only) public comment period closes on August 28. Click here to make your voice heard and read below for more information and ways to get involved.

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