Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 15, 2018

Proposed Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity, Conservation

ScienceDaily reports

Scientists highlight ecological harm that could result from the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Read article at Scientists warn that proposed US-Mexico border wall threatens biodiversity, conservation — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 14, 2018

Organ Pipe National Monument Wildflowers 8/12/18

Organ Pipe National Monument  reports

No wonder the Sonoran Desert is known as the “green desert.” Thanks to the monsoon rains the desert is greening up and flowers are present. Not only are the cacti in bloom, such as the red flowers on this barrel cactus, our summer poppies are also visible. The orange poppy flowers are from the Arizona poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora), which is a summer annual, and is in the same family as the creosote bush.

See photos at Organ Pipe National Monument

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 14, 2018

Trump’s Wildlife Protection Council Of Trophy Hunters

The Washington Post reported about a lawsuit challenging the composition of President Trump’s Wildlife Council

The lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in New York alleges that the International Wildlife Conservation Council is made up of “hunting enthusiasts” and “politically-connected donors” who are likely to craft favorable policy for groups that profit from hunting “imperiled animals,” the complaint said.

Read article at  Trump’s wildlife protection council is made up of trophy hunters, NRDC suit alleges – The Washington Post

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2018

Why the Arctic Needs Mosquitoes

The NY Times Climate Fwd: newsletter writes about one the ecological niches in which mosquitoes are and important and necessary part of the system

One of those niches is the Arctic, where mosquitoes play a bigger role in sustaining the ecosystem but may be threatened by the changing climate,

Read story at Why the Arctic Needs Mosquitoes – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2018

Mount Rainier: Snow Lake Wildflower Hike

Charlie Russell’s Wildflower Hikes has posted a hike for Snow Lake at Mt. Rainier. It includes directions, trail description, photos and a detailed plant list at Mount Rainier Snow Lake Wildflowers

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2018

Wildflower Updates 8/11/18

Botanical Wanderings – California Public Group | Facebook

has new posts with photos for the John Muir Wilderness and the  Modini Mayacamas in SonomaCounty.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2018

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 8/11/18

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for August 11, 2018 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2018

Pruitt Had No Climate Data, EPA Admits

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release

When making public statements about climate change, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt admitted he had no supporting data, according to EPA correspondence released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The agency is now asking its own expert scientists if they know of any basis for Pruitt’s claims that human activity is not the principal driver of climate change.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2018

Yosemite Valley Reopens 8/14; Mariposa Grove Opens 8/13

Yosemite National Park News Release

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to reopen on Monday, August 13th

Yosemite National Park is pleased to announce that Yosemite Valley will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, August 14th, at 9:00 a.m. Yosemite Valley has been closed to visitors since Wednesday, July 25th, due to impacts from the Ferguson Fire. Visitors can access Yosemite Valley from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).

The Wawona Road (Highway 41) will remain closed from Wawona to Yosemite Valley for at least another week due to ongoing fire activity and firefighter operations. Park visitors should be aware that there is still active fire and smoke on the roads and people should drive with extreme caution. Delays on the roads are possible due to fire activity and ongoing firefighter operations. There will be limited hours and limited visitor services at park facilities as the park returns to normal operations.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday, August 13th, at 9:00 a.m. Visitors can access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area. The free shuttle buses to the Mariposa Grove will begin at 9:00 am. and take visitors to the newly restored Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Mariposa Grove reopened to visitors on June 14th, after a 3 year restoration project conducted in partnership with Yosemite Conservancy. Visitors will be able to travel to the Wawona area via the South Entrance (Highway 41). However, there is no access to Yosemite Valley via HIghway 41.

The Glacier Point Road remains closed and is expected to open when the Wawona Road (Highway 41) reopens. The Hetch Hetchy Area remains closed due to smoke impacts but is expected to reopen soon.


“We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and , Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire. We’d also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our gateway communites who tirelessly helped visitors to the area while they were being impacted by the fire”, stated Michael Reynolds, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “This is truly a historic and unprecedented event in park history, and we are thrilled to welcome back visitors to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove.”

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page.

For the latest information on the Ferguson Fire, visit

For updated maps of the Ferguson Fire, visit

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Trump Administration Moves to Reopen California Public Lands to Oil Leasing

Process Could End 5-year Moratorium on Leasing Federal Land to Oil Companies

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— The Trump administration today took the first step in a process that could open more than a million acres of public land and mineral estate in central California to oil drilling and fracking. The move could end a five-year-old moratorium on leasing federal public land in the state to oil companies.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2018

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 8/10/2018

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

There are plenty of wildflowers to see throughout the park. Paradise meadows are hitting their stride, with Cascade asters, lupine, magenta paintbrush, pearly everlasting, false hellebore, and more. The bees certainly look happy!

See new reports for Trail of Paradise Area,  and Stevens Canyon Road as well as photos at 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2018

2018 Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11 to 13

EarthSky reports

No matter where you live worldwide, the 2018 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. In a dark, moonless sky, this annual shower often produces some 50 meteors per hour … often many more. And this year, in 2018, there’ll be no moonlight to ruin the show.

Read full article Start watching for Perseids now | Astronomy Essentials | EarthSky

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2018

Beach Volleyball Players Accidentally Kill Hundreds Of Birds

The Washington Post reported on a story where Alabama beach volleyball players accidentally kill hundreds of birds by removing eggs from nests. Read story at  Alabama beach volleyball players accidentally kill hundreds of birds – The Washington Post

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2018

June Lake Loop Reopened

Mono County Tourism reports

The June Lake Loop has REOPENED! After a small section closed between Grant and Silver Lakes, you can once again drive the entire scenic loop!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2018

4th Annual Calflora Photo Contest Winners

Calflora | 1700 Shattuck Ave., #198, Berkeley, CA 94709
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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2018

California Fire Restrictions

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2018

Highway 120 through Yosemite Re-opened

Yosemite National Park reported yesterday

We’re excited to announce that Tioga Road, as well as Big Oak Flat Road west of Crane Flat (continuation of Highway 120 through the park) will open today at 1 pm. Use caution driving on these roads; firefighters are still at work.

Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, and Tamarack Flat Campgrounds remain closed. Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Merced Grove remain closed. You may encounter smoky conditions.

The Sierra Club reports

Air Quality in Our National Parks Is the Same as in Big Cities
A new study shows pollution regulations are helping to clear the air

Read article about National Park Air Quality, the Regional Haze Rule, recent study and threats by the Trump Administration to National Park air quality at Air Quality in Our National Parks Is the Same as in Big Cities | Sierra Club

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2018

Trump Administration Reverses Ban Of Neonicotinoid Pesticide

Alt National Park Service reports

The Trump administration reverses a rule that banned pesticide use in wildlife refuges. The Interior Department announced plans to reverse a rule that banned the use of pesticides in national wildlife refuges. The decision, announced in an internal memo, reverses the use of neonicotinoid pesticides as well as genetically engineered crops within refuges where there is farming. The argument is that the pesticides threatened bees and butterflies, as well as other pollinators, and wildlife such as birds.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Mendocino Wildfire Largest In California History

Reuters reported

The Mendocino Complex became the largest wildfire in Californian history on Monday as it raged at the southern tip of the Mendocino National Forest where crews battled to keep flames from descending into foothill communities.

Read full story at Massive wildfire becomes largest in California history | Reuters

Not at all helpful was Trump’s in accurate statement about California wasting water. You can read about this in the NY Times Trump Inaccurately Claims California Is Wasting Water as Fires Burn where

President Trump blamed the blazes on the state’s environmental policies and inaccurately claimed that water that could be used to fight the fires was “foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 8/6/18

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for August 6, 2018 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Tahoe Region: Barker Pass Wildflowers

Charlie Russell’s Wildflower Hikes has a new post for Barker Pass in the Lake Tahoe Region. He has directions, plant lists, trail descriptions and photos at Barker Pass Wildflowers. He reports that this trail is a less crowded than some of the more popular Tahoe trails and includes exposed volcanic bluffs, shaded forest, and several wonderful mountain seeps/meadows.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Yosemite News Release On Fire 8/5/18

Yosemite National Park News Release 8/5/18

Yosemite Valley and other Sections of the Park Remain Closed Indefinitely Due to Impacts from the Ferguson Fire

Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Road Remain Open from U.S. 395

Due to increased fire activity in the areas adjacent to and on Yosemite National Park, park administrators and fire managers have made the decision to extend the current park closures indefinitely. Fire managers are continuously assessing conditions in the area and will work directly with and will immediately advise park managers as conditions change and it becomes safe to reopen.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Highway 108/ Sonora Pass Road Closure

Caltrans reports


Read about the Donnell Fire, evacuations and road closures at KCRA Tuolumne Co. wildfire swells as evacuation orders expand

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 6, 2018

Anza- Borrego Desert Photo Contest

The Anza-Borrego Foundation announces

The 2019 Anza-Borrego Desert Photo Contest is now live and ready to accept your entries!

The contest is meant to encourage desert lovers and photography enthusiasts to capture their favorite views, moments and adventures in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Since the theme of the contest is the unique and natural beauty of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, all photographs must be taken within the Park boundaries.

See details,entry information and last year’s winners at 2019 Anza-Borrego Desert Photo Contest

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2018

Ferguson Fire Update – Yosemite Closure Continue

Sierra News Online reported  at 7:12pm tonight (8/5/18)

Containment has begun to inch back up on the Ferguson Fire as it remained at 89,633 acres today, and is now estimated at 38 percent containment.

The fire continues to keep visitors out of Yosemite National Park in the height of the summer season. Park officials announced today that the current closures will remain in effect indefinitely. Highway 120 East over Tioga Pass from Lee Vining remains the only entrance to Yosemite

Read full story including evacuation information and fire maps at No Increase In Acreage Reported On The Ferguson Fire Today | Sierra News Online

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2018

Ferguson (Yosemite Area) Fire Update 8/5/18

Sierra News Online reported at 7:23 am Sunday Aug. 5

The Ferguson Fire grew by nearly 8,000 acres overnight and is now estimated at 89,633 acres with containment remaining at 35 percent.

There has been no update from park officials on the reopening of Yosemite previously scheduled for today at 4 p.m. We expect to hear from them soon that portions of the park currently closed will remain so, and will update when that happens.

Low humidity recovery kept fire behavior fairly active throughout the night.

Read full update at  Ferguson Fire Now Estimated At Nearly 90,000 Acres | Sierra News Online

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2018

Urge LA Water District TO Keep Mono County Green

The City of Los Angeles (City), through its Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has proposed to dry up approximately 6,400 acres of agricultural lands in Mono County – thereby increasing the risk of wildfire, destroying wetlands and riparian areas, devastating important habitat for sensitive species such as the Bi-State Sage Grouse, reversing more than 70 years of LADWP water management policy and, and undermining the agricultural economy, heritage, and tradition of both Mono and Inyo Counties.


This summer, and over the long-term if LADWP’s proposal is not modified, Mono County residents and visitors will see browning pastures – instead of green meadows – along Highway 395 between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. Wetlands and riparian habitat created by historic irrigation will be eliminated. Wildlife that depends on that environment, including Bi-State Sage Grouse chicks that forage in the meadows of both valleys, may be lost. In fact, the dewatering could ultimately lead to the listing of the Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act which would impose additional requirements on ranching activities and (ironically) on LADWP’s water exports. The lack of water will also increase the risk of wildfire, threatening adjacent properties and communities.

Read more and sign on-line petition before the August 7 the Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting where they will discuss the Long Valley de-watering Issue on August 7th @ 10am. at  Urge LADWP to Keep Long Valley Green! | Mono County California

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2018

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest At Risk

An opinion piece disscusses

The Tongass national forest is America’s premier temperate rainforest, but Sonny Perdue wants it open for business

Read article at A piece of Alaskan paradise is at risk. Here’s why we must save it | Kim Heacox | Opinion | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2018

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 8/3/18

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for August 3, 2018 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

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