Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 24, 2019

This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope. 

Read about the carnivorous plant, Water Wheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) that has started growing in New York which may what prevents it from extinction at This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope. – The New York Times

SF Zoo conservation team releases over 1,000 nearly extinct frogs into natural Yosemite habitat – SFGate
— Read on

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers 8/21/19

Cason Pass Information Center reports

The trail to Winnemucca Lake on August 21. While the peak bloom may be over, there still is an abundance of wonderful wildflowers, particularly in the “garden” area closer to the lake. Quite a variety, I stopped counting at 50 different species in bloom. Some of them you have to get down on your knees to see – it can be a treasure hunt sometimes!”

See photos at  (1) Carson Pass Information Station – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 8/23/19

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently Blooming

Gray’s lovage (Ligusticum grayi) can be overlooked when it is just one of many wildflowers in a subalpine meadow. However, this late-season wildflower can have big clusters of white flowers on branched stems up to 36 in (91 cm) high. This patch was found thriving on the shores of Mowich Lake, but Gray’s lovage can be found throughout the park in wetter mid-to-subalpine elevations.

Please Note: As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Arctic Refuge Drilling May Be Stopped

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility New Release

Haste to Roll Out Leasing Approvals Proves to be Their Undoing 

The Trump administration’s high-profile effort to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development appears to have run aground, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  With prospects of a one-term presidency looming, the effort to secure oil leases before January 2021 has induced undue haste by top officials within the Department of Interior, causing them to cut corners and assume additional risks.

The Trump initiative is suffering from several, simultaneous breakdowns, including –

  • Mounting internal reports of scientific suppression that make any leasing package vulnerable to legal challenge. Revelations that top political officials are directing suppression of objections raised by agency scientific and resource professionals is providing potent fodder for future lawsuits challenging the validity of required environmental reviews;
  • The abrupt resignation of Joe Balash, Interior’s assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management and the highest-ranking Alaskan serving in DC. By his own telling, Balash was the administration’s point person for delivering Arctic Refuge petroleum leases. Balash also orchestrated censorship of critical findings by Interior’s own specialists; and
  • Abandonment of seismic surveys on the refuge’s Coastal Plain, where leasing would occur. This means lease bidders will lack reliable information on available oil reserves.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019

 New England Fall Color 8/22/19

Live Fall Foliage Map – New England Today shows fall color starting in Central New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts as some spots in Northern Main

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers 8/22/19

California Wildflower Report has new photos from a recent hike from Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019


The Xerces society has an article on the impact of  Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

They cover the subtle but significant effects fo fungicides, how bees are exposed and solutions.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 21, 2019

Montana Hailstorm Kills or Injures More Than 11,000 Birds 

The Weather Channel reports

A Montana hailstorm with winds up to 70 mph killed or injured more than 11,000 ducks, pelicans, cormorants and other waterfowl at Big Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Read full story at  Montana Hailstorm Kills or Injures More Than 11,000 Birds | The Weather Channel

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 21, 2019

Florida’s Panthers Hit With Mysterious Crippling Disorder 

The New York Times reports

Some Florida panthers and bobcats appear to have a nerve disorder that inhibits coordination of their hind legs.

State wildlife officials are sharing video of disabled animals in an effort to identify the ailment and save the beloved, endangered cats.

Read full story and see video at Florida’s Panthers Hit With Mysterious Crippling Disorder

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 20, 2019

Where Fall Foliage Colors Are Predicted to Peak Late This Year

SmarterTravel report

AccuWeather says warm late-summer temperatures seem likely to delay foliage displays in the Northeast, one of the most popular destinations for leaf-peepers. Noting that “warm weather is predicted to stick around across much of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic this September,” AccuWeather foresees a “delayed foliage season in the Northeast–though, generally, a vibrant display is predicted, thanks in part to dryness anticipated before the turn of the leaves.”

Read full story at  Where Fall Foliage Colors Are Predicted to Peak Late This Year | SmarterTravel

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 20, 2019

Marin Wildflowers 8/18/19

Marin CNPS has photos from a hike this past Sunday on the Miwok and Bobcat Trails at (4) Marin Native Plants

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 20, 2019

Bristlecone CNPS Plant Sale Aug. 24

August 24, 9-11am: the Bristlecone Chapter Annual Plant Sale at the White Mountain Research Center:

This is the largest native plant sale of the year, and yes, we can accept credit cards! Open to the public at 9am. Members can start at 8, and if even you become a member that morning, you can get in at 8am! A wonderful array of native plants is offered every year.  A variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees adapted to our area will be for sale. Here is a list of plants currently growing for the 2019 plant sale (updated in June 2019).

Prices: Plant prices are $5.00 for small tree pots, $8.00 for gallon pots, and $10 for large tree pots. If you have any of the black plastic pots from last year’s sale we would love to recycle them for you.

Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 19, 2019

Iceland Loses Its First Glacier Climate Change

CNN reports

Scientists say they are bidding farewell to Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change, in a funeral of sorts.

Researchers will gather Sunday in Borgarfjörður, Iceland, to memorialize Okjökull, known as Ok for short, after it lost its status as a glacier in 2014. The inscription, titled “A letter to the future,” on the monument paints a bleak picture.

“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and know what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it,” the plaque reads in English and Icelandic.

Read full article at  Iceland: Scientists bid farewell to glacier lost to climate change. If more melt, it can be disastrous – CNN

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 18, 2019

Wildflower Reports Around California 8/17/19

California Wildflower Report has photos from the South fork of Bishop Creek. Trail to Brown and Green Lakes at about the 10000 ft level and above

California Wildflower Tipline has new photos from Mormon Immigrant Trail, Woods Lake, and Blue Lakes.

Also check out Henry Coe State Park to see what is blooming there. It is not always clear when they update their site but it has been a while since I mentioned it so things have changed there quite a bit.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 18, 2019

Dahlia Show Photos

Photos from the 2019 Dahlia Society of California’s 2019 Show

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ScienceDaily  reports

Early snowmelt increases the risk of phenological mismatch, in which the flowering of periodic plants and pollinators fall out of sync, compromising seed production.

Read article at  Early arrival of spring disrupts the mutualism between plants and pollinators — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 17, 2019

Saguaro National Park Cactus Bloom 8/16/19

Saguaro National Park reports

many pincushion cactus blooming in the park lately

See photos at  Saguaro National Park – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 17, 2019

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 8/16/19

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently Blooming

The subalpine meadows are moving past peak bloom, but there are plenty of unique wildflowers worth a second look. One “locally common” wildflower – if your location is a drier, high elevation meadow – is Perry’s Catchfly (Silene parryi). They have a distinctive look, with a striped calyx protecting the petals. This flower also looks like it has numerous white petals, but it really only has five! Each petal divides into 4 rounded lobes with 2 smaller petal-like appendages at the center of each petal.

Please Note: As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 17, 2019

The Great Western Public Land Robbery

The New York Times an opinion piece on Trump’s appointment of William Perry Pendley to be in charge of U.S.public lands.

Trump’s pick to be the steward of America’s public lands doesn’t believe in public lands.

Read story at The Great Western Public Land Robbery

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 17, 2019

Update On The Trail Around the San Francisco Bay

Bay Nature reports on the current progress and history  of the San Francisco Bay

Thirty years after the project officially began, the idea for the San Francisco Bay Trail seems both delightfully obvious and considerably difficult. To link Bay Area communities across nine counties and 47 cities with one multiuse, 500-mile trail is an ambitious dream. And as with other major social initiatives, fully building out the Bay Trail is an ongoing endeavor, decades into its existence.

Read more at Explore | The Trail Around the San Francisco Bay – Bay Nature Magazine

Headline has been corrected. The Feds did not grant protection

The Desert Sun reports

The Joshua tree does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Servicesaid in a decision announced Wednesday.

Conservationists had petitioned the service in 2015, seeking to have the iconic desert plant and namesake of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California listed as a threatened species. On Tuesday, the petitioners, a group called Wild Earth Guardians, filed a lawsuit complaining that the service was long overdue to respond to their petition.

Read more at Federal officials reject petition to list Joshua tree as threatened under Endangered Species Act

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 16, 2019

Homestead Valley Land Trust Wildflowers 8/15/19

Homestead Valley has a new wildflower update. See photos Homestead Valley August 15

– Pennyroyal*, a mint, native to Europe, is blooming purple near the creek below Cowboy Rock.
– Pincushion flower*, native to Europe, is blooming in a variety of colors from lavender to burgundy in the meadow at Cowboy Rock.
– Spicebush, a shrub with frilly burgundy flowers is blooming below the upper bridge in Three Groves.

Read More…

Capitol Public radio

There Are Trillions Of Mysis Shrimp Living In The Depths Of Lake Tahoe. Here’s How They’re Impacting The Lake’s Clarity.Mysis shrimp, an invasive species introduced into Lake Tahoe in the early 1960s, have gobbled up the tiny creatures that help keep the lake clear. Can the shrimp population be controlled enough to fix the problem?

Read story at  TahoeLand: Trillions Of Tiny Invasive Shrimp Are Degrading Lake Tahoe’s Clarity. Now Researchers Are Trying To Stop Them.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 15, 2019

Wildflower Reports Around California 8/14/19

Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association has new photos for Carson Pass

Marin CNPS has new photos from Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Carson Pass Information Center has new photos for the Meiss Lake area

Botanical Wanderings – California has new photos for Clover Springs Preserve in Clover Springs in Sonoma county


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 15, 2019

Top Threats to Seabirds Identified 

BirdLife reports

Scientists reviewed more than 900 studies and found that seabirds face big threats both on land and at sea. This helps explain why they are one of the most threatened group of vertebrates.

Seabirds are in danger. Taken as a whole, they are one of the most threatened groups of vertebrates in the world. Steep declines in seabird populations have been noticed almost everywhere, from albatrosses in the southern ocean to puffins in the North Atlantic. Even once abundant species, including some penguins, are now facing extinction. What is causing these declines? A new study is providing some answers.

Read findings at Top threats to seabirds identified | BirdLife

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 14, 2019

How do monarch butterflies know when it’s time to migrate? 

EarthSky reports

Overwintering monarch butterflies rely on a temperature-sensitive internal timer to wake them up to make the trip back north, researchers report.

Each fall, millions of North American monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles and somehow manage to find the same overwintering sites in central Mexican forests and along the California coast.

Once they get there, monarchs spend several months in what’s called diapause, a hormonally-controlled state of dormancy that helps the butterflies survive the winter. An internal timer – like an alarm clock going off – rouses the insects out of diapause, weeks before warming temperatures and longer days, to mate and begin spring’s northward migration.

Read full story at  How do monarch butterflies know when it’s time to migrate? | Earth | EarthSky

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2019

Job Opportunity: Vegetation Fellowship

There is a 2-year vegetation fellowship position open for applications from now until Aug 22 at Valley Water, open to those currently in an MS program or MS degree holders. The major work of the fellow will be to perform reference habitat assessments at some of the best preserved areas in Santa Clara County (think oak woodlands, riparian forest, serpentine. A very nice way to spend one’s time.) A secondary task will be a synthesis and gap analysis of the stewardship projects and policies of the District, with the aim of strengthening the environmental stewardship mission of the organization. The main contact/mentor for the fellow will be Zooey Diggory, whom many of you know, and who is an excellent coworker. Excellent pay and benefits. Please share this announcement with any networks you think are appropriate; we are hoping to have a good pool of strong candidates but have only a few known interested parties at this point.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2019

Wildflowers Around California 8/12/19

Carson Pass Information Station  has new photos for Carson Pass Trail

Marin CNPS has new photos from the Sonora Pass Rd./Hwy108 area

California Wildflower Tipline  also has Sonora Pass photos

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2019

Trump Finalizes Disastrous Weakening of Endangered Species Act

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Rollback Threatens Wildlife Across Country, Will Face Legal Challenge

WASHINGTON— In a massive attack on imperiled wildlife, the Trump administration today finalized rollbacks to regulations implementing key provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The changes, which could lead to extinction for hundreds of animals and plants, are illegal and will be challenged in court.

The three rules finalized today were developed under the supervision of David Bernhardt, the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and a former fossil fuel industry lobbyist. They severely weaken protections for threatened and endangered species across the country.


“These changes crash a bulldozer through the Endangered Species Act’s lifesaving protections for America’s most vulnerable wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity’s endangered species director. “For animals like wolverines and monarch butterflies, this could be the beginning of the end. We’ll fight the Trump administration in court to block this rewrite, which only serves the oil industry and other polluters who see endangered species as pesky inconveniences.”

One set of regulatory changes weaken the consultation process designed to prevent harm to endangered animals and their habitats from federal agency activities. A second set curtails the designation of critical habitat and weakens the listing process for imperiled species. A third regulation would eliminate all protections for wildlife newly designated as “threatened” under the Act.

The changes are part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to undercut protections for the nation’s air, land, wildlife and water.

“These regulations are totally out of touch with the American public, which broadly supports endangered species protections,” Greenwald said. “We’ll do everything in our power to get these dangerous regulations rescinded, including going to court.”

Under a change relating to federal consultations, impacts to critical habitat will be ignored unless they impact the entirety of an animal’s habitat. This disregards the cumulative “death-by-a-thousand-cuts” process that is the most common way wildlife declines toward extinction.

The new rules will also prohibit designation of critical habitat for species threatened by climate change, even though, in many cases, these species are also threatened by habitat destruction and other factors. The rollbacks will also preclude designation of critical habitat for areas where species need to move to avoid climate impacts.

The new rules will sharply limit wildlife agencies’ ability to designate critical habitat in unoccupied areas needed for recovery. That ignores the fact that many threatened and endangered species have lost substantial range and need their historic habitats preserved to provide living space for recovering populations.

Read More…

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