Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 9, 2017

San Francisco Plant Lists

Wood Biological Consulting has an excellent collection of detailed plant lists at San Francisco Plant Checklist. They include the following:

  • The Locally Significant Plant Species of San Francisco County
  • Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Francisco’s Natural Areas – 2nd edition
  • The Extant and Extirpated Rare Plants of San Francisco County  A summary of all rare and endangered plants recorded for San Francisco County.
  • The Extirpated Plants of San Francisco A comparison of the current record of the extant plants of San Francisco County with the indigenous taxa historically recorded from the county.
  • Site-specific Checklists Checklists for 58 of San Francisco’s natural areas.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 8, 2017

More Endangered Species Act Successes

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Endangered Species Act Successes Continue: Bat, Cactus, Buckwheat All Found to Have Recovered

More Species Recovered Under Obama Administration Than All Others Combined

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to remove the lesser long-nosed bat and gypsum wild buckwheat from the list of endangered species and to downlist the Kuenzler hedgehog cactus from endangered to threatened, reflecting full recovery of the first two species and significant progress with the third.

So far 32 species have fully or partially recovered under the Obama administration, while another 12 have been proposed as recovered. This means more species were declared recover under President Obama than in all past administrations combined, since President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law in 1973.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 7, 2017

Kings Canyon/Sequoia Storm Update

Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks posted the following storm update are 4:30 pm today

The Generals Highway is #now closed at the Foothills Visitor Center in Sequoia National Park due to rock slides and flooding until further notice.

This means visitors will #not be able to access the big trees, Potwisha Campground, Giant Forest Museum, and the Lodgepole area. Guests with reservations to Wuksachi Lodge are encouraged to call them at this time.

Visitors are able to exit the park at this time. Kings Canyon National Park remains open. We will provide more information as it becomes available. #castorm #cawx

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 7, 2017

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 1/6/17

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for January 6 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 | January 7, 2017

All Road To Yosemite Closed

Posted on the Yosemite National Park Website last night

January 06, 2017
All roads leading into Yosemite Valley will close today at 5:00 pm in anticipation of a significant winter storm moving into the region early tomorrow morning, Saturday, January 7, 2017. There will be no visitor services available throughout the storm. Visitors intending to visit Yosemite National Park are highly encouraged to monitor weather reports and check road conditions before departing. These closures are being implemented to ensure the safety of park visitors and employees during the coming storm.


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 7, 2017

Florida Panther Deaths Tie Record High

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – News Releases


Washington, DC — The year that just concluded tied for the deadliest on record for the endangered population of Florida panthers, according to official figures posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In 2016, 42 Florida panthers died in the wild, matching the then-record 2015 total. In 2014, another 31 big cats were killed – each an all-time high in the last three years.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 6, 2017

Ten Year Record Storm Predicted For California This Weekend

The LA Times reports

California was bracing for an epic series of storms this weekend that could bring flooding, avalanches, blizzards and road closures.Northern California is expected to be hit Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

From Our Partners: West Coast Snow Surge

Up to 12 inches of rain below 8,500 feet is expected, and massive amounts of snow — up to 6 feet — above that elevation. A fourth, colder storm two days behind will drop yet more heavy snow.“It’s a once-in-10-year event,” said Zach Tolby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. “It’s the strongest storm we’ve seen in a long time, the kind of setup we look for to get significant flooding.”

Read full story at

California braces for ‘once-in-10-year’ storm amid fears of flooding, avalanches, blizzards – LA Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 6, 2017

Republican Congress Declares America’s Public Lands Worthless

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Republican Congress Declares America’s Public Lands to Be Worthless, Sets Stage for Massive Giveaway

WASHINGTON— On the first day of the new Congress, House Republicans approved a package of rules Tuesday that included a provision that would treat giving away America’s public lands as “budget neutral,” meaning that they have no monetary value when it comes to giving, selling or trading them away to states. The rules are part of a larger effort by politicians like Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) who want to hand over control of federal public lands to states and corporate interests.

Read More…

Yosemite National Park  News Release

Yosemite National Park Expects Significant Precipitation Over the Next Several Days

Date: January 4, 2017

Flooding projected for the weekend; park closure possible

Yosemite National Park is making preparations for visitor and employee safety in response to weather reports predicting significant precipitation, and possible flooding, over the next several days and through the weekend. The predictions for significant rainfall in Yosemite Valley, well above flood stage on the Merced River, could prompt the park to be closed in the next few days. People planning trips to the park, beginning tomorrowThursday January 5, 2017, should make alternate plans if the park does close.
Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 5, 2017

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers 1/4/17

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

interesting and beautiful photo today – fog – something rarely seen in the desert, and it speaks to the high moisture level in the ground.  We even had DEW this morning in Borrego Springs!  Fred reports a few flowers here and there and even the very first desert lilies of the season but this is not the beginning of any significant bloom,  that will happen when temperatures warm up in February or March.  In the meanwhile a continuation of the wet and cool weather pattern is exactly what is needed for a really nice bloom this spring.  We’ll keep you all posted on that!

See photo at Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 5, 2017

First Endangered Species Act Success Story of 2017

News Release Center for Biological Diversity

First Endangered Species Act Success Story of 2017:
California’s Hidden Lake Bluecurls Flower Proposed for Delisting

LOS ANGELES, Calif.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to remove the Hidden Lake bluecurls, a rare alpine wildflower from Southern California, from the endangered species list due to its recovery. The beautiful plant is found on the shores of a high-elevation seasonal lake in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County and nowhere else on Earth. Hidden Lake bluecurls was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1998 because its limited range was overrun with hikers and equestrians who trampled the flower. With protection the habitat and flower have recovered.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 4, 2017

Rare Duck Spotted In Humboldt County – Common Pochard

The Sacramento Bee reported

An extremely rare duck spotted in Humboldt County has bird lovers feeling both delighted at the discovery and fearful that a hunter will shoot the waterfowl, which wandered far from its usual range.

Since Dec. 20, word has spread quickly via social media and email lists that a common pochard – a “mega rarity” in the birdwatching world – is mingling with several hundred other ducks on Freshwater Lagoon, about 45 miles from the California-Oregon border

Read full story at Birders fear for life of rare duck spotted in Humboldt County | The Sacramento Bee

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 4, 2017

Birds Migrating Earlier As Temperatures Rise

The BBC reported on a study showing the impact of climate change on bird migration

Migrating birds are arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, a study has found.

Birds have reached their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree of increasing global temperatures, according to the research by Edinburgh University.

The study looked at hundreds of species across five continents.

Read full article at Birds migrating earlier as temperatures rise – BBC News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 3, 2017

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflower Prediction 1/3/17

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

Today we have this flower prediction from Betsy Knaak.

Betsy has lived in Borrego Springs for more than 30 years in her affiliation with ABDNHA, she has watched many flower seasons, and her prediction now is……

We all know the saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” That same principle holds true for our desert region, “Winter Showers Bring Spring Flowers.”  Especially, slow-moving storms that hang over the desert for several days, including overcast skies, cool temperatures, and light or little wind, all of which we experienced over the holidays.  Nearly two inches of rain fell, and rather than evaporating due to heat and wind, favorable weather conditions gave the rain a chance to soak into the desert’s porous soil, providing the moisture to germinate the seeds of colorful spring wildflowers.

Weather conditions remain favorable with continued cloud cover, cool day and nighttime temperatures, and light winds.  If we’re lucky, another storm or two will cross our western mountains yet this winter.

Plan your desert springtime visits, as we are expecting a good wildflower season.

Betsy Knaak
Executive Director
Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA)

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 3, 2017

National Earth2Trump Resistance Roadshow Tour

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Hundreds in Seattle, Oakland Kick Off National Earth2Trump Resistance Roadshow Tour

16-city Tour Opposing Trump Attacks on Environment, Civil Rights Stops Next in Portland, Los Angeles

OAKLAND, Calif.— Hundreds of people in Oakland and Seattle on Monday kicked off the cross-country Earth2Trump roadshow, a two-route, 16-stop tour building a network of resistance against President-elect Trump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights.

The free shows include live music, national and local speakers and a chance for participants to write personalized Earth2Trump messages that will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on inauguration day Jan. 20. The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the shows in coordination with allied groups around the country.

“This wave of resistance against Trump is only starting to build. What we saw in Oakland and Seattle will continue to grow bigger and stronger in the coming weeks,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center. “And after Trump is in office, we’ll be there every day to oppose every policy that hurts wildlife, poisons our air and water, destroys our climate, promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia, or marginalizes entire segments of our society.”

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 3, 2017

New Year’s Shooting Stars and 6 More Great Sky Events in January

National Geographic reported a number of skywatching events happening this month

A flurry of amazing sky-watching events visible from around the world will usher in the new year. With a prolific meteor shower and the moon posing with planets, there are definitely plenty of reasons to look up at the night sky this month.

Read article at  New Year’s Shooting Stars and 6 More Great Sky Events in January

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 2, 2017

Santa Cruz Fungus Fair January 13 to 15, 2017

Please note dates have been corrected.

The Santa Cruz Fungus Fair is January 13 to 15, 2017.  There will be a habitat display, lectures, culinary demonstrations, mushroom identification and a kids room with mushroom related activities for children.

To see schedule and learn more go to : Santa Cruz Fungus Fair.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 1, 2017

Desert Wildflower Reports 1/1/17

DesertUSA has the following reports

Overview Rainstorms in California’s deserts, Arizona and Nevada. Still early, but we could have a good 2017 wildflower seasons in most areas.

Joshua Tree  They’ve had lots of rain and many plants are starting to put out leaves. We didn’t see many wildflowers yet, but between mile markers 28 and 29 on the Pinto Basin Road I stopped to look at many blooming Bladderpods and shot some not very good pictures of blooming Filaree (Erodium cicutarium) by the side of the road.

See early season reports at Desert Wildflower Reports – DesertUSA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 1, 2017

Edgewood Park January Wildflowers

Friends of Edgewood Park have updated its website to show what plants are typically blooming in January. There are 30 photos of plants you might see. Explore plant locations, plant species, which plant blooms when, and answers to a host of other questions at  What’s Blooming This Month


Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 1, 2017

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 12/30/16

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for December 30 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 | January 1, 2017

CANCELLED: Point Reyes Fungus Fair January 8, 2017


See attached email from Bay Area Mycological Society

Hi Sandy,
Thanks for the mention. Due to the extreme storm predicted for this weekend, the Park Service has cancelled ALL public events, including our Fungus Fair.

It is more important that people be safe! We are attempting to reschedule for later this year.

Please show this event as cancelled.

Thank you!

Debbie Viess, Co-founder
Bay Area Mycological Society


The Point Reyes Fungus Fair is at the Bear Valley Visitor Center Sunday January 8, 2017 from 10 to 4 at the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot. Fair on Sunday, with lectures, displays and mushroom tables, starting at 10:00 am at the Visitor Center.

Mushrooms and fungus will be on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and visitors are invited to attend free lectures presented area mycologists

Visitors are also welcome to help collect for the fair on local mushroom walks on the day before the Fungus Fair, Saturday, January 7. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 10 am. Bring your finds to the Red Barn Classroom at 1 pm for identification. Park visitors and local residents are welcome to take part!

For more information go to Fungus Fair at Pt. Reyes

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 31, 2016

CNPS Field Trips January 2017

January Field Trips for the California Native Plants Society:

(for more information on trips go to chapter websites; also check out late trip postings at chapter websites)

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties)

East Bay CNPS

  • Sunday, January 8, 2017, 2:00 pm, field trip to Huddart County Park to see Fetid Adder’s Tongue

Marin CNPS

Milo Baker (Sonoma county)

  •  Ruth Bancroft Garden, 1552 Bancroft Rd, Walnut Creek Saturday, January 14, 2017 9:15am-meet for carpooling, should be back by 3:30pm

Napa Valley

North Coast

  • Jan 11, Wed. 7:30 p.m. “€œPlant Exploring in the Marble Mountains”

Santa Clara Valley

  • Sun Jan 1 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   Año Nuevo State Preserve (Hwy 1 coast-southern San Mateo County)
  • Sun Jan 8 10:00am – 3:00pm St. Joseph’s Hill Preserve, Mid Pen Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos)
  • Sat Jan 14 10:00am 3:30pm Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, Portola Valley

Santa Cruz

  • Saturday January 14, 10am-12pm 12pm -2pm Lunch Further exploration  Lehi Park Fungus Festival w/ Mark Kiene Trailmaster Lehi Park
  • Saturday January 28, 10am-2pm  Treasures of Henry Cowell SP w/ Deanna Giuliano

Yerba Buena (San Francisco/Northern San Mateo)

  • Saturday, August 06, 2016 11:00am to 3:30pm
    Walk: Montara Mountain Manzanitas in Summer

If you are interested in information on other chapters go to:

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 30, 2016

China Bans Its Ivory Trade

The New York Times reported

China announced on Friday that it was banning all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017, a move that would shut down the world’s largest ivory market and could deal a critical blow to the practice of elephant poaching in Africa.

Read full story at  Bans Its Ivory Trade, Moving Against Elephant Poaching – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 30, 2016

January 2017 Birding Field Field Trips

January Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

For information on above trips go to Golden Gate Audubon Field Trips

  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, January 1, 8:00 — 10:30 a.m.
    (First Sunday bird walk)
  • Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley Friday, January 6, 8:30 — 11:00 a.m. (First Friday bird walk)
  • Abbott’s Lagoon, Pt Reyes National Seashore Friday, January 6, 9:00 a.m. — about 2:00 p.m.
  • Palo Alto Baylands and Mountain View Shoreline Saturday, January 7, 8 a.m. — 3 p.m.
  • Bay Farm Island: Coast/Canal Walk, with shuttle Friday, January 13, 8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. 
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, January 15, 8:00 — 10:00 a.m.
  • Dimond Park and Sausal Creek, Oakland Wednesday January 18, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, January 20, 8 — 10 a.m.
  • CANCELLED Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Livermore and Patterson Pass, Alameda County GGAS Centennial Field Trip
    Sunday, January 22, 8:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.
  • Hilltop Lake Park, Richmond Wednesday, January 25, 9:00 — 10:45 a.m. 
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, OaklandWednesday, January 25, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  • Arrowhead Marsh-Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline (Oakland) by bicycle Saturday, January 28, 10 a.m. — ~2:00 p.m.
  • Cosumnes River Preserve and Staten Island (Optional overnight stay in Willows for Sacramento and Colusa NWR) Saturday, January 28, with optional extension to Sunday, January 29

For more Bay Area birding  field trips through out the Bay Area click on the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society Calendar 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 29, 2016

2016 San Francisco Christmas Bird Count

Golden Gate Audubon reported that this past Tuesday’s Chrismas bird  found 175 species, including 14 rarities. That’s a decrease from last year’s total of 186 species and the 2014 total of 184 species. Read full article and preliminary report at  Golden Gate Audubon Society2016 SF CBC – low numbers, high spirits – Golden Gate Audubon Society

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 29, 2016

Endangered Species Success Texas’ Tobusch Fishhook Cactus

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

Another Endangered Species Act Success Story for 2016: Texas’ Tobusch Fishhook Cactus Downlisted From Endangered to Threatened

More Endangered Species Found to Be Partially or Fully Recovered in 2016 Than Any Year Since Endangered Species Act Passed in 1973

AUSTIN, Texas— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to downlist the Tobusch fishhook cactus from endangered to threatened, reflecting protection and recovery of the tiny, spiny plant guided by the Endangered Species Act. Found in oak woodland savannahs of the Edwards Plateau in central Texas, the cactus faces ongoing threats from livestock grazing, urban sprawl, loss of periodic fires, insect parasites, small population size and climate change. Since it was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1979, however, many more populations have been found and several have been protected.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 29, 2016

Find Owls By Listening To Bird Language

In the last few years I have taken a number of classes in bird sounds. Although birding-by-ear is a slow skill develop it helps enormously in identifying birds. This is especially true in woodland areas. Birding by ear isn’t only about identifying what bird is making the sound, but also paying attention to the alarm calls of birds. These alarm calls are clues that predators such as hawks or owls may also be present.

Brain Mertins has an article on ” How To Find Owls by Listening to Bird Language” on the Nature Mentoring website

what I do when I want to use bird language to find an owl.

I’ll go over how to look at the landscape from a big picture perspective so that you can figure out in which areas you’re most likely to have success.
I’ll describe the special time of the day when I can always find an owl as long as their alarms are within earshot of where I’m standing.
I’ll also explain specifically what I listen for to tell me that there’s an owl nearby and you’ll hear an audio recording of what bird alarms near an owl sound like.

Read article at How to find an owl by listening to bird language – Nature Mentoring

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 28, 2016

Obama Designates Two New National Monuments In Nevada And Utah

NPR reported

President Obama has designated two areas in the deserts of southern Nevada and Utah as national monuments, after years of fighting and debate over the management of both areas.

The newly created Bears Ears National Monument will protect roughly 1.35 million acres of land in southeast Utah from future development. Gold Butte National Monument will give federal protections to roughly 300,000 acres in southwest Nevada, not far from the site where local ranchers and law enforcement had an armed standoff just two years ago.

Read full story at Obama Designates Two New National Monuments In Nevada And Utah : The Two-Way : NPR

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 28, 2016

Yellowstone More Crowded Than Ever

The Associated Press reported

Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent has predicted the number of park visitors will keep growing after two straight years of record attendance but said park personnel are prepared for the challenge.

“We have seen a steady growth and over the long term it continues to grow,” Wenk told The Cody Enterprise ( ). “We will be dealing with increased visitation into the future.

“Yellowstone had 4,097,711 visitors in 2015 and topped that number by October this year, when the number of park visitors reached 4,221,782.

Read full story on how crowds impact Yellowstone and how the park staff is responding at Yellowstone braces for more crowds after 2 years of records

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 27, 2016

The 2016 Audubon Photography Awards Winners

See the the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards Winners at 2016 Audubon Photography Awards Winners | Audubon

Besides the link above to the winners check out the link for: Top 100

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