March 25, 2021

While the pandemic has raged, thanks to generous grants from the Marin Wildlife Commission and an ACR donor, ACR science staff have been busy this winter acquiring the equipment needed to set up two remote telemetry receiving stations (known as Motus stations) on Tomales Bay to aid in our efforts to better understand the movement ecology of our local bird populations as well as other wildlife.

Tracking wildlife: weighing the options
Historically, biologists use a couple of proven technologies to track the movements of birds and other wildlife: radio telemetry/VHF or satellite/GPS tags.

Very high frequency (VHF) tags emit a low power signal at a specific frequency that the biologist listens for using a portable receiver and an antenna. These tags,...

March 06, 2021

Tracking the movements of mountain lions using GPS collars is just one part of ACR’s Living with Lions project but it is essential to understanding the lion population as a whole. When a collaring opportunity arises, we have a short window for success. Recently we received three calls in rapid succession from residents who suspected mountain lions were responsible for deer and livestock kills on their property.

On February 22 Quinton Martins received a call about a dead deer found partially buried in leaf matter (called ‘caching’) in the front garden of a Sonoma Valley property. Upon investigation it was clear a mountain lion had made the kill, so with the landowner’s permission, Quinton set a trap to capture and collar this animal.

That night, the lion returned to...

March 06, 2021

ACR researchers recently published a paper in Condor, Ornithological Applications, reporting trends of Tomales Bay shorebird populations. Overall, most species of shorebirds have declined substantially on Tomales Bay in the last 30 years.

Tomales Bay: An important wetland for wintering shorebirds
Each year tens of thousands of shorebirds breed in the high latitudes during the summer then migrate to warmer latitudes for the winter. Tomales Bay, located within the Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco Bay, has been recognized as an important wetland for these wintering shorebirds.

Across North America bird species—including shorebirds—are declining but it is often unclear how local factors across species’...

February 05, 2021

ACR Executive Director John Petersen will retire at the end of March after a 35-year career in conservation. A Board-directed executive search is underway; Nils Warnock, Ph.D., currently director of conservation science, has been appointed as the interim executive director, beginning on April 1.

“Under John’s leadership, ACR is tackling the region’s ongoing conservation challenges of dwindling biodiversity and climate-driven wildfire in ways that have delivered better outcomes for ourselves, our wild neighbors and the complex ecosystems of Northern California. His persistence in these areas will improve quality of life for generations of North Bay residents,” said Phillip Carlsen, president of ACR’s Board of Directors, in a note to supporters.

In the nearly four decades...

February 02, 2021

On the Modini Preserve in the northern Mayacamas Mountains, new post-fire populations of the non-native, woolly mullein (Verbascum thapsus) have exploded in several areas of burned knobcone pine (Pinus attenuata) understory—areas that were dominated by native species last spring.

Native to Eurasia, woolly mullein was intentionally introduced to the U.S. many times due to the plant's medicinal qualities. It relies on periodic disturbance for seedling establishment, which is greatly enhanced when there is bare ground—taking full advantage of conditions in play on the Preserve after the 2019 Kincade fire.

In our region, you may notice woolly mullein's typical biennial growth—in the first year, the seedlings will mature into large, dusty-green rosettes up to two feet in...

November 06, 2020

M.F.K. Fisher Last House Program Coordinator Susie Allen announced today the winners of the “Last House Writing Contest.” Launched in late summer, the contest resulted in more than two dozen essays submitted in child, youth and adult categories by writers from as far-afield as Los Angeles, Detroit and Copenhagen.

Writers were asked to explore the connection between environmental conservation, science and nature, food and drink, and the cultures surrounding them. Many wrote about COVID-19, their gardens, and the wildfires.

The judging panel, coordinated by food and wine consultant Clark Wolf, included some of the most accomplished writers, chefs, naturalists, and mentors working today: Ruth Reichl, Harold McGee, Leena Trivedi-Grenier, Michele Anna Jordan, Elizabeth Fishel...

October 13, 2020

Where are we going? ...What is a preserve? ...Can trees talk to each other? ...Are there always newts in the ponds? ...Who picks the colors?

Since 1970, students, docents, parents and teachers have been asking questions like these while participating in field trips and training classes on ACR preserves. Over the course of this half-century, 1,300 enthusiastic docents have led nature education and appreciation activities for more than 260,000 Bay Area third–fifth graders.

In celebration of this milestone, we’re collecting stories from you—teachers, docents, parents, and former student participants. Please take a moment to share your experiences, memories, photos, and take-aways in our brief 10-minute survey.

 

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September 17, 2020

ACR, in partnership with Napa County, Napa County Resource Conservation District (Napa RCD), Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, and Sonoma Water, has produced a five-minute film highlighting the efforts of the North Bay counties of Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma to reduce fire fuels and boost the region’s defenses against mega fires. We hope the film will spark a conversation in communities throughout California looking for proactive ways for residents to mitigate the West’s increasing exposure to catastrophic wildfire.  

 
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August 13, 2020

ACR's Last House Program Coordinator Susie Allen is excited to announce the “Last House Writing Contest,” in celebration of the style and spirit of M.F.K. Fisher, who wrote Art of Eating, How to Cook a Wolf, With Bold Knife and Fork, and approximately 30 other books and who resided in her 'Last House' on ACR's Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen until her death in 1992.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Emerging writers of all ages are invited to submit original, unpublished essays, stories or articles exploring or conveying the connection between environmental conservation, science and nature, food and drink, and the cultures surrounding them.

Entries accepted beginning August 21, 2020 through [EXTENDED] October...

August 10, 2020

Wow! Way to double down for the cause, ACR community! Through June and July, we received almost 200 gifts to support ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve and over 100 birthday wishes to forward to Marty! Thank you, Marty fans! We made him the sweetest scrapbook with your sentiments.

Still want to make a gift in honor of Marty's 100th birthday? Click here

We'll keep our campaign open and birthday wishes flowing.

Birthday Wishes for Marty

Dear Marty...

It’s hard to believe that you will be a centenarian. In addition to your passion for protecting natural environments, your enthusiasm and especially your energy is that of a much younger man. I became aware of your...

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