July 07, 2020

ACR Board of Directors thanks Bryant Hichwa for his 17 years of visionary guidance, commitment, and exceptional leadership. Bryant’s belief in our mission, his good counsel, and his steadfast support has been an inspiration to us all.

Bryant’s service on the board began as the Madrone Audubon chapter representative in 2003 and grew to include four terms as board president—not only providing steady leadership during the financial crisis of 2008 but also in 2009 shepherding a collaborative agreement with ranchers Jim and Shirley Modini to acquire the 1,725-acre Modini Ranch near Healdsburg.

In 2012, again under Bryant’s leadership, the acquisition of the Mayacamas Mountains Audubon Sanctuary from the National Audubon Society, located adjacent to the Modini Ranch,...

July 01, 2020

Conservation in Action is now available online and includes preserve and program updates, including:

  • Fifty Years of ACR’s School Program
  • Lions Compete for Territory in Sonoma 
  • Giving Coastal Prairie a Chance in West Marin
  • Curlew Captures at Point Reyes
  • Honoring Big-Hearted Spirits
  • Plus, our salute to L. Martin "Marty" Griffin, ACR's founder and emeritus director, on the occasion of his 100th birthday
June 30, 2020

We recently asked M.F.K. Fisher's daughter Kennedy Golden to reflect on Mary Frances' time living on the Bouverie Preserve. Fisher lived on the preserve for the last 21 years of her life, in a cozy house built to her specification by David Bouverie. During that time she wrote 13 books, one-third of her total catalog. The preserve influenced her deeply.

As Kennedy composed this guest blog post, she reflected on Fisher's upcoming birthday. "My mother was born in Albion Michigan on July 3, 1908. When I think of that day so long ago I am reminded of her story of almost being named “Independencia,” had she waited one more day to be born. I believe that “Mary Frances” was a much better name, and I am grateful to my grandmother, Edith Kennedy, for making sure that naming her new baby “...

June 15, 2020

We are very pleased to announce that Casa Grande graduate Lucia Garay is our 2020 recipient of the David Bouverie Scholarship, awarded to one extraordinary volunteer as they enter college.

Conservation work is a call to action that requires courage, and courage requires hope. Lucia Garay is one source of hope for us all. Lucia has been a Juniper for seven years and over that time has shown outstanding commitment to conservation and a deep interest in nature.

Over the years she has co-led many guided nature walks, participated in newt counts, took park in many stewardship events at Bouverie, and aided in the training of new Junipers. Before the fires she took it upon herself to redesign and build signal crayfish traps that could capture juveniles. When the original traps...

May 27, 2020

Congratulations to Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve in the Sonoma Mountain area and Cooley Ranch in northern Sonoma County for hosting Northern California burners who put good fire on the ground this past Memorial Day weekend. Both of these controlled burns on privately held lands went off without a hitch, another sign of the growth of prescribed burn partnerships in the region.

May 09, 2020

While we work from home, the miles logged by shorebirds we have radio-tagged has us longing for an unconfined drive to points beyond—a birding trip to the Central Valley, a camping trip along the North Coast, or more miles logged on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Alas, we take solace in science and focus our gaze on two determined Long-billed Curlews fitted with radio tags in February at Limantour Beach under a partnership with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (Texas), and Boise State University’s Intermountain Bird...

May 08, 2020


On Valentine’s Day this year, Luna (P16) gave birth to her first litter of kittens. She is only 3 years old and so a young mother. As we watched her awkward attempts to care for these new, tiny, and foreign creatures, we wondered what their chance of success would be. At first, we thought the den site chosen was far too exposed, and waited to find them killed by a passing predator while mom was away hunting. To our surprise, they survived...

April 11, 2020

Hello Friends,

I hope you are well and that nature, unencumbered by the frenetic pace of modern life, has shown you her beauty in new ways. As one of two resident staff members at ACR’s Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, I can report that the natural world is moving around just fine—wintering waterbirds are heading to their northern breeding areas, while the Great Egrets we are tracking are sporting some beautiful breeding plumes. Various songbirds are busy nesting, and coyotes, bobcat, and fox are on regular rotation.

A special highlight for me this spring has been the discovery of 5–10 individual California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii) in one of the Cypress Grove ponds. This species is federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. My...

April 01, 2020


P19, a 22-month-old male mountain lion followed by Living with Lions in Sonoma County, has left home and the safety of mom to find his own way. Watch as over a few weeks beginning on March 9, 2020, this big cat sets a determined course east into the Central Valley and comes within 25 miles of Sacramento before turning back toward the safety of the Vaca Mountains. Remarkably, in his early travels he has crossed Interstate 80 twice and navigated the major intersections of Vacaville.

As a young dispersing male, this elusive top...

April 01, 2020

UPDATE: 5/18/20:

CLOSURE NOTICE: All ACR preserves in Marin and Sonoma counties remain closed until further notice due to the public health risks of Covid-19. Resident preserve managers and stewardship staff continue to protect and steward these incredible resources for both natural and human communities. We hope to see you on the trail in the near future. While you are exploring nature nearer to home, please visit our Nature Where You Are resource page for engaging nature content, lessons for all ages designed by ACR educators and links to some of our favorite science-based nature resources.

UPDATE: 5/8/20:

The beginning of May...