Once again our intrepid little group of birders, led by Dave Quady, headed out on a chilly morning in December before dawn to listen for owls. After hearing the hoot of a Great Horned Owl, all retreated home to warm up with coffee and breakfast before regrouping at 8 A.M. at the top of Claremont Canyon. We saw thirteen bird species, all expected in Claremont Canyon at this time of year. We feel fortunate to have Dave as our leader. He is always full of information and good cheer and has birded in our area for many years.
Sunday, November 11 was our 17th Annual Meeting at the Claremont Hotel. The meeting began with a moment of silence to remember those who perished or who were adversely affected by the recent wildfires in Butte and Ventura counties. We also took a moment to honor our veterans, as our meeting occurred on Veteran’s Day.
This year an exceptionally large number of destructive fires have occurred in Northern California. The causes were well publicized: 1) an on-going drought, 2) abnormally hot weather,
PG&E is taking many impressive, needed steps to improve our safety in high risk areas:
• New, fully staffed Operations Center for real-time monitoring of wildfire risks (wind, humidity, etc.)
• 200 new weather stations
Walking the trails in Garber Park became just a little easier–and safer—thanks to the wonderful turnout and hard work for our rst ever Earth Week, April 18-22. That’s right! Our activities extended over nearly a week, not just a single day.
RSVP: info@ClaremontCanyon.org or call 510-843-2226
Dear Friends and Neighbors
Please join us at
The Claremont Hotel
Sue Piper's opinion editorial appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 16, 2018 (click here for a link to the article). For the full article (the link is truncated) please continue reading below).
Building and maintaining trails in Claremont Canyon is the Conservancy’s way of inviting area residents to experience the joy of living in the wildland-urban interface. We think it will help remind people that responsibility comes with the pleasure of living here. We need to care for our environment by making our wildland accessible and by removing invasive plants and keeping it as firesafe as possible.
Please find our response to Oakland’s Draft Plan, plus cover letter and appendices.
Especially with spring birding trips, our walk was as much about listening as seeing. We identified 29 species (see list below), many by sound alone. Resident singers, American Robins were among the first species we heard. Newly-arrived Swainson’s Thrushes announced their presence with single chips–they’ll be producing their spiraling ethereal song in another week or so. Then the “what peevesyou?” call of a distant Olive-sided Flycatcher let us know it too had completed its northward migration.
The Conservancy is busy on several fronts—living up to our commitment to be vigilant about wildfire safety while encouraging a healthy native environment in Claremont Canyon. Unfortunately, wildfire danger continues to be a major issue as fire season is becoming a year round concern. Public agencies are unable to devote the financial and human resources necessary to address it.
This charming piece of Claremont Canyon history is excerpted from “A Proposal for the formation of Claremont Canyon Park,” the 1973 document that brought about the eventual formation of the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve. Reprinted here with permission from the author and the Claremont-Elmwood Neighborhood Association.
The Conservancy has previously reported its full support of UC Berkeley’s efforts to recover funding granted in 2015 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grants were to reduce fire danger on UC's hill campus in Claremont and Strawberry canyons by removing stands of hazardous trees.
With thanks to Tom Klatt we now have a new trail marker where the Gwin Canyon Trail meets the Willow Trail just down the steps from Signpost 29. We installed the trail marker during our January stewardship day. We are hopeful that the Park District will add a trail sign of their own at the other end of the Gwin Canyon Trail where it meets Norfolk Road. Conservancy volunteers continue their work to make the trail easier to traverse by installing more steps and water bars and making a part of the trail less steep. We also will be installing logs along the edge to reduce erosion. Finally, the University has just improved the area just outside the gate at Signpost 29, making it safer to pull over and park.
Last month's bird walk, led by Dave Quady and me, was a quiet affair—only fourteen species were observed over six hours of birding (minus 90 minutes for breakfast). That's an all time low for our winter bird walks, likely due to lack of rain (only one significant rainfall since spring) and strong dry winds the preceding week. Nevertheless our group of birders—four for the early morning owl walk and six for the after breakfast bird walk—enjoyed each others' company while we waited . . .
Conservancy members recently hosted a tour of Claremont Canyon with planners from the East Bay Regional Park District's Trails Development team, including trails manager Sean Dougan and Ward 2 Board Member Dee Rosario. We hiked up the Conservancy's new Gwin Canyon trail connecting Park District and UC lands, then headed over to the Stonewall-Panoramic Ridge Trail to assess its steepest section just below Panoramic Way. We are hoping the Park District will build switchbacks on this degraded section of trail for increased safety and accessibility to hikers. We'll keep you informed as progress develops.