President's message, by Barry Pilger

AS SUMMER TURNS TO FALL Claremont Canyon can take on a special beauty after our recent relatively wet spring and mild summer. A drive up Claremont Avenue, or better yet a walk onto a canyon trail, whether through Garber Park, from Four Corners to the chert, or a more ambitious hike from the Stonewall trailhead to Grizzly Peak Boulevard and back, is just what one needs to be reminded of the natural beauty that is right in our backyard. To better explore these trails, we present our new trail map, developed by board member Joe Engbeck in conjunction with Eureka Cartography. We also present our new logo and updated website, thanks to local designers Renate Woodsbury and Matt Wechsler.

The work of the Conservancy continues. Volunteers have done much in the canyon but there is more to be done. One of the areas we have sought help is in developing an advocate plan for the canyon as a whole. We want to create a single document, supported by solid research, that envisions a future for the canyon. The plan will address questions of maintaining a balance between fire safety and vegetation management, the establishment of priorities surrounding management of exotic and invasive species, and the varying management practices and priorities that differ among canyon land- owners. With such these ideas in hand the Conservancy can better work with agency landowners and canyon neighbors to ensure the future of Claremont Canyon.

The year has seen progress among agencies and their work to make the canyon more fire safe. The East Bay Regional Park District board recently approved its wildfire hazard reduction and resource management plan with a unanimous vote and FEMA has launched a new environmental review process which we hope will result in commencement of fire mitigation work on UC land in Claremont Canyon and elsewhere within two years.

As this year comes to a close we look forward to next year celebrating our tenth anniversary of the founding of the Claremont Canyon Conservancy. Much has been done by many volunteers, thanks to the support of over 500 families around the canyon and elsewhere. Let us build on this wonderful decade of work for the future. See you in the Canyon!