History

An Invitation to burn, by Tamia Marg

An Invitation to burn, by Tamia Marg

The Claremont Canyon landscape and its uses have changed dramatically over the last century. From the 1800's through the first few decades of the 20th century, the East Bay hills were primarily grasslands with trees and brush growing only in canyon draws. Much of Gwin Canyon, a tributary on the south side of Claremont Canyon, was planted with Monterey Pines (Pinus radiata), a widely established practice in the hills to beautify the land for housing developments in the early Twentieth Century. That these trees were fast-growing tinder in the landscape became evident after every subsequent hill wildfire.