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 . . .
Several years ago, Garber Park Stewards and Golden Hour Restoration Institute first tossed around the idea of creating an interpretative brochure that would enrich the experience of visiting Garber Park. We wanted to create a document that was engaging and informative for all park users—first timers as well as regular visitors.
if you haven’t delved into the wonders of Garber Park, you need to know about it! You will find a delightful native oak woodland with native fern grottoes, giant coast live oaks, California buckeyes, California big leaf maples, and a fascinating old defunct replace from old boy scout days of the 1920’s! All this is within walking distance from the intersection of Ashby and Claremont avenues.
Tim Wallace considers himself a “Yes man”—not a person that caves into other people's demands, but the kind that says, “Yes” to life.
Tim just celebrated 15 years (on and off—mostly on) as president of the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, "Working with volunteers we have helped make the canyon more fire-safe, more natural, and more accessible by trails.”
Tim has been involved with natural resources all his life: first as rancher and logger, then later in academics. He has been at UC Berkeley since 1963. "I've worked at the White House on agricultural matters and was Director of California's Department of Food and Agriculture. I've done consulting abroad in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Far East, and New Zealand and Australia."
The August 2 fire known as the “Grizzly Fire” was sending up bright flames at about 1:05 PM, as reported by firefighters from the East Bay Regional Park District’s Tilden Park Fire Station, the first crew to arrive on the scene. Winds that day were calm from the west and
Saturday, May 18, 2002 was the dedication of the Ralph Samuel bench at the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve. Ralph was the District’s Land Acquisition Specialist from 1979 to 1986. Hulet Hornbeck, Land Department Chief, originally hired him to acquire the privately owned lots that were included in the Claremont Canyon Preserve.
A new study conducted by the East Bay Regional Park District reveals the presence of mountain lions (“Big Cats”), an elusive apex predator utilizing the wilderness ridegtop above the Caldecott Tunnel to transit between the open spaces north and south of the tunnel. The study, expanded earlier this year to include the Caldecott Tunnel Corridor, is led by veteran Park District wildlife ecologist and science consultant Steve Bobzie
Chief Ken Pimlott was appointed Director of CAL FIRE by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011 after an outstanding, 30-year long career in state re protection programs. As Chief of CAL FIRE and also California’s State Forester, Mr. Pimlott is responsible for 237 fire stations, 39 conservation camps, 12 air attack, and 10 helitack bases.
Robert Doyle, General Manager East Bay Regional Park District
General Manager Robert Doyle began his park career over 40 years ago as a member of the East Bay Regional Park District’s eucalyptus crews, following the big freeze of 1972. He went on to serve in several eld, planning, and administrative positions before becoming Assistant General Manager for Land Acquisition and Planning in 1990. For the next 21 years he led the District’s expansion of parklands to serve the rapidly growing populations of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. In 2010, he was appointed General Manager by the Park District’s seven-member, elected Board of Directors to oversee 70 regional parks totaling 124,000 acres, 1,200 miles of interconnecting trails, and a staff of 1,000 employees.
We had some big excitement last week. Because of the Grizzly Peak Fire on Wednesday afternoon, we had to cancel our workday. We did get back to Skyine on Sunday and almost finished with Scattergrass in the Bay Grove. Perhaps one more good session will finish that off . . .
Botanists tend to love a fire, because the aftermath is so fascinating. Seeds not seen in decades may sprout. In the early days of California botany, when Jepson was at Cal in the early 1900's, he and others found scores of interesting natives on the slopes of Grizzly Peak. Will they return? How will UC manage the burn area (let's hope they do nothing besides remove the Eucs and Pines)?
"I attended the 8/2/2017 fire Oakland Hills fire scene during operations today and observed conditions and took photos. The City of Berkeley Fire responded, as did many other agencies. The fire would have threatened Berkeley, except that the winds were blowing onshore from the ocean. Imagine if the winds were blowing down the canyon (off-shore), as we see during Diablo Wind condition days. The most effective response came from helicopter water drops, taken from lake Anza, by EBRPD, Cal Fire and other attending helicopters. Most of the firefighters stayed on Grizzly Peak, as the hills are too steep and littered with dead eucalyptus and pine fuel."
I thought you might like to hear from a fire fighter and her mom's perspective. Kerry, my daughter, was a part of the fire fighting crews from EBMUD (every EBMUD ranger is trained in fighting urban interface fires.) They were at the scene in Strawberry Canyon a very few minutes after it started.
A heavily used foot path into the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve was recently upgraded by a volunteer trail crew, Take To The Hills. T3H was formed two years ago by Steve Glaeser and myself to build stairways and make the trail safer for travel. Though the trail does not appear on any existing Park District or UC map, was never formally engineered, and was scarcely maintained, it has, for years, attracted both casual and experienced hikers traveling between Dwight Way and Panoramic Hill. Often misunderstood as belonging
This spring, we cover a new group, Take To The Hills, working on trails in the little canyon that runs parallel to Claremont Canyon. That canyon, and the foot path or “social trail” traversing it, have variously been called Derby, Dwight, Clark Kerr and even (at least once) Rattlesnake Canyon/Trail. Along with T3H, we are asking the agencies that own the land to settle on a name that will stick. For now, we agree with T3H that the historic name of Derby, in honor of Derby Creek whose headwaters begin in that small canyon, makes sense.