Tags >> trees
Aug 06
2009

Wildfire Season

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , weather , trees , resources , public safety , parks , open space , news , government , environment , California

Bruce Robinson

Another drought-fueled fire season is underway across northern California, when any passing storms are more likely to bring blaze-sparking lightning strikes than enough rain to ease the danger.

CalFire maintains a frequently updated online map of all active fire incidents throughout the state, and you can see it here.

May 25
2009

Bohemia Ranch

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , West County , water , trees , timber , resources , recreation , parks , open space , fish , environment , conservation

Bruce Robinson

A little-seen watershed near Occidental, informally known as Waterfall Park, may be moving toward actually becoming a real park.

 

Conservation consultant David Katz, who is representing the property owner in talks with the Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District, says that while the waterfall there may be the most unusual aspect of Bohemia Ranch, it's really just part of a larger array of natural resources.

 

There is an element of urgency in the renewed effort to see Bohemia Ranch acquired by the county, not just because the property is already legally allowed to host six future homesites, but also, David Katz adds, because a long-term permit for logging is also in place there.

 As a representative of the current owner of Bohemia Ranch, Katz has also developed a website to market it, which features photographs and a video of the property.

The Community Clean Water Institute says about this property:

The property is on Bohemian Hwy. about four miles from Occidental and
fourteen miles from Santa Rosa. Most of the site is moderate to steep
sloping ridges covered with forest or grassy meadows. The ranch is drained
by three creeks that flow into Dutch Bill Creek, which is just off the
property. The famed waterfall is on lower Duvoul Creek.

Over the past 8 years extensive clean-up and restoration work has occurred
on the ranch. All debris has been removed, roads re-graded and resurfaced,
new roads developed, numerous erosion sites repaired, extensive biologic
evaluation and documentation accomplished, and many new water sources
developed.

A conservation easement on the ranch is held by the Sonoma Land Trust, but
the possibility of subdivision into six separate home sites still exists on
the ranch.

The property is 862 acres, with about 400 acres in fir forest with some
redwoods. The forest has an approved Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan in place, which means that it can be commercially harvested without additional approvals. As a result of quantifying this timber resource a great
opportunity exists to sell carbon credits to raise funds for supporting the
proposed park while simultaneously preventing any further cutting of trees.

The creeks that drain Bohemia Ranch flow directly into Dutch Bill Creek at
the very heart of its watershed. Bohemia Ranch cover approximately 17% of
the entire watershed of Dutch Bill Creek. Dutch Bill creek supports
federally listed endangered species coho salmon and threatened steelhead and has been the focus of considerable restoration expenditures over the past
few years.

The Dutch Bill Creek Watershed Council, the Watershed Institute at
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Westminster Woods, and the Goldridge
Resource Conservation District have supplied leadership in implementing
restoration activities on the creek. The Sonoma County Water Agency, CA
Dept. of Fish and Game, NOAA Fisheries, and the University of California
have been actively engaged in restoration on Dutch Bill Creek. Many other
organizations are also involved and are supporting the restoration work on
the creek. All of these organizations support protecting the watershed by
protecting Bohemia Ranch.

 

 

Apr 14
2009

John Muir

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , trees , students , speaker , sacred , resources , recreation , policy , parks , Ideas , history , Health , events , environment , education , conservation , author

Bruce Robinson

 John Muir (right) died 95 years ago, but he still speaks to modern day California. And not just through his writings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Methodist minister Don Baldwin (seen here in character) has embraced the role of ground-breaking environmentalist John Muir in public appearances throughout northern California and beyond.

 


         

 Even after studying biographies and Muir's own extensive writings, Don Baldwin remains amazed by the early environmentalist's ability to survive handily in the wilderness with the most minimal supplies.

 

 

 

 

 Despite his capacity for extended solo sojourns,  Baldwin reports that Muir was also a highly social person, when he came back down from the mountains.

 

 

 "John Muir" will be appearing twice in Sonoma County on Sunday, April 19th, first at the 11 am service at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Santa Rosa  and at 2 pm in Sebastopol for the annual Earth Elders event (left) at Luther Burbank's historic Gold Ridge Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 13
2009

Bohemian Grove Logging

Posted by Bruce Robinson in trees , Sonoma , Russian River , resources , planning , parks , nonprofit orgs , fish , environment , conservation , activism

Bruce Robinson

A bitter battle is being fought over logging plans for one of the least visited corners of western Sonoma County.

The Bohemian Club has owned the Grove for over a century, but John Hooper says that the history of logging there dates back only 20-odd years.

 

In this 2-minute video, John Hooper questions the Bohemian Club's rationale for seeking a long-term timber harvesting permit.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPgbNBgtnPc&feature=related 300x300] 

Even though Bohemian Grove is privately owned and operated, Hopper says the effects of what happens within it will be felt directly in the surrounding watersheds and the Russian River.

This satellite photograph of the Bohemian Gove has been marked to show areas where previous logging has scarred the landscape. Click on the image to see additional maps.

 The Bohemian Club's annual summer "encampment" at the Grove is chronicled in a lengthy feature story in the current issue of Vanity Fair which also discusses the logging issue.

For a more detailed analysis of the logging issues specifically, see this deep background story, published, ironically, in the North Bay Bohemian.

You can find updates about the Bohemian Grove logging issue, and a link to submit your commnents about it directly to the Califpornia Department of Forestry at John Hooper's Save Bohemain Grove website.

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