June 2013

Throughout the year, birders look forward to changing seasons and avian scenes as they explore woods, grasslands, and wetlands: the spectacle of spring migration, the songs of breeding birds, the autumn southward flight of wintering species from northern nesting grounds.

Increasingly, though, both casual bird-watchers and ornithologists note a steady decline in numbers—not just of endangered species, but also of common birds not usually considered to be at risk. Study after study, survey after survey show a worrisome downward trend in populations.

A National Audubon Society report called Common Birds in Decline, for instance, shows that some widespread species generally thought to be secure have decreased in number as much as 80 percent since 1967, and the 19 others in the report have lost half their populations. The figures reflect an array of threats faced by birds throughout North America. (Read about the decline of European songbirds in National Geographic magazine.)

Click here to read more at nationalgeographic.com

By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times

California could use $44.5 billion to fix aging water systems over the next two decades, according to a federal survey that placed the state at the top of a national list of water infrastructure needs.

Texas, at nearly $34 billion, and New York, with about $22 billion, were next in line.

The assessment, conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 and released last week, is used to document the capital investment needs of public drinking water systems across the country. The EPA relies on the results to allocate grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Click here to read more at LATimes.com

Not too long ago, FCLR partnered with University of the Pacific, the National fish nad Wildlife FOundation, PG&E, REI, and other  community partners in order to restore/ enhance 3 acres of riparian habitat along the CalaverasRiver:

After completing the project, several of our members have been monitrong the site and keeping Field Notes.

Our goal is to regularly publish field notes taken by our experts, and today we are offering notes taken by Dale Sanders’ (AKA ‘Dr. Dirt’) as he walked the Native Grass restoariation site:

Click here to read Dale Sanders’ Notes: Native Grass Demo Project

Our next post will feature some amazing field notes, observations, and drawings by Jim Marsh, FLCR Historian!

By: Dale Sanders, Phd

Over 20 years ago I helped develop a plan that worked well for developing an understanding of the Claremont Canyon watershed in Berkeley.

The canyon is primarily the property of the East Bay Regional Park District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and the University of California, Berkeley. The Campus uses the canyon for various purposes, including academic research, and physical facilities, including roads and trails.

Claremont CanyonAs a Senior Planner in the Campus Planning Office I was the primary contact for individuals, professors and graduate students and campus units proposing uses and activities in the canyon and the Campus Hill Area.  I had been hired to manage the EIR for the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP).  We were concerned about how the Hill Area (1,300 acres or so) should be analysed and treated for the long term (2005 target).  The LRDP is up for revision for 2020, right now.  The question then, as it is now, what to do about this area of multiple and often, conflicting uses? (more…)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State fish and wildlife officials are studying a new way of transporting hatchery salmon that are intended to repopulate the Sacramento River system.

The San Mateo County Times reports that about 100,000 Chinook salmon have been taken to San Francisco Bay in water actually from the Sacramento River before their release.


Click here to read more at Recordnet.com