August 13, 2019

On July 29, mountain lion P14, a young male we've been tracking since January, was killed in Mendocino County after a depredation permit was issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The permit was requested by a Point Arena landowner after 12 sheep were killed. This is the fourth collared mountain lion killed for livestock depredation since our study, Living with Lions, began in October 2016.

The story of P14 goes back to the first week of 2019 when property owners Paul and Maria woke to find their two adult llamas dead in the field on their property near Jenner, CA. The large but rather old llamas—used to protect a small flock of goats against predators—were attacked and killed by a male mountain lion. In California, the offending animal would typically...

August 02, 2019

Several months ago, Prescribed Fire Specialist Jared Childress had the pleasure to lead a small group of basket weavers from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) to the pygmy redwoods at Bouverie Preserve. They were looking for California hazel (Corylus cornuta var. californica) and were pleased by the quality of the post-fire shoots — thin, straight pliable basketry shoots that typically regrow only 1-2 years after burning. We learned so much observing their collection activities. Generously, the FIGR weavers group gifted the Preserve this traditional basket from the collected hazel. We look forward to sharing the story and the basket with the school kids when they return to the trail in the fall.

July 23, 2019

(Note: use the play/pause button as need to read longer passages)

With a keen eye toward climate change and potential impacts on preserve ecology and infrastructure, ACR contracted with Laurel Collins of Watershed Services and Jason Pearson of Lotic Environmental Services to conduct a preliminary geomorphic assessment of the four watersheds in the Martin Griffin Preserve (MGP).  Project objectives included:

  • Provide a watershed level understanding of the current and long-term processes that affect flow, sediment sources, and sedimentation in the lower alluvial fans adjacent to...
July 12, 2019

"Good stewardship entails looking after those in our care," says Quinton Martins, director of Living with Lions, in the recent Game Changers special edition of North Bay BIZ magazine. It's no surprise they found Quinton's optimism for community-driven conservation a compelling story but along the way they also discovered just how the project is winning the hearts of school children, landowners, volunteers and research partners.

As Executive Direction John Petersen says, "The work Quinton's doing is a perfect fit for ACR's mission—land stewardship, nature education and conservation science. We're fortunate to have him and his expertise as part of our team."


June 20, 2019

ACR’s Fire Forward program on Saturday conducted a 27-acre controlled burn of annual grassland and oak savannah at Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen. Ecological objectives for this event were timed to reduce non-native and invasive plants, promote native bunchgrasses and native wildflowers and to offer a ‘live fire’ cooperative...

May 17, 2019

From the latest edition of Marine Ornithology: In the Bay Area, the Double-crested Cormorant population has recovered from significant declines to reach population sizes comparable to those from the late 19th century, when only one colony offshore at the Farallon Islands was known. We were especially elated to observe that on the colony at Hog Island on Tomales Bay, formed in 2001, has become the largest in the study area since 2011.

ACR was pleased to co-author this report on the changes in abundance and distribution of nesting Double-crested Cormorants in the SF Bay Area from 1975-2017. The report was spurred by severe nesting disruptions observed during the construction of the new Bay Bridge. Download the full report from...

May 13, 2019

Listen to the recent interview on VoiceAmerica's Our Wild World program as host Eli Wiess interviews Dr. Quinton Martins about his deep commitment to conservation and how iconic species can ignite the interest of local communities. Dr. Martins leads ACR's Living with Lions.

May 10, 2019

Over the past three decades, a great deal of research has been gathered on snags and their role in forest and wetland ecosystems. Snags, better known as dead trees or logs, play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity in a number of habitats including oak woodlands, pine forests and riparian zones. In California alone, snags are home to over 160 different species, which is why government land managers have designated them as “special habitat elements.”

Forest ecologist Jerry Franklin states, “A dead tree is more alive than a live tree.” Dead trees are a vital part of nutrient cycling within forests. Logs, in particular, contribute to the nutrient reserves and chemical and physical characteristics of forest soils or waterways.

According to Sally Duncan of the U.S....

April 18, 2019

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. -Chinese proverb

Audubon Canyon Ranch is proud to join its five partners in the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative (SVWC) as recipients of a one million dollar grant from CAL FIRE. Together, this group of public agencies and private landowners manages property totaling over 18,000 acres in the Sonoma Valley. Funding will support partner efforts on fuels reduction and vegetation management, including the use of prescribed fire, to enhance ecological health, reduce the risk of wildfire, and protect our communities.

ACR will be a major contributor to this effort due to the strength of our Fire Forward program. Recent financial support from the Farley Family Charitable Foundation and the...

April 09, 2019

In the natural world, once you start to see a thing, you cannot stop seeing it. I first realized this fact as a child, while learning to forage for chanterelles in the East Bay hills. At the time, I called it “mushroom eye,” referring to how anything bright orange in the woods would immediately snap my attention to it, even while traveling at 35 mph on country roads.

“Mushroom eye” is a positive attribute. Unfortunately, the same visual attribute can apply to invasive species, such as the ever-present yellow blooms of French broom or aggressive seedlings of Douglas fir. While zigzagging down country roads, I find my thoughts constantly distracted by invasive species.

At this point, you might be thinking Douglas fir trees are native, not invasive. True, they are native,...