March 28, 2018

With nearly 75% of the Bouverie Preserve burned during last fall's Nuns Fire, we weren’t sure how or when we would be able to welcome the region's 3rd and 4th grade schoolchildren back on the land. Trails and trail infrastructure were blocked or completely destroyed, and all of our public facilities were lost. However, shortly after the fire, our stewardship, education and operations staff along with determined and generous volunteers began a 5-month labor of love to ready our trails and fine-tune our education materials to address this major ecological event.

Tuesday, March 27 marked day ONE of Bouverie Preserve's 2018 Spring Hiking Season for 3rd and 4th graders, and it went off without a hitch.

Twenty-five 4th graders from Healdsburg Charter School immersed themselves...

March 25, 2018

The Living with Lions Project has had a busy start to the year since replacing our essential equipment lost in the fires. A huge thanks to all our donors who contributed to this effort.

Unfortunately, the electronic walk-through traps designed and built last year were all destroyed in the fires and will take some time to rebuild. This means that we have returned to attracting mountain lions to the cagetrap using roadkill deer carcasses as bait. What a mission! For one, winter is not a time where many deer are killed on the roads it seems - which is good for the deer, but not for baiting. Also, capture success of lions using baits in our area has typically been low, possibly due to an abundance of food.

That said, we recently had some fantastic action on one of our baits...

March 23, 2018

While on patrol along Modini Mayacamas Preserves' McDonnell Creek, which contributes to the ecologically important Maacama Watershed, Land Steward Tomas Ruiz made a happy sighting of two good-sized steelhead trout swimming in one of the deep pools of the creek. Tomas recalls this being only the second time in seven years that he's spotted steelhead in this creek. Jim and Shirley Modini, who gave their 1,700 acre ranch to ACR in 2012, would have thrilled at this news!

McDonnell Creek is the primary source of the 8-mile long Maacama Creek, which flows through the Alexander Valley / Hwy 128 corridor and eventually empties into the Russian River...

March 08, 2018

Signs of spring on the West Marin coast are evident and stirring excitement at ACR’s Martin Griffin Preserve. On this thousand acres of wildlands and watershed overlooking the Bolinas Lagoon, new growth is budding, wildflowers are blooming, and pollinators are buzzing. New buckeye leaves are unfurling and fern fiddleheads abound. Indian paintbrush, milkmaids, suncups, hound’s tongue, Douglas iris, woodland strawberries, Fremont star lilies, and Calypso orchids can been seen and smelled in all their splendor. These flowers attract butterflies, bumble bees, and hummingbirds, as they busily fly about.

The four canyons of the Preserve feature mixed evergreen forests and freshwater habitat for hundreds of species of mammals, land birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The ponds are full...

February 27, 2018

ACR avian ecologist David Lumpkin, who works from our Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, had what birders will agree is a personal best: he spotted a banded hermit thrush hanging around the bridge over Livermore Marsh and managed to photograph the band numbers with enough clarity to track the bird back to its banding date and location. Turns out this little thrush had arrived all the way from Victoria, B.C., having been banded in September 2017.

This effort did not go unrecognized by the North American Bird Banding Program, who sent David a certificate of appreciation and gave us all the following information to pass along:

Bird banding is important for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. About 60 million birds representing...

February 26, 2018

Michelle Cooper has joined our team to manage ACR's largest preserve, the 3,000-acre Modini Mayacamas Preserves, located northeast of Healdsburg. Michelle takes the baton from Sherry Adams, who during her 10-year tenure on the preserves was the trusted link in the transition from Jim and Shirley Modini's dedicated stewardship to ACR's professional management. Sherry's success was built on the trust that the Modinis held, and her warm and open demeanor served to bring the neighbors in as advocates and supporters of our work. Under her lead the preserves developed a science-based management plan that will direct future stewardship, an education program of high standard, and a wealth of research and restoration projects to keep us busy for a very long time. Our team wishes Sherry the best...

February 24, 2018

There are a great number of new things happening at Bouverie Preserve right now and I would love to fill you all in!

About two weeks ago the Bouverie Stewards helped move the remaining parts of Bouverie that were to be saved before demolition. Among those things were a bunch of t-posts, some flower pots, the mountain lion equipment, a large obsidian rock in front of Gilman Hall, and most importantly, our favorite Egret statue, which managed to partially survive the fire. I would like to think the egret will one day be placed in the new building as a memory and tribute to our community’s history. The native grasses next to Gilman Hall were caution-taped to prevent access of trucks and tractors, as were the obelisks and a big cool rock in front of Jeanne’s home. At the end of...

January 26, 2018

Hello Docents and Stewards of Bouverie!

I have missed seeing all of your faces around the preserve these last few months. The land at Bouverie has changed. (Thanks, Captain Obvious.) No, I’m not referring to the ecological landscape. It has changed because our great community of nature lovers, teachers, and learners, has temporarily lost its home. The Bouverie community has been a treasured part of my life since I was a wee lad becoming a Juniper. While the shoes I walk in now at 26 are different from the shoes I walked in when I was 10, this community I have grown to love is still a constant.

There are so many exciting things happening up at Bouverie right now, but I must admit it has been lonely without you. I can’t tell you how many times my mom and grandma (who you...

December 19, 2017

Sonoma State University student Justin Brown (pictured above with Resource Ecologist Julianne Bradbury) and Modini Mayacamas Preserves biologist Sherry Adams chatted recently about our Ferguson Spring restoration project.

I loved being in a foothill wetland environment promoting the growth of native plants. I was changing the landscape, including propagation and transplanting into the wetland. I loved working with the camera trap to capture wildlife in an area that I was restoring. Through creating the Plant Guide I really got to know the plants' global history, cultural uses, and removal methods. I will continue writing this guide, it's the coolest thing I've done, it's moved plants to the forefront of my life.

I came to ACR and let you...