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.

Justin:
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...

December 01, 2017

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, the staff, volunteers and extended community of the Bouverie Preserve gathered to share their stories of the fire, learn about how the Preserve is recovering and celebrate the resilience of our many programs. View below or on VIEW ON VIMEO

November 28, 2017

Some will say to practice moderation in all things, but we have found a few exceptions to that rule. For instance, we never tire of hearing the inspiring stories of members of our North Bay community rising up to help each other recover from the devastating fires this past October; another example is the insatiable appetite of Audubon Canyon Ranch volunteers for pitching in to help protect and manage our preserves. At the Modini Mayacamas Preserves near Healdsburg, we have experienced both of those phenomenon in a concentrated burst as the Bouverie Stewards came to our aid over the past two weeks.

The Bouverie Stewards are a dedicated group that have lent their time, energy and manifold talents to stewardship projects of the Bouverie Preserve every Monday since 2007 but ever...

November 06, 2017

Just like thousands of others in the North Bay, we at Audubon Canyon Ranch are picking up the pieces after the recent fires. We are heartbroken to learn of friends who have lost loved ones, and for whole neighborhoods destroyed. Two of our staff members lost their homes when ACR’s 535-acre Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen burned during the Nuns fire. Our near-term goal is to support our community as they figure out the way forward. We also have a long-term goal: to learn from the resiliency of nature, and to use that knowledge to prepare our community to better weather the next firestorm.

For ecologists, resilience is how a system responds to a major disturbance. What species traits give rise to a system that can recover from or resist a major perturbation? ACR’s ecologists and...

Pages