March 10, 2020

ACR's Fire Forward staff, volunteer prescribed burners from the Good Fire Alliance and the Cooley Ranch crew hosted an active prescribed fire training in early March, aided by the 'false spring' clear and cool weather window.

February 20, 2020


In This Issue:
  • Environmental Science in the Classroom
  • Documenting Wildlife in Our Backyards
  • Building a Workforce for Controlled Burning
  • Repairing Sensitive Habitat Damaged by Kincade Firefight
  • Tomales Bay Shorebirds in Decline
  • Published...
February 11, 2020

The Living with Lions team collared P21, a 130lb, 7-year old male mountain lion, near Cazadero on February 10 after being contacted by a local resident who had lost two goats to this big cat the night before.

Landowner David opted to spare this lion from certain death by depredation permit, recognizing a responsibility to safeguard the well-being of his animals and avoid the senseless death of a wild top-predator. The team dubbed this lion "Goliath."

P21 is the second mountain lion to be fitted with a GPS collar in West Sonoma County. After capture, biological measurements and samples were taken to determine his age and health, as well as to map the genetic makeup of the region and state’s lion populations.

We are extremely excited to see the extent of his range,...

February 11, 2020

ACR's Fire Forward team was very pleased to contribute to a prescribed burn of 27 acres of cattail marshland in the Panoche Valley Preserve, southeast of Hollister in early February.

The burn helps create a mosaic of habitat structure for Tricolored Blackbirds, listed as a candidate for California Endangered Species. By removing the dense stand of cattails and other plant thatch, new growth habitat preferred by Tricolors will establish itself in about 14 months.

Describing the nearly 20-40' flame lengths seen in photos of the burn, Jared explained, "It can seem that cattails burn like a tire fire, but this marsh is surrounded by a high bluff and thousands of acres of green grass, making for safe conditions."

Panoche Valley Preserve plans to burn a portion of the...

February 06, 2020

The Bouverie bell rang out 13 times this week in honor of a new class of Bouverie Preserve docents. These knowledgeable naturalists completed 17 weeks of ACR's core training in natural history, ecology and nature interpretation for children and soon will head into classrooms and on the trail, helping our youngest community members forge a deeper connection to the natural wonders of the Sonoma Valley.

All members of the class of 2020 earned their California Naturalist Certification and were certified in first aid and CPR by the Red Cross. Two seasoned docents also completed the California Naturalist certification. THANK YOU for your commitment to nature, new docents!

Want to benefit from their stellar effort and new insights? Sign up for a docent-led Guided Nature Walk or...

January 02, 2020

Thinking about all we will accomplish together in the new decade, we want to take a moment to THANK YOU for our work together this past decade. YOU did all this and more during the years 2010-2019:

  1. 2010: Celebrated the 40th anniversary of our education program and engaged 55,000 school...
December 12, 2019

The Kincade Fire burned 95% of Modini Preserve’s 3,000 acres, leaving behind a mixture of fire-severity and signs of damage from the fire fight. The most scaring impact of the fire fight includes 13 acres of fire lines cut by bulldozers along ridge tops and through some of the preserve's sensitive serpentine habitat—which supports rare populations of St. Helena fawn lilies and serpentine sunflowers. Heavy equipment also compromised the primary access route to the preserve, requiring major repairs and erosion control measures.

Community responds to a call for serious loving care
Recognizing an urgent need, our community stepped forward in a big way, offering services, in-kind donations and even a $20,000 matching grant. In a little less than two weeks,...

December 09, 2019

For much of my career I seem to have bypassed working with high school-aged students. This wasn’t intentional on my part, it just kind of happened. I starting working with elementary school-aged kids and jumped to adults. So, when planning began for the Conservation Science Intensive (CSI), ACR’s summer program for high school-aged young women, I was both nervous and eager for this new opportunity.

Yet, I was not alone in my new undertaking. CSI is built on the foundation of collaborative female leadership. Jacqueline Levy, Education Program Manager at the Bouverie Preserve, has 11 years of teaching high schoolers under her belt and Julianne Bradbury, Resource Ecologist at the Modini Preserve, co-led CSI in 2018 and spent many years as an educator across age levels....

November 05, 2019

ACR has recently added a user-controlled feature (aka widget) to our website to make our content more easily accessible. For users who prefer a larger font, more text spacing or higher page contrast, these and other options are available by clicking on the Accessibility Menu icon—a figure in a blue circle—in the top right corner of any page.

Developed by UserWay, the accessibility widget has been adopted by more than 100,000 websites as a way to offer a range of viewing options to visitors and improve compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

ACR is committed to meeting the objectives set out in the WCAG and in our Strategic Plan, 2019-2022. The...

November 01, 2019

11/1/19: Update from our Modini Preserve staff on the impact of the Kincade Fire:

ACR staff, including resident biologist Michelle Cooper and land stewards Tomas Ruiz and Kyle Doron were able to return to the preserve earlier this week and found the Modini ranch house, outbuildings and barn still standing. Our relief was magnified tenfold with gratitude to CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit and the thousands of state and local firefighters determined to thwart infrastructure loss within the burn zone. In our case, the efforts to save these structures were significant: hand lines, back burning, bulldozer lines and even retardant drops. Of our 3,000 acres, roughly 2,850 burned. In the vicinity of the residential compound, the land itself appears moderately burned, not scorched. We...