"Baker Beach" by Kirke Wrench/NPS , public domain

Golden Gate

National Recreation Area - California

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area protecting 82,027 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area.

maps

Official visitor map of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Golden Gate - Overview

Official visitor map of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of the Northern area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Golden Gate - North

Official visitor map of the Northern area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of the Southern area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Golden Gate - South

Official visitor map of the Southern area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the Iner Bair Island section of Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in California. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Don Edwards San Francisco Bay - Iner Bair Island

Map of the Iner Bair Island section of Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in California. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/goga https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_National_Recreation_Area The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area protecting 82,027 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Experience a park so rich it supports 19 distinct ecosystems with over 2,000 plant and animal species. Go for a hike, enjoy a vista, have a picnic or learn about the centuries of overlapping history from California’s indigenous cultures, Spanish colonialism, the Mexican Republic, US military expansion and the growth of San Francisco. All of this and more awaits you, so get out and find your park. Golden Gate National Recreation Area has many sites that span over 60 miles of mostly coastal areas north and south of San Francisco. Park areas can be reached by Highways 1, 101 and 280 from the north and south San Francisco Bay Area, and by Highway 80 from the East Bay. To access park headquarters at Fort Mason, please use the entrance at Franklin and Bay Streets in San Francisco. Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center The plaza is the starting point for all your bridge-related adventures. From here, you can learn about the history of the bridge and its impact on the Bay Area with the help of interactive installations and models, including a cross-section of the bridge's main suspension cable. There is limited paid parking at the plaza, and we highly recommend that you take public transit. Paid parking is extremely limited at the plaza. It's highly recommended that you take public transit to the plaza. Options from San Francisco: Downtown, at Main and Folsom or along Mission Street. (Routes 10, 70, and 101) Union Square, at 5th Street and Mission. (Routes 10, 70, and 101) Civic Center, at 7th Street and Market or McAllister and Polk Street. (Routes 10, 70, 92, 93, and 101) Along Fisherman's Wharf. (Routes 2, 4, 8, 18, 24, 27, 38, 44, 54, 56, 58, 72, 74, and 76) PresidiGo Shuttle Lands End Lookout Visitor Center Facilities include visitor information, cafe & gift shop. Exhibits: Indoor exhibits and videos on the natural and cultural history of the Lands End area, Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights. Outdoor 3-D model of Lands End area. Located at the Merrie Way parking area just east of the Cliff House and west of the cross streets of Point Lobos Avenue (very west end of Geary Blvd.), and El Camino del Mar in San Francisco, California. Marin Headlands Visitor Center The Marin Headlands Visitor Center is open Friday through Monday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Currently no merchandise is for sale. Exhibits tell the story of the Headlands. Visit to learn more about the Headlands' fascinating geology and diverse wildlife. Step inside of a Coast Miwok kotcha, read a lighthouse keeper's log, or learn the story of how a grassroots movement championed the creation of our park. We will be happy to answer any of your questions. The Marin Headlands Visitor Center is located in the historic Fort Barry Chapel, at the intersection of Field and Bunker Roads. The Visitor Center is approximately 3 miles down Bunker Road from either entrance to the Marin Headlands. Muir Woods National Monument Visitor Center Please visit gomuirwoods.com for reservations. Exhibits: Visit the Muir Woods National Monument website for more information. Special Programs: For more information on park programs please check the Parks Conservancy event listings. From San Francisco Muir Woods is located 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge Take Highway 101 North Take the Mill Valley/Highway 1/ Stinson Beach Exit Follow the signs to Highway 1 Follow the signs to Muir Woods From the East Bay Take the Highway 580/Richmond/San Rafael Bridge West Take Highway 101 South Take the Stinson Beach/Mill Valley Exit Follow the signs to Highway 1 Follow the signs to Muir Woods Vehicles over 35 feet long are prohibited. There are no RV parking facilities. William Penn Mott Jr. Presidio Visitor Center The visitor center is the go to place to find out what is happening and what there is to do in the Presidio. Discover the Presidio through a large relief map, inspiring video, engaging exhibitions on history and nature, interactive tools, and knowledgeable staff that can help you uncover the incredible array of experiences possible here. Bicentennial Campground Bicentennial Campground is the easiest to reach campground in Golden Gate, approximately 100 yards from the parking area near Battery Wallace. The campground is a great location for those wanting to camp near the city. There is a moderate short hill to climb to/from the campground from the parking area. It is downhill to the site and uphill back to the parking area. Fees 20.00 Tent Only Nonelectric Camping at Bicentennial Campers make use of the food storage boxes and picnic tables at the campground. Settling into the campground. Picnic table Campers sit contentedly at the picnic table with a gray sky above them. Gray skies, happy campers. Setting up camp Campers set up a tent in a dry, grassy field with green cypresses behind them. Setting up camp. View of the Golden Gate Bridge The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the campground. View of the Golden Gate Enjoying the campsite Campers have their tent set up next to a picnic table covered in food and supplies. Ready to relax Hawk Campground Hawk Campground is the most remote campground and is located above Tennessee Valley and offers sweeping views of the Marin Headlands. The site is a 2.5 mile uphill hike from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead parking lot, or a 3.5 mile uphill hike from the Miwok Trailhead. There are 3 sites that can accommodate 4 people each. Maximum stay is three nights per year. Fees 5.00 Primitive Campsite View from Hawk Camp Yellow wildflowers grow under a cloudy, blue sky. The vista high atop Hawk Camp. Walking the ridge. Two hikers walk the ridge along the exposed fire road to Hawk Camp under a cloudy, blue sky. Two hikers walk the fire road. Tent at Hawk Camp A gray and white single-person tent pitched at a campsite at Hawk Camp. A campsite with cypress trees in the distance. View from the top. A trail winds its way along a ridge line next to a jagged stump under cloudy, blue skies. The winding path from Hawk Camp. Hikers on their way to Hawk Camp Hikers walk along the trail that winds its way up a hill with green scrub plants on either side. Walking up the ridge. Haypress Campground Haypress Campground is nestled within the coastal scrub of Tennessee Valley, near Mill Valley. The hike to this campground is 0.7 miles from the Tennessee Valley Trail head parking lot, and is an ideal campground for first-time backpackers. Haypress campers often enjoy hiking to Tennessee Beach, where they can admire its dramatic geology and colorful sand. Fees 5.00 Primitive Campsite Primitive Group Campsite Haypress Campground The lush green environs of Haypress with a slat-rail fence and blue tent in the foreground. Fenced off campsite at Haypress. Setting up camp Campers sit at a picnic table next to a food storage box with their tent behind them. Getting cozy at the campground. Fence line A fence line disappears into the distance next to a green tent below a Eucalyptus stand. Fence line Hiking to Haypress Three hikers walk along the exposed trail to Haypress Campground under cloudy, blue skies. Hiking to Haypress Haypress Meadows A low wooden fence separates green grass. A view of the group campsite at Haypress Kirby Cove Campground Kirby Cove is the most popular campground in the Marin Headlands, with spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Enjoy a wooded setting, seclusion and protected campsites which were recently restored for all to enjoy. Campsites are available for use only by prior reservation but anyone can walk down the road to enjoy the vistas and picnic on the bluffs or beach. Fees 30.00 Tent Only Nonelectric Group Picnic Fee 45.00 Group Picnic Area Kirby Cove A bleached piece of driftwood on the soft sand with gentle waves caressing the shoreline. The sandy shore of Kirby Cove. Kirby Cove at night A colorful display of the Golden Gate Bridge lit up against the purple and blue night sky. Nighttime view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Trees at the cove A view of the Golden Gate Bridge through the trees at Kirby Cove. The bridge through the trees. City at sunset San Francisco skyline against an orange sky and cloud cover framed below the Golden Gate Bridge. City at sunset. Campfire A group of campers sit around the orange glow of a campfire in a fire pit. Cozy campfire Morning Fog at Crissy Field White buildings with red roofs at Crissy Field with blue bay and Golden Gate Bridge and fog behind. Visiting Crissy Field is an ever changing experience as the fog comes in and dissipates. Spring Flowers at Mori Point Mori Point view north with yellow an blue flowers, the blue-green Pacific Ocean and Mt. Tamalpais. View north from Mori Point showing abundant spring flowers and Mt. Tamalpais in the background. Stinson Beach from Bolinas Ridge View over the Pacific from Bolinas Ridge; Stinson Beach, Bolinas Lagoon and head in mid-ground. Bolinas Ridge offers outstanding panaramas of the Pacific Coast, here including Stinson Beach and Lagoon. Storm over the Golden Gate Orange Golden Gate Bridge with waves crashing in foreground and storm clouds behind. The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic attraction year-round. Marin Headlands and Rodeo Beach View south with family on road in foreground and Rodeo Beach and cove in front of Point Bonita. Trails in the Marin Headlands offer a fun and spectacular hiking experience for all. Montgomery Street Barracks, Presidio of San Francisco Row of red brick barracks with white-columned porches where infantry soldiers lived. The Presidio offers an outdoor museum of military architecture over the centuries. Alcatraz Island from Crissy Field Closeup shot of Alcatraz Island showing lighthouse and prison with yellow flowers on slope in front. Visitors can learn about the complex layered history of Alcatraz Island. Military Nurses in the Phillipines During World War II, women signed up with the Army and Navy Nurse Corps for service in the Philippine Islands. Of the 99 nurses known to have served in or at Bataan, 22 escaped before the final fall of the Philippine Islands in 1942. The remaining 77, the largest group of women Prisoners of War in American history, were repatriated in 1945. 1945. U.S. Army Nurses climb into trucks as they leave Manila Women of the Presidio The Presidio impacted the lives of many people throughout its long history, including women like Juana Briones and Eda Blankart Funston. While not born in the area, these women settled in the Presidio and witnessed many changes. Learn about the history of the Presidio and discover the stories of women associated with the military post. Switchboard operator for the Presidio, date unknown. NPS photo. Buffalo Soldiers Before the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916, the U.S. Army was responsible for protecting our first national parks. Soldiers from the Presidio of San Francisco spent the summer months in Yosemite and Sequoia. Their tasks included blazing trails, constructing roads, creating maps, evicting grazing livestock, extinguishing fires, monitoring tourists, and keeping poachers and loggers at bay. Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite Another Strong Year for Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field, As a New Overwintering Season Begins Western snowy plovers are back on Golden Gate National Recreation Area beaches! They weren’t gone for very long. These small, federally threatened shorebirds leave Golden Gate to breed each spring, and return each fall to spend the winter feasting on beach invertebrates. Between the early and late breeders coming and going, June is often the only month plovers are absent. Person on a beach, carrying a clipboard and looking through binoculars. Point Blue Launches New Tool for Exploring Palomarin Field Station Bird Data For decades, Point Blue Conservation Science has been counting and banding birds at their Palomarin Field Station at the southern end of Point Reyes National Seashore. In some cases, their data sets extend back more than 50 years. Now, they have released a new portal making it easier than ever to explore that data: the Palomarin Field Station Data Explorer. Small olive-colored bird perched on a shrub. Scientists Discover New Species of Deep-sea Sponge in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Dozens of deep-sea sponges thrive off the California coast, but many are still unknown to science. Scientists recently described a new species of deep-sea sponge in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located just northwest of Point Reyes National Seashore. The white ruffled sponge is named <em>Farrea cordelli</em> for its discovery in the 1,286 square mile sanctuary. A white ruffled sponge illuminated in otherwise dark, deep water. New Report Dives In to Cross-Boundary Invasive Plant Survey Results from Mount Tam Invasive plants don’t see our property lines. The five partners that make up Marin County’s One Tam partnership know this, and they teamed up to create an Early Detection and Rapid Response program tasked with identifying and managing invasives across jurisdictions on Mt. Tamalpais. With early leadership from the Inventorying & Monitoring Network’s Invasive Species Early Detection Program, crews from One Tam surveyed over 400 miles of roads, trails, and stream corridors. Person in the field, photoraphing a plant with her phone. Encounters with the Portolá Expedition How would you greet a new culture? The Chiguan and Aramai tribes of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples, lived in neighboring villages just south of Sweeney Ridge. On October 28, 1769, the Portolá Expedition arrived at Ssatumnumo village. Three days later, the expedition entered Pruristac before first observing San Francisco Bay from this site on November 4th... Portola expedition met by ohlone people Invasive New Zealand Mudsnails Found at Muir Beach This month, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and San Francisco Bay Area Network biologists discovered a large population of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in Redwood Creek at Muir Beach. A taxonomist at California State University, Chico helped confirm the snails’ identity. Fingertip pointing to a cluster of tink, dark snails on a rock. 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2010 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2010 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2011 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2011 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2015 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2015 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Irvin McDowell Born in Columbus, Ohio, Irvin McDowell (1818–1885) initially attended the College de Troyes in France before graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1838. After completing his education, McDowell served as a tactics instructor at the Academy before joining John E. Wool's staff in the Mexican War. Irvin Mcdowell John Pershing - The Early Years The foremost military leader of his time, John J. "Black Jack" Pershing (1860-1948) served the United States in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippines, the Mexican Intervention, and the First World War. John Pershing Major Dana Crissy Crissy Field, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, is named after Major Dana H. Crissy. In the early 1900s, Presidio coast artilleryman Dana H. Crissy was full of ambition and fascinated by the new invention of human flight. Imagine the sensation of being lifted into the air, just above the ground, and magically transported somewhere else. Major Dana Crissy Mission Revival Style 1890s - 1920s By the late 19th century, California architects made a monumental shift in the direction of their architectural inspiration. Rather than continuing to adopt imported East Coast architectural styles, these architects recognized the value of their own historic surroundings, where the Spanish Colonial mission heritage of California and the Southwest had built beautiful mission chapels, with thick, white stucco walls, red clay roofs and bell towers. Two story white and brown roof Administrative building constructed in 1921, with columns in front Italianate Style 1850s - 1880s The Italianate style, most prevalent in America between the 1850s and the 1880s, was inspired by rambling, informal Italian farmhouses and Italian-style villa architecture. The Italianate style placed an emphasis on the vertical orientation of the building, as if someone was pulling the top of the building up, and as if the building was made of putty, as it stretched upwards, the windows and door frames became narrower and attenuated. Large two story house Greek Revival Style 1830s - 1860s The Greek Revival style, popular in American during the 1830s through to the 1860s, was inspired by the classical Greek temple. During this time, Americans were fascinated by all things classical, Roman and Greek. Many viewed their country as the natural heirs to the ancient Greeks, who invented democracy and it became very popular to be associated with ancient Greek concepts. Horse drawn wagon in front of house Queen Anne Style 1880s - 1910 The Queen Anne style, popular in American from 1880 to 1910, evolved out of the Colonial Revival style; the two styles were fashionable at the same time. The Queen Anne style was imported by English architects who were inspired by the half-timbered walls and patterned masonry of Medieval and Jacobean style-buildings. Three two story, narrow white houses with red roof Key Messages from 2019 Plant Pathogen Symposium This June, scientists and land managers from as far as Australia and New Zealand gathered at the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club for “Healthy Plants in a World with Phytophthora: the seventh Sudden Oak Death Science and Management Symposium." Explore key messages from the event to learn about what San Francisco Bay Area Parks and nonprofit partners are doing to manage these potentially destructive fungal pathogens. Participants gather around a table covered in plants. The San Francisco Port of Embarkation The massive buildings of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation (SFPE), now known as Lower Fort Mason, were originally built in 1912 to warehouse army supplies and provide docking space for army transport ships. The army first shipped men and supplies to the Pacific through San Francisco in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Soldiers returning to the Port of San Francisco on a boat Adolphus Washington Greely A man of eclectic talents and persuasions, Alolphus Washington Greely (1844-1935) was one of the most ambitious figures of his day. Though primarily remembered for his famous North Pole expedition, Greely’s colorful career also included service in the Union army during the Civil War and, later, as commander of the U.S. Army’s Pacific Division. Alolphus Washington Greely Congressman Phillip Burton Phil Burton was the most naturally gifted elected official or politician I have ever known or run across. All of his habits were tailor-made for politics. Congressman Phillip Burton Partnerships add a Charge to your Travel Plans The National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, BMW of North America, the U.S. Department of Energy, concessioners, and gateway communities have collaborated to provide new technologies for travel options to and around national parks. As part of this public-private partnership, BMW of North America, working through the National Park Foundation, donated and arranged for the installation of 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in and around national parks. Spike in Gray Whale Deaths Triggers Investigations Eastern Pacific gray whales have generally been doing well in recent years. It’s not hard to spot them off of the California coast in the winter and spring. It is far less common to find a dead gray whale washed up on shore. On average, fewer than 15 gray whales are found dead along western US coastlines each spring. But this spring, 81 gray whale carcasses have turned up dead, including 13 in the San Francisco Bay Area alone. The question is, why? Whale carcass on a beach 2019 Coho and Steelhead Smolt Trapping Season Nearly Over The coho and steelhead smolt trapping season got off to a late start this year. It has also been interrupted by late season storms. Although May is not over yet, it has already been one of the wettest in recent history with over 4.5 inches recorded at the Bear Valley rain gauge. Still, the numbers of year-old smolts migrating out to the ocean have been especially promising on Redwood Creek where biologists are operating one of their two traps. Two fishery crew members remove fish from a smolt trap with a net Preliminary 2018-2019 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Results Are In This winter, biologists and volunteers counted 93 live adult coho salmon on Redwood Creek. A preliminary analysis of redd (nest) counts and measurements indicates that they also saw a preliminary total of 61 coho redds. On Olema Creek, surveys before and after the shutdown resulted in counts of 111 live adult coho, seven coho carcasses, and a preliminary total of 63 coho redds. Steelhead were also seen in all four streams that were surveyed. Biologist leaning over a creek with a measuring stick Mission Blue Translocation Project Pilots New Release Approach This month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service approved a pilot effort to test feeding sugar water to half of translocated female Mission blue butterflies to boost egg laying upon their release. In their first experiment using this approach, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy staff released three female butterflies fed sugar water, and three not fed sugar water, with promising results. Mission blue butterfly drinking sugar water from a cotton ball, through a mesh container lid Japanese Knotweed Management Making Headway Along Lagunitas Creek Native to Japan, China, and Korea, Japanese knotweed is considered the 10th most invasive plant in the world. It is hardy enough to survive on the slopes of active volcanoes and strong enough to penetrate concrete, making it a threat to both natural and developed areas. Although it is not widespread in California, it is found at a number of sites in Marin County. Roughly a third of the known populations are on National Park Service land in Lagunitas Creek. Dense stand of low, leafy vegetation beginning to crowd out other plants. Climate Corner, October 2018: How Can We Promote Climate Resiliency in California Forests? Disease. Fire. Changing climates. These emerged as powerful, interrelated forces shaping California forests at One Tam’s most recent Science Summit, "Into the Woods." Twisting, moss-covered trunks of coast live oaks on a fog-drenched hillside Western Pond Turtle Monitoring at Muir Beach Reveals Interesting Growth Trends The month of August was turtle trapping season at Muir Beach. Six captive-raised western pond turtles released in 2017 were recaptured using modified catfish traps. Natural Resources Division staff and interns went out each weekday to check the traps and place new mackerel bait in their pouches. This year’s trapping success increased from 2017, when one turtle evaded trapping for three weeks! Western pond turtle on a log sticking almost vertically out of the water Western Pond Turtles Being Reintroduced to Southern Marin Park Sites The National Park Service has entered into a cooperative partnership with the San Francisco Zoo and Sonoma State University to reintroduce the western pond turtle to Muir Beach and to sites in the Rodeo Lagoon watershed where it once lived. One western pond turtle swims beneath another in a tank at the San Francisco Zoo September 2018 Early Detection Newsletter Available The September 2018 issue of Early Detection News is now available. Brought to you by the Invasive Species Early Detection (ISED) Program, this newsletter has the latest on invasive plants in the Bay Area. Get the highlights here. Purple, feathery tips of a flowering blade of johnsongrass Shedding Light on Molting Harbor Seals in Marin In June and July, harbor seals haul out every day to molt, which means they shed their fur and grow a new layer. Counting the resting seals gives park biologists important information about how harbor seal numbers might be changing over time. During the 2018 molt season, a total count of 3,022 seals was recorded at eight Marin County monitoring sites. Dozens of harbor seals lying close together on a spit of sand Early Detection News - August 2018 The Invasive Species Early Detection Team (ISED) conducted August surveys at Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area North District. Noteworthy detections this month included malfurada, Klamathweed, purple starthistle, and Andean tussockgrass. Malfurada - a plant with bright yellow flowers. Rodeo Wetland Restoration Supporting Threatened and Endangered Species In 2013, the National Park Service launched a major effort to restore the wetlands and native habitats near Rodeo Beach. The restoration project included regrading the parking area and surrounding landscape to restore the site’s hydrology, removing invasive plants, and planting native wetland species. Small flower consisting of five white petals at the top of a long narrow stem Mt. Tam BioBlitz Finds Rare Plant Species The Redwood Creek Vegetation program hosted a One Tam BioBlitz in mid-May along Bootjack Creek in Mount Tamalpais State Park. This site was of particular interest to park managers because of its serpentine soils, which are rare within the Redwood Creek watershed, and because only limited botanical surveys have been done here in the past. Small, mostly white flower with shades of pink and purple Project Continues to Bring Mission Blue Butterflies Back to Milagra Ridge Tiny, federally endangered Mission blue butterflies are once again making the trip from San Bruno Mountain to Milagra Ridge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Now in its second year, this project is attempting to return Mission blue numbers at Milagra Ridge to self-sustaining levels after they nearly disappeared from the site. Team of people some working of different butterfly translocation tasks on a grassy mountainside 2018 Coho and Steelhead Smolt Migration Begins Coho smolt monitoring traps have just been installed on Redwood and Olema Creeks, but not before a few smolts were seen getting ready to head to the ocean even earlier in the month. Even more surprising were a few large schools of steelhead smolts and seven hatchery-reared adult coho spotted still hanging out in a pool in Redwood Creek in early March. Smolt trap set up in a creek 2018 Coho Spawning Runs Larger Than Expected Early January saw enough rainfall for adult coho salmon and steelhead trout to reach their stream spawning habitats. Despite this long wait, the coho and steelhead spawning run in both Olema and Redwood Creeks was larger than anticipated, even when factoring out the addition of hatchery-released coho in Redwood Creek. Large fish swimming over a rocky creek bed Western Snowy Plover Monitoring at Golden Gate National Recreation Area Western Snowy Plovers are excellent indicators of the health and diversity of sandy beach ecosystems. The National Park Service began monitoring overwintering Western Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach in 1994. When the first plovers appeared on the newly restored beach and dunes at Crissy Field in 2004, the NPS began monitoring there as well. Snowy plover in foreground, Golden Gate Bridge in background Bat Inventory of Muir Woods National Monument Muir Woods National Monument contains natural features that make suitable roosting and foraging habitat for numerous bat species. By identifying which species of bats use habitats in Muir Woods and how they use them, bat inventories can help the National Park Service manage for the coexistence of bats and human visitors. Bat inventory co-leader handles a hoary bat. Coho Salmon: Monitoring to Understand Change Coho have a complex fresh and saltwater lifecycle. Because females are three years old when they spawn, every three years represents a distinct “cohort”, or different group of fish that are living on the same three year cycle together. Three cohorts live in San Francisco Bay Area streams. Year-round monitoring captures coho population dynamics at each life stage, and also for each cohort over time. Volunteers participate in a coho salmon spawner survey on Redwood Creek Cotoneaster Removal Helps Restore Important Wildlife Habitats National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy staff are working on cotoneaster removal at several project sites in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area including Oakwood Valley and Tennessee Valley. Cotoneaster—an invasive woody shrub with red berries that are readily dispersed by birds—forms dense stands that block all light to the understory. Oakweed Valley before and after cotoneaster removal Molting Harbor Seal Counts Show Continued Upward Trend in Bolinas Lagoon Following the breeding season, harbor seals of all ages and sexes haul out daily to “molt,” or shed their old fur and grow a new layer. The maximum number of molting seals for all Marin County monitoring sites was approximately 2,630, which is similar to the 17-year average. However, a closer look at the numbers for each individual site shows that most had peak counts that were lower than their respective 17-year averages—except for Bolinas Lagoon and Point Bonita. Harbor seals lying on rocks Fall Raptor Migration Off to a Strong Start at the Golden Gate On August 14th, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory began its 35th season of monitoring fall raptor migration at the Marin Headlands, and so far things are off to a promising start. The beginning of the season is often foggy, and this year has been no different; however, raptor counts on clear days have been robust and diverse. Bald Eagle flying by the Golden Gate Bridge Sea Cave Inventory Underway at Golden Gate The second week of August was filled with adventure and discovery for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area archaeologist, beach patrol, and biologists, along with a visiting National Park Service Alaska Regional Office scientist specializing in sea caves. Two scientists standing at the mouth of a sea cave The Bear Flag Revolt How did California's state flag come to be? The Original Bear Flag Cape Ivy Removal Beginning in Lower Rodeo Valley The Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Natural Resources Vegetation Program and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Projects Department are initiating a collaborative project to remove a highly invasive plant, cape ivy, from the Lower Rodeo Valley. Cape ivy leaves pictured against a white background Ninety-Three Years of Dedication to Duty–Bidding a Sad Farewell to the Presidio Fire Department Presidio fire station was built in 1917 in response to fatal fire in quarters of Gen. John Pershing. The Presidio Fire Department (PFD) served Presidio and Golden Gate NRA environs for 93 years. In 1994, base was closed through Base Realignment and Closure procedure, and operation of the department fell to NPS. This was first and only full–time fire department in NPS. In July 2012, all fire protection operations of PFD were absorbed by the San Francisco Fire Department. National Park Service Visitor and Resource Protection Staff Focuses on Week of Leadership Staff from all levels of the National Park Service in law enforcement, United States Park Police, as well as fire and aviation spent a week learning leadership lessons from one another as well as from a diverse group of leaders during the last week of September 2019. A group of women and men on a rocky outcrop in high desert. Life in an Ohlone Village Near San Francisco Bay Like their other Ohlone counterparts, the Ramaytush speaking people of the San Francisco Peninsula lived comfortably on the land in a network of small villages. Ohlone life was centered on the natural world, family, and community. From childhood they began learning the skills they would use throughout life. Everyone had an array of abilities, but some were recognized for their special talents... life in an ohlone village Impact of Spanish Colonization Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1769, the indigenous peoples of the San Francisco Peninsula, the Ramaytush, numbered about 2,000 persons. They were divided into ten independent tribes along the San Francisco Peninsula. Mission Dolores, was founded by Fray Francisco Palou on July 29, 1776. The Aramai tribe of the Ramaytush was almost entirely incorporated into Mission Dolores by 1784... Ohlone map after colonization 2019 Harbor Seal Monitoring Updates The 2019 harbor seal pupping season (March–May) was an average one. The maximum number of pups recorded during surveys at the main Marin County locations was approximately 1,060. That is very similar to the baseline average of 1,100 pups. The maximum number of seals recorded during the molt season (June–July), when all age groups come ashore to shed their fur, was approximately 2,800, which is less than the baseline average of 3,670 seals. Two adult harbor seals and a harbor seal pup resting on a rock The Civil War at Golden Gate The National Park Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861 – 1865.) We acknowledge this defining event in our nation’s history and its legacy in continuing to fight for civil rights. Fort Point Military Intelligence School at the Presidio By the late 1930s, as diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan deteriorated, the U.S. Army established the 4th Army Intelligence School at the Presidio. The army converted hanger Building 640, on Crissy Field, into classrooms and a barracks for a language school which trained Nisei – Japanese Americans born to parents who had come to the U.S from Japan – to act as translators in the war against Japan. historic photo of Japanese-American solders studying at tables Post to Park Transition When the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was formed in 1972, the Presidio was designated to be part of the system if the military ever closed the base. This foresight became a reality in 1989, when Congress decided to close the post as part of a military base reduction program. On October 1, 1994, the Presidio officially ended over two hundred-years of military service to three nations and was transferred to the United States National Park Service. Post to Park Poster Spanish American War - "A Splendid Little War" On April 21, 1898, the United States declared war against Spain. It would be the first overseas conflict fought by the U.S. It involved major campaigns in both Cuba and the Philippine Islands. Remember The Maine pin We Hold the Rock Early use of Alcatraz Island by the indigenous people is difficult to reconstruct, as most tribal and village history was recorded and passed down generation-to-generation as an oral history of the people. A large portion of this oral history has been lost as a result of the huge reduction of the California Indian population following European contact and exploration. American Indians raising thier fist World War II Mobilization Effort World War II military posts are where simple wood-frame buildings tell a fascinating story of American ingenuity and the nation’s ability to create and produce quickly, under pressure. In the fall of 1939, two years before our nation officially entered the war, the US Army was comprised of only 200,000 enlisted soldiers and there was little need for new or updated housing. Beginning in 1940, the military started drafting men into the army and navy and military ranks began to large wooden building under construction Presidio of San Francisco Architecture The Presidio of San Francisco represents one of the finest collections of military architecture in the country and reflects over 200 years of development under three different nations. Enlisted family housing The State Belt Railroad (1890-1993) The California Gold Rush of 1849 dramatically transformed San Francisco into a bustling port town, exploding with new people and construction. Due to the lack of any proper city planning, San Francisco's waterfront grew haphazardly into a maze of wharves, piers and warehouses. men in front of dieseil train at San Fransciso The Dipsea Race The race's history started in the early 1900s when San Francisco residents who wanted to take a break from city life flocked to nearby rural Marin County to enjoy the area's picturesque trails and forests. Every weekend, loaded ferries and trains brought people to hike and camp on the pastoral Mount Tamalpais, the 2,571 foot mountain in Mill Valley. Dipsea tail runner on trail Frederick Funston Though he stood less than five and one half feet tall, Frederick Funston (1865-1917) is a giant of American military history. Daring on the battlefield, outspoken in public, and uncompromising in opinion, Funston was as colorful and controversial a figure as anyone in the United States around the turn of the century. Frederick Funston June: A Month of Milestones The times are a changin’, and there’s no better time to honor those moments of change than in June. Over the course of America’s history, the month of June is filled with cultural changes, and some seasonal ones too. So just before the season changes and summer begins, take some time to visit these parks that commemorate extraordinary moments. Painting of suffragist on a horse National Parks Pitch In to Help Save Monarch Butterflies As scientists and citizen scientists have noted, insect populations are plummeting across the globe. Monarch butterfly populations are no exception. Recent counts show that the western population has experienced a precipitous drop. As of 2018, the population of monarchs overwintering along the California coast stands at just 0.6% of what it was in the 1980s. Monarch butterflies among eucalyptus leaves, viewed through a scope Plot Twist in the Presidio Last year, Presidio ecologists installed a webcam above a red-tailed hawk nest to capture the action during the upcoming breeding season. Thousands of viewers tuned in to watch as the resident pair of hawks fixed up their nest, laid eggs, and raised two healthy chicks. This year’s breeding season started off much the same as the last. But then a pair of great horned owls also began visiting the nest. Cue the drama. Red-tailed hawk facing off with a great horned owl, both with their wings outstretched Ocean Beach Fire Program A long tradition of beach fires predating the land transfer of Ocean Beach to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1975 continues to this day. During the Burn Season (March 1 - October 31), the National Park Service currently manages 16 very popular fire rings between stairwells 15 - 20. The Ocean Beach Fire Program was designed with extensive public input to allow visitors to continue to enjoy this tradition in a safe, manageable, and sustainable way. People gathered around a fire pit on Ocean Beach at night. Early Detection News – Spring 2018 Invasive Species Early Detection (ISED) team surveys began in April. They will be concentrated at Point Reyes National Seashore this year, with some additional work at Pinnacles National Park and John Muir National Historic Site. Barbed goatgrass How will Climate Change Affect Bay Area National Park Birds? The National Audubon Society has created research summaries for 274 national park units that describe how projected changes in climate under different emissions scenarios are likely to affect local bird populations. Hummingbird and house finch on the same branch 2018 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Winding Down in Marin County Right on schedule, the first harbor seal pups of the 2018 breeding season were recorded at Drakes Estero and Tomales Bay on March 23. The season peaked in late April and early May, with a maximum number of approximately 1,000 pups recorded throughout Marin County locations. Harbor seals hauled out on rocks 2018 Coho Salmon Smolt Trapping Season Ends Spring smolt trapping surveys are complete on both Redwood and Olema Creeks. The 41 endangered coho salmon smolts captured on Olema Creek represented much lower numbers than anticipated, and the second lowest year on record since smolt trapping began here in the spring of 2004. Results from Redwood Creek were more promising. Coho smolt being held in a measuring tray Coastal Biophysical Inventory of the San Francisco Bay Area Network The rocky intertidal zone has a tremendous diversity of plants and animals that are sensitive indicators of environmental change. The National Park Service contributes to collaborative long-term intertidal monitoring programs along the Pacific coast. The Coastal Biophysical Inventory's rapid assessments yield quantitative snapshots of the geology and biology of an expansive shoreline. Close up of an ochre star on rocks. Winter 2017-2018 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Summary In a typical year, the coho spawning run would span over two months (December to early February), but this year it was confined to only three weeks. Despite the short spawning window, Olema Creek redd (nest) production increased by 70% from the winter of 2014-2015 when this cohort last spawned. On Redwood Creek, the number of redds was the highest it has been since monitoring began for this cohort, bolstered by the release of hatchery-reared adult coho into the creek. Person examining the brain cavity of a large coho carcass Protecting Red-legged Frogs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Habitat loss and invasive species have caused a precipitous decline in the number of threatened California red-legged frogs. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area and their partners have implemented extensive habitat enhancement projects in both San Mateo and Marin Counties. These agencies, along with the U.S Geological Survey, are also monitoring frogs in both areas. California red-legged frog squats in a wet, mossy spot on some wood at Mori Point. 2017 Harbor Seal Monitoring Update The peak harbor seal pup count for the 2017 breeding season was approximately 745 pups, which is similar to the 17-year average. There was also very low pup mortality recorded at all monitoring sites. The sites with the largest pup counts were Drakes Estero and Bolinas Lagoon. The maximum count of molting seals across all sites was also similar to the 17-year average. Harbor seals resting on a submerged sandbar Harbor Seal Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area Because factors such as El Niño events, sea level rise, storm surges, changes in prey availability, and human activities can all affect harbor seals, studying them can provide important insights into the health of the larger marine ecosystem. The National Park Service, with the help of many dedicated volunteers and collaborators, has been monitoring harbor seals at sites in Golden Gate and Point Reyes every year since 1995. Mother and baby harbor seal on sandy beach Early Detection News, July 2017 A new edition of Early Detection News for July 2017 is now available. Brought to you by the Invasive Species Early Detection Program and Weed Watchers, this newsletter has the latest on invasive plants in the Bay Area. Everlasting pea Gold Bluffs Beach Dune Restoration Youth and crew leader discuss dune restoration Collaborative Bat Study Begins in Marin County As many as 15 different species are thought to live in Marin County, California, but biologists don’t know much yet about where many of them roost, forage, or raise their young. A new, collaborative study will expand upon ongoing USGS bat research in the region to look at bat distribution, habitat associations, and roosting ecology across the area's parks and open spaces. Person holding a pallid bat with gloved hands Preliminary 2017 Coho Smolt Trapping Results Are In; Juvenile Monitoring Underway The coho salmon smolt trapping season ended in late May, and preliminary results are now available. The Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program has also begun surveys of juvenile coho that hatched in the creeks this past winter. Surveys are underway on Pine Gulch Creek, where many juvenile steelhead have already been spotted. Juvenile steelhead trout in a measuring tray Alcatraz's Diamond T A fire engine once used for the famed prison on Alcatraz Island was restored to its former glory and greets visitors to “The Rock.” Alcatraz Diamond T Patch Salmon of Redwood Creek: Salmons’ Struggle for Survival Redwood Creek is one of the only creeks where salmon have not been stocked or re-introduced. Salmon and steelhead seen in the Creek are truly ancient strains of salmonids. They are genetically unique from salmon in other creeks in northern California. Although Muir Woods National Monument is a safe haven from human disturbance, they continually face natural challenges here as well as human and natural challenges outside of Redwood Creek. Coho salmon juvenile in a clear bag full of creek water for a better view 2019 Early Detection Newsletter Now Available The 2019 issue of Early Detection News is now available. Brought to you by the Invasive Species Early Detection (ISED) Program, this newsletter has the latest on invasive plants in the Bay Area. In 2019, surveys took place between March and October at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, John Muir National Historic Site, and Pinnacles National Park. Patch of tall grass next to a bear bin and fire pit at a campground. Find Your Park 2019 ad campaign starts with parks in NYC and San Francisco In the fall of 2019, the National Park Foundation rolled out new ads in San Francisco and New York for the Find Your Park campaign. From September 23 through October 28, a series of digital and static outdoor ads appeared in bus shelters, billboards, and other spaces in the city of New York and San Francisco. display ads featuring John Muir National Historic Site Researchers Pilot New Methods in Study of Brandt’s Cormorant Diets on Alcatraz A new paper summarizes a three-year study that took place between 2014 and 2016 on Alcatraz Island to evaluate the best methods for determining diets of Brandt’s cormorants nesting on the Island. Diets are typically analyzed after the nesting season through the collection of regurgitated pellets containing undigested prey. But pellets may only represent cormorant diets towards the end of the breeding season. Fish ear otoliths in a Petri dish. Team Embarks on Third Year of Bat Monitoring in Marin County The current biggest threat to Bay Area bats are habitat loss and disturbances to the places where they roost. As a result, researchers in Marin County are hoping to check which bat species are present, and learn more about their roosting habits and how they use local habitats. Such information could also help us understand how susceptible local bats are to White-nose Syndrome, and how best to protect them in the event that the fungal disease spreads to the Bay Area. Pallid bat in a gloved hand Late Spring Storm Caused 30% Loss to Alcatraz Brandt’s Cormorant Colony This year, a large multi-day rainstorm flooded 537 Brandt’s cormorant nests on Alcatraz Island. The May storm occurred during the peak nesting season when cormorants were incubating eggs or caring for newly hatched chicks. Brandt's cormorant pair standing over their nest full of eggs NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. golden gate bridge Southwest National Parks Climate Roundtable Webinar Recording Now Available Following the publication of the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (NCA4), the National Park Service began hosting a series of roundtable webinars to convey relevant findings to national parks. Each roundtable covers one of the 10 geographic regions defined in the report. This month, they hosted their seventh regional installment, the Southwest Parks NCA4 Roundtable. Fourth National Climate Assessment: What Does it Mean for National Parks in the Southwest Region? Vegetation Mapping Projects Underway in Marin and San Mateo In Marin and San Mateo Counties, previous mapping efforts used varying methods and focused solely on individual agency lands, making it challenging or impossible to interpret the data at a landscape level. But now, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is co-leading efforts to produce fine scale vegetation maps for both counties. A broad coalition of agencies and partners are collaborating on the efforts. Aerial image overlayed with vegetation community polygons 2018-2019 Coho and Steelhead Return Looking Strong During the winter months, coho and steelhead return from the ocean to their natal stream to spawn. Park biologists, partners, and volunteers survey these “spawners” to assess their success. Counts for both coho and steelhead were strong in Redwood and Olema Creeks. This year was also the last year of the Redwood Creek Captive Rearing Project, a multi-organizational collaborative effort to "jumpstart" our local coho population from the brink of extinction. Biologist attaching a piece of blue tape to a creek-side tree branch as others look at a datasheet An Update from a Decade of Recovery at the Giacomini Wetlands October 27, 2018, marked 10 years since the levees were removed as part of the Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project, a collaborative effort between Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. One of the goals of the restoration project was to shift vegetation communities at the site from dairy pasture to tidal salt and brackish marsh. We also hoped to see an increase in native plant-dominated communities. Overall, it has been a success. 2018 vegetation map of the Giacomini Wetlands showing a diversity of vegetation types Precipitation Extremes Mark First Years of Plant Community Monitoring in the Marin Headlands San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network scientists began plant community monitoring in 2015. The year 2015 was also the final year of California’s record-breaking four-year drought, which was followed by above average precipitation in 2016 and 2017. In a new article published in the journal Grasslands, network scientists focus in on how those precipitation extremes played out in one particular plant community: the coastal prairies of the Marin Headlands. Hillside covered in bright orange flowers 2018-2019 Coho Salmon Spawning Season Begins The coho salmon spawners from the cohort that will arrive this winter were last seen during the winter of 2015–2016. At that time, biologists found 66 coho redds (nests) in Olema Creek and 15 in Redwood Creek. Hopefully ocean conditions were favorable during the spring of 2017 through the summer of 2018, and we can surpass those numbers this year. Two large fish swimming side by side in a shallow stream. The ascent to peak health: Measuring the state of a mountain’s natural resources How do you define and measure the ecological health of one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s greatest natural treasures? Members of the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, recently came together to answer this question. oak woodland Landbird Inventory for Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore encompass 160,000 acres of wild areas and diverse habitats, enabling them to host a wide array of birds. During the breeding seasons of 1998 through 2000, Point Blue Conservation Science conducted landbird surveys along 61 transects throughout the parks. This inventory, along with additional sightings by park staff and visitors, resulted in observations of 129 species that breed in the parks. The Spotted Towhee perches on a branch. Water Quality Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area Freshwater quality affects people’s enjoyment of San Francisco Bay Area national park resources, and plays a direct role in the health of aquatic habitats. In 2006, the National Park Service began monitoring freshwater quality under a long-term monitoring plan developed for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, John Muir National Historic Site, Muir Woods National Monument, Pinnacles National Park, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Rocky creek with flowing water. Water Quality Monitoring in the Presidio of San Francisco Water quality is an indicator of the condition of aquatic habitat and is also an important indicator of the overall health of watersheds. In partnership with the Presidio Trust, National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program staff conduct monthly water quality monitoring at 16 sites in the Presidio to determine long-term trends in water quality parameters. These include water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate (as nitrogen), phosphate, and coliform bacteria. Water quality technician wades through deep stream while collecting samples at Mountain Lake Rare Lichen Discovered at More Bay Area National Park Sites In 2015, biologists found the globally rare island tube lichen (Hypogymnia schizidiata) on Montara Mountain during a baseline lichen inventory for the Rancho Corral de Tierra unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In subsequent years, the lichen has also been discovered in the Marin Headlands in Golden Gate, and on Mt Vision in Point Reyes National Seashore. Close-up view of island tube lichen Habitat Restoration Team Celebrates 30 Years of Caring for Golden Gate Lands Now one of now many drop in volunteer programs, the Habitat Restoration Team, started as an REI service project in August 1987 under the leadership of then National Park Service trail crew leader Gary Mott. Although the team started out working on trail improvements, it quickly expanded to help control invasive plants like gorse, cape weed, and French broom. Habitat Restoration Team group photo 2011 Recipients: George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Meet the six winner of the 2011 Hartzog Awards, which celebrates the amazing contributions of volunteers to our national parks. Youth volunteer Occupation of Alcatraz, 50th Anniversary Commemoration In 1969, a group of Native American activists called the Indians of All Tribes arrived on Alcatraz. Red Power on Alcatraz: Perspectives 50 Years Later tells the story of their 19 ­month occupation of the island. For the 19 months duration of the exhibit, visitors can view photographs by Brooks Townes, Ilka Hartmann and Stephen Shames, original materials from the collection of Kent Blansett, and contributions from the community of former occupiers. Tipi in doorway framed by two panels Fort Baker Fort Baker is a historic army post located in the Marin Headlands. The post, built between 1902 and 1910, is one of the park’s best examples of the army’s “Endicott Period” military construction, named after the late 19th century Secretary of War, William C. Endicott. Large two story patio front building at Fort Baker Architectural History at Golden Gate National Recreation Area The majority of Golden Gate’s historic buildings were constructed by the United States Army from as early as the 1860s. The army established their first military post here at the Presidio in 1847 and with the advent of the Civil War, they established posts at Fort Mason, Fort Point and Alcatraz. The army’s job was to defend the city from enemy attack, so their first construction priority was to immediately build powerful seacoast defense batteries and cannon. Soldier on horse in front of two level home Seventh Sudden Oak Death Science & Management Symposium: Key Messages This June, scientists and land managers from as far as Australia and New Zealand gathered at the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club for “Healthy Plants in a World with Phytophthora: the Seventh Sudden Oak Death Science and Management Symposium." Trays of young plants in a greenhouse Strong Atmospheric Rivers Impact Bay Area Parks Warm, tropical air is capable of holding massive amounts of water. Most of the time, that warm, wet air stays in the tropics, but sometimes, atmospheric conditions draw it out across great distances in long, narrow bands. When these “atmospheric rivers” reach land in the mid-latitudes, the air cools and the water vapor it was carrying falls as rain or snow. Collapsed section of a coastal cliff, consuming a large section of the beach below Of salmon and success: Partnership across boundaries in Olympic National Park Invasive species management in national parks can be hard, but success is possible! Learn how the Exotic Plant Management Team, along with tribal and state partners, fought invasive knotweed - but not vampires - in Olympic National Park. A man standing in a tall thick of knotweed Preliminary Summer 2018 Juvenile Salmonid Survey Results In The juvenile coho population in both Olema and Redwood creeks was smaller than expected given the observed spawning activity during the winter of 2017–2018. One possible reason for lower survival rates was a big storm in early April, during a time when newly emerged coho fry are extremely vulnerable. Two people in wetsuits snorkeling in the shallow waters of Redwood Creek Marin Spotted Owls Buffered From Barred Owl Invasion Did you know that Marin County, CA, including Point Reyes National Seashore, could be essential refuges for the northern spotted owl subspecies in coming years? In forests farther north, the eastern barred owl has moved down the coast and invaded historic spotted owl territories. Two northern spotted owls on a branch, a parent and a fledgling Marin County Vegetation Map & Landscape Database Project Underway, With Plans to Expand A broad coalition of Marin County land management agencies and other partners have joined forces to meet their common need for a fine-scale vegetation map and landscape database. The first phase of this project will create digital aerial photos at a resolution of six inches, and three-dimensional landscape imagery through LiDAR surveys. LiDAR imagery of a segment of a Sonoma County river, highlighting flood risk areas Second Year of Bat Surveys Underway in Marin County The US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center, Point Reyes National Seashore, and One Tam partners are embarking on their second year of bat surveys in Marin County. The collaborative effort aims to shed light on local bat species diversity, distribution, roosting sites, and disease. Gloved hand holding a hoary bat Check Out the New San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring Network Website The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring Network website is now fully updated! The new website features a modern look and feel, is fully accessible, mobile friendly, and makes it easier to find and share information. Partial screenshot of a new webpage on the new San Francisco Bay Area Network website Habitat Succession Effects on Nesting White-crowned Sparrows Decades of habitat change at Point Blue’s Palomarin Field Station in Point Reyes National Seashore have seen a conversion of shrubland to dense Douglas-fir forest, as well as an 85% decline in the local white-crowned sparrow population. A recent paper used 30 years of data to understand how plant community changes at the site affected both the reproductive success and habitat selection of this bird species. White-crowned sparrow perched at the top of a shrub No Clear Cause for Recent Sea Star Wasting Disease Found A new study has revealed no one cause of the disease, which hit populations of the keystone predator ochre sea star particularly hard in 2014 and 2015. The authors used data from 90 sites ranging from Alaska to southern California to try to determine what caused the outbreak. Colorful ochre stars with the tissues of their limbs deteriorating Sedges of Marin County Guide Now Available The sedge genus is one of the largest, most widespread, and ecologically important genera of vascular plants worldwide, and the largest genus of flowering plants in California (156 spp.). However, comparatively little is known about the distribution, status, and ecology of many species. This is largely because of the difficulty of sedge identification. Screenshot of Sedges of Marin County website Sea Cave Monitoring Continues Along Golden Gate’s Shores Staff from the Alaska Regional Office and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Natural Resources Division are continuing to explore and map sea caves and related features along the park’s coast. With surveys of the Marin Headlands coastline completed—but just some of San Francisco’s shorelines surveyed—they have already found and mapped over 100 caves and cave-like features. Modified satellite image of Bird Rock area, with sea cave locations highlighted Breeding Success for Recently Released Endangered Coho in Redwood Creek Since January's coho salmon release in Redwood Creek, monitoring crews have been surveying the creek weekly to record the number and locations of coho salmon nesting sites, known as redds. They have found at least 35 coho redds that they believe were created by the released fish due to the presence of hatchery adults at or near the nesting site at the time of the observation. Large fish in a net being lowered into a creek Wintering Monarch Butterflies at the Presidio Monarch butterflies have begun their migration to wintering sites in California, including Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio. Monarch numbers have been low at this site over the last 20 years, but the last two years have shown record numbers. Monarch butterfly perched on a cluster of red berries Barred Owls in Marin County Barred owls recently expanded into the forest communities of Marin County where they may be negatively impacting the federally threatened northern spotted owl. The barred owl is an eastern species that has expanded its range westward into the Pacific Northwest and more recently southward into California. During their annual northern spotted owl surveys, National Park Service biologists in Marin also record the presence of barred owls and other potential threats. Barred owl 2017 Juvenile Coho Monitoring Done; Spawner Monitoring Begins With Some Surprises The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring Network’s Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program has preliminary results from this year’s summer monitoring. Also, winter spawner monitoring is now underway. While the water is still too low for migrating fish on Olema and Redwood Creeks, partner groups have recorded some surprising salmon sightings on Lagunitas Creek. Three people wearing waders, standing in a creek with nets and electrofishing gear 2014 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients Introducing the national and regional recipients of the 2014 Freeman Tilden Awards, given in recognition of new and innovative programs in interpretation. Two rangers holding a whale skull World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill Spring 2017 Downstream Migrant Trapping Summary The 2017 coho and steelhead smolt trapping season began in mid-March. Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program staff and volunteers constructed two traps on Redwood Creek and one trap on Olema Creek to help monitor the annual migration of the year-old fish out to sea. The primary Redwood Creek trap captured a total of 612 coho smolts, and 1,145 coho smolts were captured in the Olema Creek trap. Crews collected valuable data on each fish before sending them on their way. Juvenile steelhead in a measuring tray Winter 2016-2017 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Summary Although Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program crews were unable to survey as often as in past winters due to many heavy storms, they observed more than double the number of coho redds (nests) on Redwood Creek compared to the winter of 2013-2014, when the previos generation of these fish spawned. The number of redds on Cheda Creek stayed the same, and lower than expected on Olema Creek. Adult male coho swimming upstream Frequently Asked Coho Salmon Questions Visitors to Muir Woods National Monument may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of endangered coho salmon in Redwood Creek. Read on for the answers to several frequently asked questions about these fascinating fish. Adult female coho salmon Crews Survey Serpentine Barrens on Mount Tam Areas with large amounts of serpentinite, California’s greenish state rock, are uniquely common on and around Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. They appear as sparsely vegetated patches of rocky soil known as serpentine barrens. Serpentinite-rich soils are too harsh for most plants. The few plants that do grow in serpentine barrens are typically specialized, rare, locally endemic species. Team of three people crouching over sparse serpentine barren vegetation. Golden Gate's Journey to Carbon Neutral Park Operations Golden Gate National Recreation Area has attained carbon-neutral park operations, arriving at a major milestone set forth in the park’s Climate Change Action Plan a full year ahead of schedule! As of 2019, the park is using 100% renewable electricity and offsetting additional emissions from park operations by purchasing carbon offsets. Three different kinds of vertical-axis wind turbines Leandra’s Lineage In 2005, Jonathan Cordero identified a surviving lineage from the Aramai tribe and Randall Milliken published this information in a report compiled for Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Although other families may have survived into the twentieth century, only one lineage of the Ramyatush peoples is known to have produced descendants that are living today. These descendants originate from the Aramai tribal village of Timigtac. illustration of ohlone vilagers Re-interpreting the Discovery Site What is the legacy of colonization? Over the centuries, the lens of history has sharpened. The notion that America was vast and empty, waiting to be discovered and settled by Europeans was based on the pretense that no one of significance was here before. The truth is that indigenous people with thriving and highly developed cultures lived across the continent for thousands of years before colonization started... Two women, descendants of the portola expedition, talk into a microphone Transformative Quartermaster Reach Restoration Project to Begin in the Presidio The Presidio Trust, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area have worked to restore the Tennessee Hollow Watershed for over two decades. However, one key part of the watershed, where the creek connects to Crissy Marsh, remains buried under a sea of pavement and confined to a 72-inch storm drain. Next month, that will start to change. Artists rendering of a restored Quartermaster Reach Marsh NOAA Scientists Publish Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Pacific Coast Salmon and Steelhead Populations Twenty-eight of the 52 distinct populations of seven Pacific salmon and steelhead species in the continental US are either threatened or endangered. Three more are considered species of concern. A team of NOAA-led scientists recently completed a climate vulnerability assessment for all of these populations, plus a couple more. Bar graph: Salmon and steelhead population's vulnerability to climate change, by species. First Phase of Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project Underway in Muir Woods This month, a project began in Muir Woods that aims to address one of the biggest threats to the survival of endangered coho salmon in Redwood Creek: the lack of good stream habitat for young fish. Biologists scooping fish out of a netted-off section of creek. 2019 Harbor Seal Monitoring Complete The 2019 harbor seal monitoring season has come to a close. Biologists monitor harbor seals at various Marin County locations during the breeding season (March - May) and molt season (June - July). The 2019 breeding season was an average one for the harbor seals. Molt season counts were similar to the last couple of years, but lower than the baseline average. Two adult harbor seals and a harbor seal pup resting on a rock Creation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area During the 1950s and 1960s, San Francisco experienced developmental pressures and shifts in its economy. The rapid development of the Bay Area after World War II was forcing suburban sprawl further and further into what had always been historic farm land. There was growing concern about the diminishing rural countryside. Model of the proposed "Marincello" John Harris Fights Back Against Discrimination In the late 19th century, a new California civil rights law was put to the test after San Franciscan John Harris was turned away from Sutro Baths because he was black. His experience provided a unique opportunity to see if the recently ratified legislation, meant to ensure equal access in public places, could actually compel change. News Headline The Panama-Pacific International Exhibition The vast fair, which covered over 600 acres and stretched along two and a half miles of water front property, highlighted San Francisco’s grandeur and celebrated a great American achievement: the successful completion of the Panama Canal. Nine years earlier, San Francisco experienced a terrible earthquake, declared one of America’s worst national disasters. The city overcame great challenges to rebuild and by the time the Exposition opened in 1915. View of the South Gardens and the Tower of Jewels, 1915 1906 Earthquake and the Army In the early dawn light of April 18, 1906—at 5:12 a.m.—the ground under San Francisco shook violently for a less than a minute. Though damage from the earthquake was severe, the ensuing fires were truly catastrophic. Thirty broke out almost immediately, burned for three days, and destroyed over five hundred blocks in the heart of the city. Soldiers from the presidio walking in the rubble from the earthquake Army Life at Fort Cronkhite The first soldiers stationed at Fort Cronkhite were assigned to the 6th and 5th Coast Artillery Regiments. A soldier’s life at Fort Cronkhite, as anywhere in the army, meant that you did what you were told to do. A soldier’s daily life on post was structured and regimented; they were required to drill and train, eat and clean their barracks, all at tightly scheduled times. The soldiers trained constantly, either up at Battery Wallace or on the post’s main parade ground which off duty soldiers in front of the barracks Marin Headlands Agriculture The first users of the Marin Headlands were the native Americans, who hunted and gathered on the abundant land. By the 19th century, Europeans divided the land into dozens of successful dairy farms. When development encroached in the mid-20th century, active citizens worked tirelessly to protect the land as a new urban national park. historic map of the Marin penisula dividing into separate ranch parcels John Muir John Muir was one of the country’s most famous naturalist and conservationist and Muir Woods, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is named in his honor. John Muir profile portrait Japanese at Rancho Corral De Tierra Before World War II, two Japanese families came to cultivate lands now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Takahashis and the Satos. Both their stories have historical importance. The first one is about a pioneer horticulturalist and leader of his community. The second is about the struggles of a farm family faced with internment and ruin. The Sato Family Invasive Plant Species Priority Lists Read about how the Early Detection Team prioritizes removal of different invasive plants. Malfurada. Effort Underway to Establish Pathogen Resistant Lupines at Milagra Ridge As Mission blue butterflies decline at Milagra Ridge, silver lupines, are also in rough shape. They are losing their leaves and flowers to fungal pathogen outbreaks. Silver lupines are host plants for Mission blue butterflies; Mission blue caterpillars depend on their leaves for food. To help buffer the Mission blue population from further pathogen outbreaks, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is planting a pathogen resistant lupine species at the site this spring. Hundreds of newly-planted seedlings protected by cages and marked with colored flags Mission Blue Translocation Project Enters Year Three Park partners and staff were alarmed when only three federally endangered Mission blue butterflies were recorded in 2015 at Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Milagra Ridge. So they took action, doubling down on habitat restoration work in the area, and starting the Mission Blue Butterfly Translocation Project in 2017. The project’s third season got off to a strong start on April 10 with the translocation of nine Mission blues from San Bruno Mountain to Milagra Ridge. Two people on a grassy hillside point as a third person prepares to swing a butterfly net Rare Bees Return to Restored Presidio Sand Dunes Presidio Trust stewardship staff have discovered a sizeable colony of rare silver digger bees in newly restored Presidio sand dunes. Significant numbers of this species haven’t been spotted in San Francisco since 1928. The sand-loving bees returned to the area after stewardship staff removed invasive ice plant, allowing the original sand dune ecosystem to flourish. Siver digger bee in flight Harbor Seal Habitat and Sea Level Rise in the San Francisco Bay Harbor seals are year-round residents of San Francisco Bay Area waters. But they don't just stay in the water. They also need safe places to come ashore to rest, shed their fur, and raise their young. They “haul out” in several coves, lagoons, and estuaries along the coast, and at many sites within the San Francisco Bay. Three harbor seals resting on rocky islets rising above the water during a low tide. California Red-legged Frog Numbers on the Rise at Muir Beach Every winter, scientists count California red-legged frogs egg masses in ponds and streams at Muir Beach and at other sites in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 2016 and 2017 have seen the highest egg mass numbers at Muir Beach since monitoring began at this site in 2002. Close-up look at a California red-legged frog egg mass. Sea Star Recovery Slow in Bay Area National Parks Sea stars like ochre stars used to be abundant in Bay Area National Parks, but in 2013 park biologists saw a sharp decline in both the size and number of sea stars along park shorelines. Scientists are still looking for the cause of the mysterious “sea star wasting syndrome” behind this population crash. The disease has persisted along much of the Pacific coast, including in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore. Orange ochre star alongside anemones and barnacles in the rocky intertidal zone Early Detection News - September 2018 The Invasive Species Early Detection Team (ISED) conducted September surveys at Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area North District. Noteworthy detections this month included reed canary grass, Johnson grass, and horehound. Close up of reed canary grass with monoculture in the background. 2018 Marin Headlands Hawk Migration Underway The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory began its 36th season of raptor migration tracking on August 13th. The program’s five volunteer teams are out in the Marin Headlands each day, with banding teams at four different trapping blinds, and the hawkwatch crew on the summit of Hawk Hill counting raptors and engaging the public. Three young students wearing expressions of excitement as they look for hawks from Hawk Hill August 2018 Early Detection Newsletter Available The August 2018 issue of Early Detection News is now available. Brought to you by the Invasive Species Early Detection (ISED) Program, this newsletter has the latest on invasive plants in the Bay Area. Get the highlights here. Klamathweed, with numerous blooming yellow flowers on stems covered in smaller leaves Early Detection News - August 2017 The Invasive Plant Species Early Detection Monitoring team completed surveys for the 2017 field season in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several noteworthy species were detected this month including the spiny plumeless thistle, poroporo, black locust, common cocklebur, and stinkwort. Red flower of the red amaranth Night Sky and Lightscape Monitoring in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area The quality of the nighttime environment and availability of natural lighting conditions is relevant to various ecosystem functions, particularly those concerning nocturnal wildlife. The National Park Service has developed a system for measuring sky brightness to quantify the source and severity of light pollution in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Night skies over the San Francisco Bay, showing the illuminated bay bridge and Alcatraz. Northern Spotted Owl Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area Federally threatened Northern Spotted Owls are vital indicators of forest health since their survival depends on the presence of diverse, robust evergreen forest ecosystems. The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program and its partners began long-term monitoring of Northern Spotted Owls in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore and other public lands in Marin County in 1999. Female spotted owl perches on a branch Bat Inventory of Golden Gate National Recreation Area Bats are both economically and ecologically important, providing ecosystem services such as predation of insects and pollination. Between July 2004 and July 2005, researchers detected bat vocalizations in Golden Gate using Anabat bat detectors. Close up image of a Fringed Myotis bat spreading its wings. Check Out the Presidio’s New Hawk Cam! You can now peek in on a mating pair of red-tailed hawks nesting high up in one of the Presidio’s blue gum eucalyptus trees. The pair are regular residents at the site, and have returned to this same nest over the past few years. Red-tailed hawk in its nest, looking up towards the camera Mates for a Rare Manzanita Offer Hope for Its Future The Franciscan manzanita was considered extinct in the wild for seven decades until a single plant was discovered in the Presidio in 2009. The plant was saved and is now protected but it cannot reproduce without "mates". Last year, the Presidio Nursery worked with the UC Berkeley, East Bay Regional Parks, and San Francisco botanical gardens to grow plants from their collection of original Franciscan manzanitas, saved from other areas of San Francisco. A blooming Raven's manzanita planting Third Redwood Creek Coho Salmon Release a Success January 12th marked another milestone in the multi-agency effort to save Redwood Creek’s coho salmon. Staff and volunteers joined together to release 188 adult coho spawners, which had been captured in the stream as juveniles in 2015 and reared in the Don Clausen Fish Hatchery. Coho being released from a net into Redwood Creek Plover Numbers Strong on Golden Gate Beaches Last winter, National Park Service biologists observed record high numbers of federally threatened Western Snowy Plovers overwintering at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. So far, the numbers this season are not quite as high, but they are still significantly higher than average since plover monitoring began in 1994—good news for plovers. Western snowy plover on the beach Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Preserving Places of Captivity: Civil War Military Prisons in the National Parks During the Civil War, over 400,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were held prisoner at more than 150 diff erent prison sites. Approximately 56,000 of these died in captivity. Although Andersonville is the most famous Civil War prison, it is only one of many Civil War military prisons that are preserved by the National Park Service. Plant Community Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area Plant communities create essential habitat for plants and animals. While several National Park Service projects have included limited forms of vegetation sampling for some time, a recently updated protocol guides comprehensive, long-term plant community monitoring. Coastal dune vegetation on a hillside at Point Reyes National Seashore Invasive Plant Early Detection in the San Francisco Bay Area Invasive plants can dramatically alter ecosystems and reduce the amount of habitat available for native plant and animal species. The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring Network has developed an invasive plant early detection protocol to prioritize, find, and map invasive plants at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, Pinnacles National Park, and John Muir National Historic Site. The yellow flowers of invasive creeping capeweed in the Marin Headlands Streamflow Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area The amount of water flowing in a stream, or streamflow, is among the most useful factors available for understanding watershed and stream health. The San Francisco Bay Area Network Inventory and Monitoring Program and its partners monitor streamflow in selected streams at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Pinnacles National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the Presidio of San Francisco. Brisk winter flows in Redwood Creek The War and Westward Expansion With Federal resources focused on waging the war farther east, both native tribes and the Confederacy attempted to claim or reclaim lands west of the Mississippi. The Federal government responded with measures (Homestead Act, transcontinental railroad) and military campaigns designed to encourage settlement, solidify Union control of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physical and cultural presence of tribes native to the West. Painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way showing settlers moving into the American west Early Detection News, June 2017 A new edition of Early Detection News for June 2017 is now available. Brought to you by the Invasive Species Early Detection Program and Weed Watchers, this newsletter has the latest on invasive plants in the Bay Area. Mapping a small-leaf spiderwort infestation Summer 2016 Juvenile Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Summary Preliminary results from our juvenile coho basinwide surveys indicated a decrease in numbers on both Olema and Redwood Creeks when compared to the previous generation. The number of juvenile coho was also fewer than anticipated given the strong return of spawning coho seen during the winter of 2015-2016. Large juvenile steelhead trout in a measuring tray during summer monitoring 2004 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2004 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Fort Point The Fort has been called "the pride of the Pacific," "the Gibraltar of the West Coast," and "one of the most perfect models of masonry in America." When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Fort Point and Golden Gate strait before the Golden Gate Bridge Adelbert von Chamisso French-born explorer and naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso (full name: Louis Charles Adélaïde de Chamisso de Boncourt) (1781-1838) visited the San Francisco Bay area in the early nineteenth century. During his time in California, Chamisso studied a number of indigenous plant and animal species and his inventory is considered a valuable ecological record to this day. Adelbert Chamisso Charles Young - Buffalo Soldier Leader among the legendary "Buffalo Soldiers", Charles Young (1864-1922) served in the segregated U-S Army of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Charles Young, Buffalo Soldier Colonial Revival Style 1880s - 1940s The Colonial Revival style, one of the most popular and enduring styles in America, was fueled by the country’s interest in its own history. The Philadelphia Centennial of 1876, held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Independence, sparked an interest in the history and accomplishments of the country’s forefathers. White building with red roof 2019 Spotted Owl Breeding Success Near Average The northern spotted owl monitoring season is winding down, and the results are nearly final as biologists complete the season's surveys. Reproduction for this year was near the average with nineteen fledglings counted from twelve successful nests. One nest failed, and ten pairs of owls did not nest this season. Fluffy white northern spotted owl fledgling peering down through the trees Japanese Knotweed Eradication Efforts Continue Along Lagunitas Creek Homeowners, land managers, and coho salmon and all share a common concern along Lagunitas Creek in Marin County: Japanese knotweed. The plant is one of the world’s most invasive species, and was first reported in the area in 2011. This year, an early round of Japanese knotweed treatments is focusing on an area along Lagunitas Creek where a coho salmon habitat enhancement project will be taking place later in the summer. Shield-shaped leaves of Japanese knotweed World War II Temporary Construction Golden Gate contains many examples of the military’s World War II “temporary construction” building type which tells a fascinating story of American ingenuity and the nation’s ability to create and produce quickly, under pressure. The army’s World War II temporary building patterns are more a building construction type than a specific architectural style. Temporary two story rectangular building Redwood Creek Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project The Redwood Creek Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project as part of the Redwood Renewal effort, will remove a portion of the rock walls, or “riprap,” that line the creek banks upstream of Bridge 3, and use fallen trees from the forest floor to create fish habitat. Over time, the natural movement of water will finish the job of transforming Redwood Creek from its current hardened state to a more complex, natural, and healthy stream ecosystem. Two Coho Salmon in Redwood Creek MUWO Photo by TIm Jordan NPS Adolph Sutro Adolph Sutro was a German-born inventor, entrepreneur and real estate developer who helped shape the landscape of late 19th century San Francisco. Interested in providing inexpensive recreation for the general public, he changed San Francisco's sparse and undeveloped Point Lobos area into a flourishing recreational complex that during its heyday boasted the Cliff House, Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights. Portuguese Dairy Farmers The Marin Headlands, with its ideal climate for raising dairy cows, was once covered with prosperous dairy farms. By the 1880s, Marin County was California’s largest producer of fresh milk and buttThe Marin Headlands, with its ideal climate for raising dairy cows, was once covered with prosperous dairy farms. By the 1880s, Marin County was California’s largest producer of fresh milk and butter. Portuguese Dairy Farmers Winter 2018-2019 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Summary The 2018-2019 cohort on Olema has been the strongest cohort since monitoring began, and redd production this season is similar to what was documented three years ago. In comparison, redd abundance on Redwood Creek increased dramatically in 2018-2019 with the successful release of the hatchery-raised adults. Along with a healthy coho return, steelhead were seen in all four streams that were surveyed. Two large fish lunging at each other at the surface of a creek Summer 2018 Juvenile Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Summary Preliminary results from our juvenile coho salmon basinwide surveys indicate an increase in population on both Olema Creek and Redwood Creek when compared to the previous generation. However, both Olema and Redwood Creek juvenile estimates are lower than expected given the number of redds observed during the winter. Volunteers with nets walk through a creek on either side of a biologist with an electrofisher 2018 Harbor Seal Monitoring Updates The San Francisco Bay Area Network's Pinniped Monitoring Program recorded the first harbor seal pups of the 2018 breeding season at Drakes Estero and Tomales Bay on March 23. The peak of pupping occurred during late April and early May, with a maximum number of approximately 1,000 pups recorded throughout Marin County locations. Following the breeding season, a total of 3,022 seals of all ages were recorded molting at Marin County locations. Harbor seal moms and pups hauled out on a mudflat Crissy Field Restoration From a waste dump to a thriving coastal wetland habitat, Crissy Field has gone through an amazing transformation. Photo of vegetation at Crissy field following restoration work. Rocky Intertidal Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area The rocky intertidal zone, or the band of rocky shore covered up by the highest of tides and exposed by the lowest of tides, is an extraordinarily diverse and productive ecosystem. The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program monitors rocky intertidal communities at five sites in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore. Colorful ochre star clings to rock in the intertidal zone Landbird Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area With their varied microclimates, large swaths of protected wild lands, and position along a major migratory pathway, the National Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area host some of the largest and most diverse assemblages of landbirds in the United States. Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore have a long history of landbird monitoring, with some sites surveyed since the mid-1960s. Ruby-crowned Kinglet perches in a flowering tree John Harris Sues Adolph Sutro for Discrimination In the late 19th century, a new California civil rights law was put to the test after San Franciscan John Harris was turned away from Sutro Baths because he was black. His experience provided a unique opportunity to see if the recently ratified legislation, meant to ensure equal access in public places, could actually compel change. John Harris v. Adolph Sutro Newsletter Wildland Fire in Chaparral: California and Southwestern United States Chaparral is a general term that applies to various types of brushland found in southern California and the southwestern U.S. This community contains the most flammable type of vegetation found in the United States. Chaparral on steep rocky slopes. Coho Salmon & Steelhead Trout Monitoring in the San Francisco Bay Area Federally endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout are large, charismatic fish that play crucial roles in both stream and ocean ecosystems. The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program and its partners began monitoring coho and steelhead in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore in 1998. NPS staff and volunteer measuring a coho salmon smolt Summer 2017 Juvenile Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Summary Preliminary results from juvenile coho salmon basinwide surveys in the San Francisco Bay Area indicate a decrease in numbers on Olema Creek and an increase on Redwood Creek when compared to the previous generation. For an eight consecutive year, surveys found no coho juveniles in Pine Gulch Creek. Fingers holding filter paper with a coho tissue sample on it Microplastics on National Park Beaches Every beachgoer has probably noticed plastic trash littering their favorite beaches, however remote. A new study of microplastic distribution on national park beaches indicates that whichever one you visit, there is probably also some amount of plastic that is harder to see, mixed in with the sand between your toes. Microplastic piece and organic matter Captive Rearing of Redwood Creek Coho Salmon Coho salmon in Marin County’s Redwood Creek are at critically low numbers, and are at risk of local extinction. To prevent permanent loss of the fish, a team of scientists and land managers are removing juvenile coho from Redwood Creek and rearing them to maturity. Two male coho spawners interact as they swim upstream Fire Prevention Success--What’s Being Accomplished in the National Parks Spring 2016 Downstream Migrant Trapping Summary The 2016 coho smolt trapping season began in late March after some unusually strong late winter storms. Two traps were constructed on Redwood Creek and one trap was constructed on Olema Creek. In general, it was a mild spring and there were no major disruptions to smolt trapping operations from late-March through May. Coho smolt production increased on both Olema and Redwood Creeks when compared with the previous time this cohort was seen. Group of volunteers constructing a smolt trap in Redwood Creek New Draft Lifeform Map Available for San Mateo County Earlier this year, a broad coalition of agencies and partners co-led by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy released a draft “Lifeform Map” for Marin County. Now, a different but overlapping coalition has released a similar draft lifeform map for San Mateo County. The project’s ultimate goal is to produce highly detailed maps of land cover and plant communities, for the first time at a countywide scale. Representative lifeform map portion with colors representing different plant communities. Freshwater Shrimp Surveys Underway in Marin County Creeks National Park Service biologists, in collaboration with US Fish and Wildlife, are surveying lower Lagunitas Creek tributaries for endangered California freshwater shrimp for the first time in almost 15 years. Researchers will identify any changes in the abundance and distribution of shrimp in Marin County’s shallow streams, which represent a sizable portion of the native crustacean’s limited range. Overhead view of a small, mostly translucent shrimp High Numbers of Whales Washing up on Bay Area Beaches No, it’s not your imagination, the Bay Area has seen a large number of dead whales on its shores over the last three months. Three whales have washed ashore at Bay Area national parks alone: a gray whale calf and a juvenile blue whale. Young blue whale carcass washed up on a beach Corridos: Stories Told Through Song The corrido is a traditional Mexican song style that has evolved over the past 200 years in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Corridos are all about storytelling. They tell of battle victories (and loses), individuals taking on the establishment, the lives of great or notorious people, and – perhaps the most ancient type of story in human history – the epic journey. Learn about this enduring tradition and listen to a corrido about the Anza Expedition of 1776 A woodcut illustration of four people singing and a man playing guitar Coloring Pages: Golden Gate Express your creative side and de-stress with color pages of wildlife and park sites at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Colored in Butterfly lands on flower Scientist Profile: Lizzy Edson, Data Coordinator Data Coordinator Lizzy Edson is one of the many amazing women doing science in our National Parks! Her elegant handiwork is behind some of the San Francisco Bay Area parks’ most exciting Natural Resource projects: BioBlitzes, bat monitoring, the One Tam Health of the Mountain Project, and more. Read Lizzy's story to get inspired and learn how data helps us uncover hidden stories of the natural world. Portrait of Lizzy beside Rodeo Lagoon. Community Science Update: 2020 San Francisco Bay Area City Nature Challenge Recap 2020 looked a little different for the City Nature Challenge, an annual community science event. The event encourages urban areas around the world to turn out the greatest number of naturalists, make the most nature observations, and find the most species. In previous years, people have traveled to parks to find nature and make observations. But given local shelter-in-place restrictions, organizers decided on a different strategy. Bee visiting a flower. Honoring Marty Griffin’s 100 Years: A Lifetime Of Environmental Achievements L. Martin (Marty) Griffin, M.D. (born July 23, 1920) is a pioneering environmentalist and conservationist in California. Marty has been a leader in protecting and preserving unique ecosystems and the creatures that inhabit them. Portrait of a silver-haired man standing outside by Bolinas Lagoon. 1997–1998 El Niño / 1998–1999 La Niña Wind-driven waves and abnormally high sea levels contributed to hundreds of millions of dollars in flood and storm damage in the San Francisco Bay region, including Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Pinnacles National Monument. In addition to California, the 1997–1998 El Niño and the following 1998–1999 La Niña severely impacted the Pacific Northwest, including many National Park System units. colorful ocean surface mapping image Biologists Survey for Endangered Black Abalone This summer as park biologists conducted rocky intertidal surveys, they also surveyed for black abalone, the only federally endangered marine invertebrate that resides in Bay Area National Parks. Black abalone were once common in California before threats like commercial fishing, poaching, and disease drove major declines in the species across the California coast. They are rare North of the Golden Gate bridge, and their numbers do not appear to be recovering on their own. Close-up of black abalone specimen, with bluish-black shell, in rocky intertidal habitat. 1982–1983 El Niño As a result of this El Niño, heavy surf and rains severely eroded beaches and fragile sea cliffs in coastal California. National Park System units in California affected by the 1982–1983 El Niño event were Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Pinnacles National Monument. map of lower 48 united states with color ramp to show temperature Researchers Identify Winter Bat Roosts in Marin County Since 2017, One Tam partners have been collaborating with USGS to conduct the first countywide bat monitoring program in Marin. One piece of the program is roost site monitoring, which begins with mist netting to catch bats. This past February, the monitoring team spent seven nights mist netting at Cascade Canyon and near Lake Lagunitas on Marin Municipal Water District land. Person in the forest holding up an electronic device over his head. USGS National Wildlife Health Center Bulletin Addresses Coronaviruses in Wildlife Coronaviruses exist in many mammals and birds all across the globe. At the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), wildlife scientists are doing their part to tackle questions about COVID-19 and wildlife. For example, could North American wildlife become reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19? What species are most susceptible? What can we do to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to wildlife? A California myotis bat with a temporary radio transmitter attached to its back. Presidio Bee Discoveries Inspire Joy and Concern Earlier this spring, ecologists made a happy observation in the restored 2-acre patch of dunes at Rob Hill in the Presidio of San Francisco. For the second year in a row, large numbers of locally rare silver digger bees were busily digging nests and visiting flowers among the dunes. But a recently completed inventory revealed that some other bees in the park may not be doing as well. Close-up of a black-tailed bumble bee visiting a flower. 2020 Small Research Grant Opportunities at Point Reyes National Seashore, the Tomales Bay Watershed, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area To encourage partnerships with the research community and to support National Park Service and partner information needs, we are pleased to offer three grant competitions this year: the Neubacher Fund for Marine Science at Point Reyes, the Golden Gate Science Into Action Fund at Golden Gate, and the Tomales Bay Watershed Council Science Fund. <strong>The application deadline is February 24, 2020.</strong> Wetland in Point Reyes National Seashore Coast Redwoods v. Climate Change Climate change caused by human greenhouse gas emissions has already begun to take a toll on trees in California. In fact, it is tied to a doubling of tree mortality in the Western US from 1955 to 2007 via increasing droughts, wildfires, and insect infestations. But what might climate change mean for California's iconic coast redwood trees? Grove of coast redwoods. Surveying for Japanese Knotweed in Lagunitas Creek As part of a collaborative effort to manage Japanese knotweed within the Lagunitas Creek watershed, a team of ecologists from One Tam’s Conservation Management Program conducted a four-week survey to map all Japanese knotweed patches in the riparian corridor on public lands. Visit their Story Map to learn more about the creek, the plant, the surveys, and why it all matters. Cover screenshot of Commemorating The Occupation Have you ever taken a risk to stand up for your beliefs? How far would you go to fight for your community? Why should we remember the Occupation? Repainted Messaging from the Occupation on the Water tower on Alcatraz, 2019 Alcatraz is Indian Land Ohlone people fished and navigated the bay in tule reed boats and may have used the barren, bird covered island as a way station. Ohlone people sail tule reed boat on the Bay c. 1822 Alcatraz Proved A Point For some the Occupation of Alcatraz was a political protest. For others it was a moment of self-discovery. The Drawing by Joseph Morris First Pupping Season Underway for New Presidio Coyote Pair Last winter, an unknown female coyote passed through the Presidio of San Francisco. Presidio Ecologist Jonathan Young was able to put a temporary GPS collar on her before she left. Last summer, she returned with a mate and drove out the resident alpha coyote pair. Their battle was captured on a restaurant security camera. Now coyote 15F, the new alpha female, and her mate are probably caring for their first litter of pups in their new Presidio territory. Alpha female coyote 15F, sporting a GPS collar and red ID tags in each of her ears. Surveys Expand Known Ranges of Two Endangered Species This fall, National Park Service biologists with funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service made an exciting discovery. They found five endangered California freshwater shrimp in McIsaac Creek, where they had not previously been known to live! Their discovery came as part of an effort that began earlier this summer to check in on the status of the species in lower Lagunitas Creek and its tributaries for the first time since 2004. Small brown and tan California freshwater shrimp perched on underwater vegetation. Where Are All The Sea Stars? Since 2013, sea stars from Alaska to Mexico have been dying in droves of a mysterious disease referred to as sea star wasting syndrome. Symptoms typically include the appearance of white lesions followed by tissue decay, body fragmentation and death, often within only a few days. Sea star die-offs are not necessarily unusual, but this one is unprecedented in terms of the numbers affected and the extensive area impacted. Disintegrating legs of a diseased ochre star Understanding and Protecting Northern Coastal Scrub Diversity Conserving biodiversity hotspots like the California Floristic Province requires an understanding of plant diversity patterns in a given area. A recent study looked at these patterns of vascular plant diversity in relation to coast–inland environmental gradients in Central California shrublands. A diverse assortment of coastal scrub species growing on a steep, ocean-facing bluff Could Juvenile Coho Conquer Warmer Stream Temperatures? It was long ago established that elevated water temperatures are not great for juvenile coho salmon growth and survival. But climate change is making it increasingly difficult to ensure cool creeks for young coho. Thus, researchers at tUC Davis and NOAA wondered: are there other aspects of coho rearing habitat that, if optimal, might mitigate the impacts of warmer water temperatures? In their recently published study, they find that prey abundance is key. Cluster of netted enclusures along a wide creek, with a mountain in the background. Peregrine Falcons May Be Nesting on Alcatraz A pair of peregrine falcons has been active on Alcatraz Island since January 2019. While it is not unusual to see peregrines on Alcatraz during the fall and winter months, they usually depart by February. But last year, the peregrines remained active on the island through the spring and summer months. This year, on March 3, a photo was taken of the peregrines mating on the Alcatraz Water Tower. If are now nesting on Alcatraz, it will be the first time in recorded history. View through a scope of peregrine falcons mating on the Alcatraz Water Tower. Rare Bird Sighting on Alcatraz On March 9th, 2020 Alcatraz Biologist Tori Seher captured a photo of a black-legged kittiwake on the northwestern side of Alcatraz Island. This bird species was observed one other time on the Island more than 20 years ago, in 2000. Slender gull with a yellow bill and black legs The Military Prison The military prison at Fort Alcatraz held soldiers who broke army rules or committed crimes. The prison also incarcerated Native Americans. Men wrapped in blankets, incarcerated on Alcatraz 1895 The Occupation of Alcatraz At first the Occupation was wildly popular, attracting thousands of Native Americans on a pilgrimage to the cold, windy island in San Francisco Bay. Woman and Man with children on the way to Alcatraz Legacy of the Occupation The Occupation of Alcatraz was the catalyst for dozens of other protests around the country, including at Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C., and South Dakota. Change followed. Elijah Oakes paints Free on alcatraz The Declaration When Alcatraz prison closed in 1963, the island became surplus government property managed by the General Services Administration. Words on a hide explain the declaration The Termination Policy In 1953, the US Congress passed a resolution that began a process known as the Termination Policy. Women with bags in front of the bus The Case of the Missing Harbor Seals Normally, biologists would head out weekly to survey harbor seals during their pupping season, from March through May. They would count adults and pups at eight pupping locations along the Marin County coast to be able to identify, and potentially help address, any unexpected changes in their numbers. In recent years, this monitoring might best be described as uneventful. Not this year! Looking down from a bluff at hundreds of harbor seals crowding one side of a large sandbar. Coho Spawners Come Up Short in 2019-2020, but Steelhead Return Looking Strong Recent surveys revealed the coho run has ended for our coastal Marin streams. Overall, coho spawning numbers were lower than anticipated, even with beneficial December rainfall. Surveys will continue through April to document steelhead spawning. Three people hike along the rocky banks of a creek wearing waders and carrying measuring poles 2019 Juvenile Coho Population Smaller Than Expected Summer juvenile salmonid monitoring has revealed that the juvenile coho population was smaller than expected on both Olema and Redwood Creeks given the substantial spawning activity seen during the winter of 2018-2019. Possible reasons for lower survival rates include the major storm events that occured in February of 2019. Close-up of a juvenile coho salmon Marin Vegetation Mapping Project Reaches New Milestone A draft “Lifeform Map” is now available for Marin County. It represents the latest milestone in the Marin Countywide Fine Scale Vegetation Map and Landscape Database Project, co-led by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in collaboration with a broad coalition of agencies and partners. Map of Drakes Estero showing many different colors, each representing different land cover classes. Summer 2019 Juvenile Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Summary Preliminary results from our juvenile coho salmon basinwide surveys indicate a decrease in the population on both Olema Creek and Redwood Creek when compared to the previous generation. In addition, juvenile coho estimates were lower than expected for both streams given the number of redds observed during the winter. Meanwhile, summer 2019 juvenile steelhead totals were the highest since surveys were initiated in 2009. Sculpin in a measuring tray showing that it is more than 8 inches long. Natural Resource Condition Assessments Published for Golden Gate and Point Reyes In November, the National Park Service’s Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) Program published NRCA reports for Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore. The reports, both prepared by faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in coordination with park staff, focus on a set of eight natural resources in each park. Cover page of Golden Gate's Natural Resources Condition Assessment report Gary Fellers Leaves Legacy of Scientific Inquiry in California National Parks Few individuals have shaped our understanding of terrestrial species in the San Francisco Bay Area and California national parks like Dr. Gary Fellers, who passed away in November. Gary worked at Point Reyes National Seashore from 1983 until his retirement in 2013, first as a National Park Service scientist, and later as a researcher for the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. Dr. Gary Fellers Slow Start to 2019-2020 Coho Spawning Season This year, after a dry fall, the first rains arrived during the last week of November, and rain continued to fall in December. With flows on both Olema and Redwood Creeks high enough for adult coho to migrate in from the ocean, the Salmonid Monitoring Program began spawner surveys to count how many coho are returning. As of December 19, the monitoring team had counted one redd in Redwood Creek and two redds in Olema Creek. Coho redd, appearing as a shallow, lighter-colored depression in a creek bed. Scientist Profile: Angie Pincetich, Hydrologic Technician As part of the International Day of Women & Girls in Science, the San Francisco Bay Area National Parks are highlighting the contributions and accomplishments of several dynamic women who do science in the parks by sharing their personal stories. First up is Angie Pincetech, Hydrologic Technician for the San Francisco Bay Area Network. Learn about what inspires Angie most, and what her path has been in the sciences and with the parks. Angie Pincetech, NPS Hydrologic Technician, smiles by a creek at Muir Beach Pacific Border Province The Pacific Border straddles the boundaries between several of Earth's moving plates on the western margin of North America. This region is one of the most geologically young and tectonically active in North America. The generally rugged, mountainous landscape of this province provides evidence of ongoing mountain-building. Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. NPS photo/Sarah Codde New Rocky Intertidal Biodiversity Surveys Seek a Broader Perspective For Monitoring Change Every year, National Park Service biologists conduct intertidal surveys at sites along the San Francisco Bay Area coast, contributing to growing long-term data sets. Typically, they survey fixed plots, focusing on small areas of the reef and specific communities like mussels, barnacles, and algae. This year, they have also adapted an approach of sampling large areas of the reef at once and documenting all observed species along a set of transect lines. People wearing waders stand and crouch along a transect tape through the rocky intertidal zone Marin Wildlife Picture Index Project Hits Major Milestone Starting in 2014, One Tam partners joined the international Wildlife Picture Index Project (WPI) with an array of cameras on NPS, Marin Municipal Water District, and state and county park lands across the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Wildlife camera image of a baby gray fox climbing up a steep slope. 2020 Breeding Season (Mostly) Successful for California Red-legged Frogs in Golden Gate Golden Gate National Recreation Area biologists have been monitoring federally threatened California red-legged frogs in the park for 20 years. This year, biologists were able to complete their surveys prior to local shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. Their findings were heartening! They counted a new record of over 600 egg masses in the park. Upside-down, half-eaten adult female frog with a small cluster of gelatinous frog eggs. Alcatraz Waterbird Docents Assist with Island-wide Winter Bird Counts During the waterbird nesting season on Alcatraz Island (~March-September), docents are stationed near the colonial waterbird colonies. Using spotting scopes and binoculars to view waterbirds incubating eggs or feeding chicks, docents teach visitors about the ecology of nesting gulls, cormorants, herons, and egrets. However, waterbirds are not Alcatraz’s only avian inhabitants. In the winter months, these same waterbird docents assist with Island-wide bird counts. Peregrine falcon overlooking the San Francisco Bay. POET Newsletter September 2012 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from September 2012. people on beach The United Nations Memorial Service at Muir Woods San Francisco played an important role as host to the birth of the United Nations. The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. historic photo of women and men sitting formally in a redwood grove Fort Cronkhite: A Fortified Military Post in San Francisco Fort Cronkhite, located just north of San Francisco, was a WWII Coast Artillery military post that was part of the Harbor Defenses of San Francisco. Fort Cronkhite served Battery Townsley, a 16-inch gun that, constructed with Battery Davis at Fort Funston, was designed to protect San Francisco and the Golden Gate straights from enemy attack. Barracks at Fort Cronkite The Broderick-Terry Duel Following the controversial Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the union as a free state, politics were intense and heated. Pro-slavery State Supreme Court Judge Terry and staunch anti-slavery candidate Senator Broderick took their disagreement beyond words. Two shots fired, one man dead, two causes continued to battle. Early 20th-century depiction of the Broderick-Terry duel Winter 2019-2020 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Summary By the second week of December, conditions were ideal for coho spawning. However, spawner surveys conducted during the first two weeks of December revealed only one coho salmon redd in both Olema and Redwood Creeks and no coho activity in Cheda Creek. By the end of December, it became apparent that the coho runs in coastal Marin County would be weak, and that survival between the smolt and spawner life stages for these cohorts was very low. People in waders hike up the center of a swiftly flowing creek carying backpacks and wading poles. San Francisco Bay Seacoast Defenses 1776-1974 People have always been drawn to the land around San Francisco, because of its sheltered harbor and its rich natural resources. Overtime, as different communities settled here, they would defend their stake in the land against other potential invaders. Coast Artillery soldiers manning Battery Cranston, SF Biologists Begin Coyote Tracking Study in the Marin Headlands Golden Gate continues to see issues with people feeding coyotes, particularly in the Marin Headlands. So this fall, park wildlife biologists will use temporary remote tracking collars to learn about the coyote population size and movements in this area. The study aims to improve coyote coexistence outreach messaging in the park and may provide direct feedback on the success of future management actions. Coyote with a temporary GPS collar around her neck looks at the camera. Biologists Survey Blue Whales by Sailboat in Gulf of Farallones In recent decades, humpback and blue whales have become more abundant in the waters off Central California. This summer, concentrations of blue whales were higher than ever recorded. But Cascadia Research Collective's usual whale survey coverage was limited because of the coronavirus. So, the Colaborative put out a call for for help documenting the unusual blue whale abundance. Biologists Beth Mathews and Jim Taggart jumped at the opportunity. Close-up of a blue whale spouting at the surface of the ocean. Concepcion Arguello & Nikolai Rezanov: A Presidio Love Story In the late eighteenth century, a young Spanish girl and a Russian explorer fell in love at the Presidio. Though challenged by different languages and cultures, the romance of Maria de la Concepcion Marcela Arguello and Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov spawned a legend that continues to capture the hearts of people today. Painting of Maria de la Concepcion Marcela Arguello & Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov How Women Saved Muir Woods The women of San Francisco have so willed. They will preserve the grove. They want to create a park In the picturesque canyon that shall particularly be for the edification of the people of this city” - Marin Journal, December 1st 1904 four white women in front of old car with sign Army Nurse Corps Congress established the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. Nurses were the first women in the Army and U.S. Army General Hospital at the Presidio was the first Army hospital to employ them. By 1902, 41 nurses were part of the hospital staff. African American nurses at Camp Sherman, 1919. The Kent Family and Conservation The Kents are complex historical figures. They are associated with the conservationist movement, yet they were also involved in politics. William served in Congress and fought to exclude Chinese and Japanese immigrants from this country, while Elizabeth Kent participated in the women’s suffrage movement. John Muir and William Kent pose Monitoring in the Context of Climate Change Global climate change may be altering ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay Area - changing fundamental processes such as temperature regimes and streamflow patterns. The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program conducts monitoring to track changes in plant and animal communities that will help illuminate the effects of climate change on our parks. Researcher monitors pinnipeds at PORE from a coastal overlook. Celebrating soils across the National Park System First in a series of three "In Focus" articles that share insights into the near-universal and far-reaching effects of soils on the ecology, management, and enjoyment of our national parks. Fossil soils at Cabrillo National Monument reveal marine deposits Conserving pinnipeds in Pacific Ocean parks in response to climate change The evolutionary record from previous climate perturbations indicates that marine mammals are highly vulnerable but also remarkably adaptable to climatic change in coastal ecosystems. Consequently, national parks in the Pacific, from Alaska to Hawaii, are faced with potentially dramatic changes in their marine mammal fauna, especially pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). black harbor seal Bat Conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area What is the NPS doing about bat conservation and preventing the spread of White nose syndrome in the San Francisco Bay Area region? California myotis gets measured and overall health assessed during a mist netting study. Monitoring Crew Finds Critically Low Numbers of Juvenile Coho in Redwood Creek This August, the coho and steelhead monitoring crew completed juvenile coho salmon monitoring in Redwood Creek. Normally, juvenile coho monitoring would entail snorkel surveys, plus electrofishing. However due to the coronavirus, they did things a little differently. Since electrofishing requires crewmembers to work in close proximity, the crew did multiple snorkel survey passes instead. They counted only 51 coho while snorkeling over 7.5 km of the Redwood Creek mainstem. Underwater view of Olema Creek. The U.S. Army’s San Francisco Port of Embarkation in World War II During World War II, more than 4,000 voyages by freighters and over 800 by troopships emanating from the San Francisco Port of Embarkation carried nearly 1,650,000 soldiers and 23,600,000 ship tons of cargo to support the efforts of General MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific Area and Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Ocean Area. Photo of NPS welcome sign. Coyote Tracking in the Marin Headlands Beginning fall 2020, Golden Gate National Recreation Area wildlife biologists will use temporary remote tracking collars to learn about the population size and movements of coyotes in the Marin Headlands. Information from this study will be used to improve coyote education and outreach, with a focus on addressing the coyote feeding and habituation issues. Photo of coyote wearing black radio collar looking at camera. Dialogues Further Environmental Solutions and Racial Inclusion at Golden Gate The Racial Justice protests across the world this summer have put a renewed focus on Environmental Justice efforts that have been taking place for decades. Communities of color continue to be at the highest risk for health impacts of local air and water pollution, and the deadly impacts of climate change like flooding and triple digit heat. Two latina park rangers in front of a colorful Dia de Los Muertos banner. A Record Year for Western Pond Turtle Reintroductions In September 2020, scientists released a total of 41 juvenile turtles in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, almost double the amount released in the past three years combined! This is the first year scientists released western pond turtles to Rodeo Lake, now home to 20 new turtle residents. Biologists also released 14 turtles in the Redwood Creek watershed and seven turtles to ‘donor’ ponds near the Tomales Bay Trail in the park’s northern district. Staff holding two young western pond turtles, one in each hand, prior to releasing them. Tracking the Return of River Otters: First Results From a Long-term Monitoring Project Today, observant Bay Area parks visitors may spot North American river otters swimming, hunting, or playing along waterways throughout the area. This was not always the case. Otters were wiped out from the area in the 19th century by fur trapping, habitat loss, and pollution. Their return is not only a visual treat but a positive indicator of ecosystem health. Scientists have been using a combination of methods to document and learn from the otters' ongoing recovery. Three river otters in a fast-flowing creek. Mist Netting, Radio Telemetry, and Acoustic Monitoring: What We’re Learning About Bats in Marin Since 2017, One Tam partners have been collaborating with USGS to conduct the first countywide bat monitoring program in Marin. This October, we dove in to the results from last winter's roost site monitoring, and discussed the implications of what park researchers have learned from three years of bat monitoring. Researcher smiles while holding a bat with gloved hands. Summer 2020 Juvenile Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Summary Results from our juvenile coho salmon basinwide surveys indicate a slight increase for the Olema Creek population and decrease for Redwood Creek when compared to the previous generation. Juvenile estimates were lower than expected for Redwood Creek and slightly higher than expected for Olema Creek given the number of redds observed during the last winter. Person in a wetsuit snorkeling in a shallow creek. Ohlones and Coast Miwoks Native Americans have called the San Francisco Bay region home for over 10,000 years. Park areas south of the Golden Gate, from the San Francisco Peninsula, to the East Bay and south to Monterey, are the aboriginal lands of the Ohlones (also called Costanoans). drawing of ohlone looking at the bay Places of World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area World War II dominated the social, economic and political landscapes of the mid-20th century, setting in motion momentous events that still shape the world we live in today. The communities that ring the San Francisco Bay were irrevocably altered by that wartime era and still bear its visible marks in the remains of military bases and coastal defense fortifications, ships and shipbuilding facilities, worker housing and day-care facilities. This travel itinerary highlights 31 Chinatown, San Francisco Not Your Ordinary Culverts: Bringing Native Oysters Back to the Presidio This year the Presidio is expanding the wetlands along its northern waterfront at a site known as Quartermaster Reach. The project will allow water to flow through new culverts, or underground water tunnels, beneath Mason Street. This will create seven acres of new habitat for birds, plants, and other native species. But the culverts for this project will not be your usual culverts. They’ll also help create habitat for native Olympia oysters. Close-up of tiny Olympia oysters. New Marshland and Trail Open in the Presidio on December 11, 2020 On November 13, the Presidio Trust removed an earthen berm and some sheet pilings that were preventing water from flowing through new culverts (and oyster habitat!) beneath Mason Street. As the tide rose, salt water from the Bay and Crissy Marsh flooded through for the first time to meet the fresh water of the Tennessee Hollow Watershed. Now, visitors can get their first up-close look. Socially distanced people in safety gear, planting wetland plants in a barren, muddy landscape. Saving the Sandwort: Reviving One of California’s Rarest Plants Near Fort Cronkhite, a watershed that once contained a barren parking lot now hosts a more robust population of one of the rarest plants in California - marsh sandwort. In late October, park ecologists planted 45 endangered marsh sandworts in the Lower Rodeo Valley area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. These plants were introduced to supplement a population planted in 2011 as part of the Rodeo Valley wetland restoration. Freshly planted marsh sandworts, and a person crouching down to plant another. 2020 Coho Salmon Spawning Season Off to a Dry Start After a dry year marked by wildfire, the coho salmon spawning season is off to a similarly dry beginning. As of the end of November, the salmonid monitoring team had not spotted any coho salmon in Redwood and Olema Creeks. Fortunately, it is still early in the spawning season. A large greenish-brown fish with black spots swims over a rocky streambed. Scientists Analyze Feathers to Understand the Origins of Sharp-shinned Hawks Migrating Over the Bay Area and Beyond Sharp-shinned hawks, or “sharpies” in birder-speak, breed in dense northern or high-elevation forests where they are difficult to find and track. Some overwinter in the US, while others migrate all the way to southern Central America. When they’re heading south along popular raptor migration routes, or flyways, is when they’re easiest to spot. But their large-scale movement patterns are also poorly understood. Small hawk with a shiny new band on its leg, being held in a banders fingers. Fort Mason Historic District Cultural Landscape Fort Mason is a green sward within the dense urban grid of San Francisco, perched on a point of land on the northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. Fort Mason’s 68.5 acres are but one small sub-unit of the immense Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The military structures on site date from the 1850s through the 1950s and illustrate the evolution of military landscape planning and architecture over a one hundred year period. officers' quarters U.S. Coast Guard Fort Point Station Cultural Landscape The United States Coast Guard Fort Point Station is a five acre historic district located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California, sited within the boundaries of the Presidio of San Francisco NHL. The U.S.C.G. Fort Point Station period of significance, 1915 to 1964, includes the period of initial development at its existing site, until the the time new lifesaving equipment was introduced that drastically altered the way in which the site was used. Officer in Charge Quarters Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Series: Red Power on Alcatraz, Perspectives 50 Years Later How far would you go to fight for your community? Indians of All Tribes, American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz, 50th Anniversary Commemoration Series: Coastal Geomorphology—Storms of Record Storms can bring about significant coastal change as well as substantial economic damage and loss in the human environment. Read about a few storms of interest that have since made history due to their unique intensity, characteristics, or impacts. aerial view of a major storm along the northwest coast of the united states and canada Series: Physiographic Provinces Descriptions of the physiographic provinces of the United States, including maps, educational material, and listings of Parks for each. George B. Dorr, founder of Acadia National Park Scientist Profile: Sarah Codde, Marine Ecologist Meet Sarah Codde, a Marine Ecologist with the San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network. She specializes in marine mammals, and leads the elephant seal and harbor seal monitoring programs at Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. What’s it like to study 6,000 pound mammals that spend half their time in the ocean and half their time on land? Read Sarah’s story to find out! Marine Ecologist Sarah Codde pauses for a portrait while surveying elephant seals on Drake's beach. Scientist Profile: Taylor Ellis, Wildlife Technician How do biologists survey endangered northern spotted owls in the forests of Marin county? Wildlife technician Taylor Ellis has some tricks up his sleeve for finding these charismatic birds. Read about his adventures as a field wildlife biologist and how he got to be where he is today. Wildlife technician Taylor Ellis smiles outside Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters. Scientist Profile: Dr. Alison Forrestel, Supervisory Vegetation Ecologist As part of a larger effort to the dynamic women doing science in our parks, we are featuring Alison Forrestel, Supervisory Vegetation Ecologist at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. What’s it like to manage a vegetation program for a huge, urban National Park? Read Alison’s story to find out! Alison Forrestel in the field. Scientist Profile: Michael Reichmuth, Fisheries Biologist Meet Michael Reichmuth, fisheries biologist for the San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network. Find out more about why he’s so excited about fish, and how he got to be where he is today. Fisheries biologist michael reichmuth poses by a creek with a smolt trap. Climate Change Communication Series: Dr. Patrick Gonzalez, Principal Climate Change Scientist Dr. Gonzalez is the principal climate change scientist for the National Park Service. He’s also an associate adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and a lead author on four reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. My conversation with Dr. Gonzalez revealed that while climate change and its intersections with human narratives are infinitely complex, the simplest solutions are often the best antidotes. Patrick measuring the girth of a large tree in Yosemite National Park. Climate Change Communication Series: Dr. Will Elder, Visual Information Specialist In this interview, we dive into strategies and nuances for climate change communication with Dr. Will Elder. Dr. Elder is a paleontologist and the media team lead for Golden Gate. As a visual information specialist, he also interprets the natural and human history of the park to visitors through exhibits, virtual content, and other media. Through conversations like these, we can work together to effectively convey the story of climate change. Ranger gestures in front of a backdrop of rocky bluffs. Coho Salmon: Habitat and Climate Matter Endangered coho salmon in coastal streams within the Golden Gate National Recreational Area and Point Reyes National Seashore may be on the verge of disappearing from these sites. These populations are affected by what happens in both their stream and ocean habitats. Aerial view of the Giacomini wetland and Lagunitas Creek mouth after restoration efforts Fort Baker Cultural Landscape Fort Baker is situated on the shore of the Marin Headlands in San Francisco Bay. It is one of the nation’s earliest coastal defense artillery batteries, and is significant in the development of the American coastal defense system. The period of significance is 1867 to 1946. Fort Baker, along with Forts Barry and Cronkhite, was included as a nationally-significant historic district in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Battery overlooking the bay Early Detection News - 2019 The Invasive Species Early Detection Team (ISED) conducted surveys in 2019 at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GOGA), Point Reyes National Seashore(PORE), John Muir National Historic Site (JOMU), and Pinnacles National Park (PINN). Noteworthy detections this year included yellow star thistle and purple star thistle at GOGA, poroporo and Jimson weed at PORE, cheat grass and smilo grass at PINN, and stinkwort at JOMU. A clump of green grass (cheat grass) laying on the ground First Redds and Fish: 2021 Salmonid Spawner Season It's been a slow salmonid spawner season in San Francisco Bay Area I&M Network parks with the first coho redds and fish observed in January. Stream flows have been low, but there's hope for a few more spawners to enter the system with several storm events in the forecast. A spawner salmon tail poking out from under a log in a stream Salmonid Diet Study Scientists at Golden Gate National Recreation Area are taking a look at salmonid diets in the park. They found a variety of aquatic invertebrates including the highly invasive New Zealand mudsnail. A small snail under a microscope lens Zeroing In On Spawner Surveys Just before Thanksgiving, the fisheries crew with the San Francisco Bay Area Network Coho & Steelhead Monitoring Program conducted “Zero Count Surveys” along the lower sections of Redwood and Olema Creek. Zero counts are spawner surveys that occur before winter flows permit fish passage throughout a creek. A lagoon surrounded by vegetation Scientist Profile: Alex Iwaki, Hydrology Monitor "While I was in college, I didn't want to go back home for the summer to work at the local grocery. I applied for a bunch of environmental internships and got a fisheries internship in Colorado. I had no prior experience or any interest in fish, but I thought 'why not?' I went out there, learned a lot, and had an amazing time. After the fisheries internship, I knew I wanted to continue to work in natural sciences." Alex Iwaki Volunteers Find Fewer Than 2,000 Monarchs Overwintering in California in 2020 Each fall, western monarch butterflies migrate to the California coast, to protected groves where they huddle together and wait out the cold. This fall, as the monarchs settled into their winter homes, observers noticed fewer monarchs. A lot fewer monarchs. Cluster of overwintering monarch butterflies before their most significant population crash to date. An Obituary For a Coyote Resting peacefully in the shade of a Coyote brush, her grayish-brown long torso was cradled by the wetland grasses of Muir Beach. The left eye, half open, the whitish fur of her left big ear exposed to the sunlight, the bushy tail curled up like a caterpillar, hiding the hind legs.The front legs looked as if they were carefully and gently placed, one on top of the other, reminding me of how a new mother swaddles her baby before putting her to sleep. Sun shining over a shady patch of wetland. San Francisco: Where the Plates Meet The San Francisco Bay Area sports “coasts with abundant marine and terrestrial resources, a sheltered deep-water harbor, hills and mountains with plentiful forests, and streams and rivers providing water and transportation routes, including to the goldfields of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.” As a result, it has attracted people to it for millennia. But why does the area feature such enchanting diversity in the first place? Coastal rock formation featuring four differently colored and textured types of rocks. Scientists Discover Silent Threats to Pacific Coast Salmon Populations For decades, coho salmon returning to spawn in urban Pacific Northwest streams have been mysteriously dying in the aftermath of large storms. Now, after a painstaking search for answers, a team of scientists have found the culprit: a previously undescribed chemical nicknamed 6PPD-quinone. Meanwhile, scientists in California’s Central Valley noticed odd behavior and high mortality among juvenile Chinook salmon in multiple hatcheries just last winter. Coho carcass. Scientists Use Sediment Cores to Look Into the Past at Rodeo Lagoon Have you ever wondered what an environment looked like in the past? Or how much human-caused change has altered an area? So have scientists at Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the US Geological Survey! Sediment cores can act like windows into the past, containing information like what animals lived there and what their surroundings were like. In fall 2020, scientists collected about 21 four-inch sediment cores from throughout Rodeo Lagoon. Fingers hold a small clam shell found in a sediment core. 2021 Spawner Surveys Continue in Marin County Creeks with Mixed Results The San Francisco Bay Area Network fisheries crew continued their weekly surveys up Marin County creeks in search of spawners and redds. Surveys produced mixed results with redd counts on Olema creek higher than the previous generation, but no new spawners or redds on Redwood Creek. A person with a snorkel and wetsuit floats in a shallow stream among downed trees Listening for Owls: A Multi-agency Collaboration to Preserve Spotted Owl Habitat Across the West For over 25 years, biologists from the National Park Service and several other agencies have collected spotted owl monitoring data to inform forest management that is guided by the multi-agency Northwest Forest Plan. Yet traditional field surveys for spotted owls have become less effective as their numbers have dwindled. Thus in 2021, the Northwest Forest Plan’s spotted owl monitoring design is transitioning to remote acoustic monitoring (also known as passive monitoring). Audio recording unit, with microphones on either side, mounted on a tree trunk. Wrapping Up Coho Spawner Season The 2020-2021 coho salmon spawning season has come to an end in the San Francisco Bay Area parks. Unfortunately it is likely one of the worst seasons on record for Redwood Creek with no live coho observed and only one steelhead carcass. With the spawning season over, the salmonid team will transition to smolt trapping operations. A close up of fish tail Biologists Begin Acoustic Monitoring to Study Spotted and Barred Owls National Park Service biologists have been tracking federally threatened northern spotted owls in the forests of Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area for decades. But this February, biologists began to supplement traditional surveys with a new method: remote acoustic monitoring. Biologists also received a grant to use acoustic monitoring to conduct the first comprehensive inventory of invasive barred owls on park lands. Map of northern Marin County, CA, with a haxagonal grid overlayed on the study area. For This Week, A More Personal Note on Education in Watersheds Hi, my name is Dustin Geisen and I am part of the San Francisco Bay Area Network fisheries crew. I serve in the California Conservation Corps Watershed Stewards Program in partnership with AmeriCorps (WSP). Today, I am excited to share about a specific part of my service that I started this week: teaching for a WSP education series called Wonders of Watersheds (WOW!). Dustin Geisen in waters and a safety vest, knee-deep in a brisk creek collecting a water sample. The Role of Women at Marin Headlands Coastal Defense Sites Women were not always able to play a prominent role at the coastal defense sites of the Marin Headlands due to societal restrictions that largely barred their participation through WW2 and Cold War. That being said, here we highlight two women who contributed to the lasting stories and legacies of Battery Townsley and Nike Missile Site SF-88. John Martini (left) speaks with Col. Susan Cheney (right) in the underground Nike missile magazine. Funding Granted for Much-needed Monarch Conservation Efforts in Marin County Working within the structure of the One Tamalpais Collaborative, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy received $400,000 in funding through the California Wildlife Conservation Board’s pollinator rescue program to invest in protection of monarch butterflies in Marin County. Close up photo of an adult monarch butterfly perched on green vegetation. What’s All the Stink About in Rodeo Lagoon? Large concentrations of various types of cyanobacteria, called algae blooms, are becoming more frequent at Rodeo Lagoon. They turn the water a green pea soup color and their collapse doesn’t just smell awful. It can cause oxygen in the lagoon to drop to levels that can’t support life. Furthermore, some cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause serious injury or death. Scientists collected water samples to learn if toxin-producing species are behind Rodeo Lagoon's blooms. Portion of a cyanobacterium viewed under a microscope. New StoryMap Helps Visitors Protect Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs One Tam partners are making a difference for foothill yellow-legged frogs in Marin, and are seeking the community’s help during their especially vulnerable breeding season. A new StoryMap is now available to help visitors protect them while enjoying parks in Marin. Using long-term monitoring data from One Tam partners, the story details why this indicator species is special, what One Tam partners are doing to support them, and how visitors can help. Brownish frog with a white chin and a yellow belly, sitting in shallow, flowing water. San Bruno Elfin Monitoring Leads to New Clues and Questions at Milagra Ridge The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Park Stewardship Program has been keeping tabs on San Bruno elfin butterflies and their host plants at Milagra Ridge since 1999. Just recently, program staff finished analyzing the results from their 2020 monitoring season, and the news is generally good. At the same time, some of their findings have left them with new questions. Red caterpillar on newly opening cluster of yellow flowers. Celebrating Signs of Resilience in Mission Blue Butterfly Populations With the 2021 Mission blue butterfly flight season approaching, monitoring for their larvae at Milagra Ridge in Golden Gate National Recreation Area has already yielded some hopeful findings. In addition, biologists have finished analyzing their adult Mission blue monitoring results from the 2020 flight seasons at both Milagra Ridge and Oakwood Valley. They were excited to find signs of resilience in both butterfly populations. Camouflaged green larva on lupine leaves. The 2021 smolt trapping season has begun With the onset of spring, the San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring (SFAN) fisheries crew has moved to a new form of monitoring: smolt trapping. Data gathered from the traps can help to estimate ocean survival and productivity and assess rates of survival through the winter season. A wide mouthed funnel attached to a pvc pipe leads to a wooden box in a stream bed. From the Field: Winter 2021 Low Rainfall Impacting Salmonid Populations In this salmonid monitoring field update, learn how a historically low rainfall for Winter/Spring 2021 is affecting coho salmon and steelhead trout monitoring results. Photo of stream channel linking the lagoon and the ocean at Muir Beach, near Redwood Creek Climate Change Communication Series: Dr. Gillian Bowser, Research Scientist Dr. Gillian Bowser studies small creatures that tell a big story. Her research on pollinators demonstrates how insects are sentinels of change because their short generations mean they evolve faster and can quickly respond to changes in our climate. In this interview, Dr. Bowser explains how we need to focus less on the specific impacts of climate change and more on the protection of the greater system. Dr. Bowser smiles surrounded by a field of wildflowers. New Perspectives On Old Teachings "In a few hours, I will be surrounded by our community of volunteers, who have come to celebrate ‘Eid’ in the parks, a festival that marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated by Muslims across the world. On this special day, my reflection takes me back to when I first learned about the five pillars of Islam. While in my childhood, these duties were confined to the mosque and my community, in my adulthood, I started to see these pillars show up in my connection with nature." Two women holding an enormous, overflowing bag of freshly pulled weeds. Point Blue Ecologists Use Novel Tracking Technology to Unravel Mysterious Migratory Patterns of Swainson’s Thrushes April 2021 - Where do different populations of a migratory songbird go when they migrate? This mystery was first put forth by Audubon scientists over a century ago, and the answer might hold the key to protecting declining populations of a once-common species, the Swainson’s thrush. In 2014 Point Blue Conservation Science ecologists began a migration study to investigate, and the results were published in prominent scientific journal, Nature. Swainson's thrush with geolocation tag and zoomed in picture of tag From Source to Sea: Discover What Connects Watersheds to You and Me Watershed Stewards Program members Samantha Kuglen and Dustin Geisen made a video highlighting the National Park Service’s salmonid smolt trapping program in Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The National Park Service San Francisco Bay Area Network fisheries crew monitors coho salmon and steelhead trout smolts from mid-April to late May. A ruler with a silver fish measuring at nearly 6 in Scientist Profile: Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist Meet Darren Fong, aquatic ecologist for Golden Gate National Recreation Area and lead scientist for the SFAN streamflow monitoring program. Discover how Darren's fascination with aquatic life and freshwater ecosystems began and learn how he got to be where he is today. Ecologist in NPS uniform at rocky intertidal monitoring site checks clipboard Top 10 Summer Tips at Golden Gate NPS Are you ready to explore your local national park this summer? Golden Gate National Recreation Area and its park sites, have so much to offer for visitors of all ages, abilities, and interests! View of the Bay and trail that faces the Marin Headlands Low Stream Flows Cause Smolt Trapping to End Early For the first time in the Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program’s history, the monitoring crew had to stop outmigrant coho salmon smolt trapping early due to low flows. They removed the traps from both Olema and Redwood Creeks. This is just one of many indicators showing how severe the drought is this year. Damp creek bed where water should be flowing at the entrance to the Olema Creek smolt trap. California Ringlets Get Helping Hand Returning to Presidio Grasslands The California ringlet was last seen in San Francisco’s Presidio in 2007. Grassland habitat loss and degradation from before the Presidio became a park contributed to its extirpation. Now, after more than two decades of grassland restoration, the time is ripe for this lost butterfly to return. But the California ringlets can't return on their own. They are about the size of a quarter, and they're weak flyers. So this spring, the butterflies have been getting a helping hand. Small butterfly the color of dried grass. One Tam is Excited to Announce the Return of the Tamalpais Bee Lab in 2021! In collaboration with Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn and her lab at San Francisco State University, One Tam is continuing our efforts to monitor and understand more about Mount Tamalpais’ wild bees and other pollinators. Building on the initial 2017 survey of Mt. Tam’s wild bees, we’ll be expanding monitoring to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin Water, California State Parks, and Marin County Parks from 2021-2025. Close-up of a black & yellow bee dusted with yellow pollen inside a bright orange & yellow flower. West Coast National Parks Work with NOAA to Better Understand Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal and Beyond Ocean acidification (OA) is a huge threat to marine life. But it is hard to track remotely on a large scale. So this summer, seven West Coast national parks are teaming up with the 2021 NOAA West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise. They’ll collect water samples in-person to check several OA indicators. Their data will help paint the most detailed picture yet of OA conditions up and down the coast, from parks’ rocky intertidal zones to dozens of miles offshore. Collage of different rocky intertidal creatures photographed against a white background. Marin County Fine Scale Vegetation Map Complete Since 2018, a broad partnership co-led by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has been working towards creating a fine scale vegetation map of Marin County. After collecting high resolution aerial imagery, LiDAR, and on-the-ground data, they released a draft “Lifeform Map” last year with 22 vegetation classes. This June, they finalized that map and completed it’s fine scale counterpart! Brightly colored map of southern Marin County, California. Bay Area Parks Work with NOAA to Better Understand Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal and Beyond Ocean acidification (OA) is a huge threat to marine life. But for now, it is harder to track remotely on a large scale. So this summer, seven West Coast national parks are teaming up with the 2021 NOAA West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise. They’re collecting water samples in-person to check several OA indicators. Their data will help paint the most detailed picture yet of OA conditions up and down the coast, from parks’ rocky intertidal zones to dozens of miles offshore. Large, impressive, white ship with several decks and equipped with lots of scientific equipment. Juvenile Salmon Summer Monitoring: Electrofishing Surveys in Redwood Creek The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network salmon team is continuing their summer juvenile salmon surveys and are currently performing electrofishing surveys throughout Redwood Creek in Marin County, CA. Electrofishing is a common technique in fisheries biology for sampling fish populations and determining species health, abundance, and density. Three staff members stand in a creek with one holding a long rod with a metal ring in the water. Monitoring Team Counts Fewer Harbor Seals than Usual Across Marin County in 2021 Last year, COVID-19 meant that biologists weren’t able to do their usual harbor seal surveys at park sites throughout Marin County. The few surveys they were able to do left them with more questions than answers. Namely, where did a large portion of Drakes Estero’s seal population disappear to? This year, the monitoring team hoped to find clues. But with the 2021 season now wrapping up and countywide harbor seal counts below average, some of the mystery remains. Three harbor seals resting on a sandbar. Second Round of Invasive Plant Surveys on Mount Tam Yields Few New Priority Weed Populations Brushing and flossing every day isn’t a glamorous task. But if you don’t do it, you risk serious dental health issues. So it is with Invasive plant surveys. They aren’t flashy, but the health of ecosystems depends on them. On Mount Tamalpais, invasive plant surveys are coordinated by the One Tam Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) program. In mid-June, the EDRR program finished a second cycle of early detection surveys along Mt. Tam’s road and trail network. Two people use a long torch to burn an invasive plant on a grassy ridge overlooking the ocean. San Francisco Bay Area Network 2019 Long-term Monitoring Updates The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network has created a new product for sharing our science with the Bay Area parks community: an immersive, multimedia StoryMap! Discover key highlights from the 2019 monitoring season along with striking photos, interactive maps, annotated graphs, audio recordings, and more. Person sitting among ferns beside an enormous tree, recording owl data. Leonard Foulk Sgt. Leonard Foulk fought and was blinded during the Battle of Attu. He recovered at Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio of San Francisco. At the Presidio, we was paired with a guide dog and received the Bronze Star for his service. A man in uniform hugs a dog against his chest How Will Climate Change Impact Muir Woods? The impacts related to climate change are evident throughout the redwood forests of California. At Muir Woods, climate change has resulted in a significant impacts on the iconic trees, wildlife, and annual precipitation. Redwood Creek at Muir Woods 2021 Harbor Seal Monitoring Updates Since monitoring started in 2000, monitors have counted an average of nearly 1,100 harbor seal pups born each spring at the main harbor seal locations in Marin County. This year, they counted only 921. Monitors also count harbor seals during the summer molt season. This is when all age groups come onshore to shed their fur. It's the best time to estimate Marin's total harbor seal population. Unfortunately, the 2021 molt season had the lowest total seal count on record. Dozens of harbor seals clustered together on a sand bar at low tide. Migration: How Birds React to Climate Change Paints a Picture for People Birds are sensitive to environmental changes around them. They also are easy to identify and count, so there’s a wealth of data about where they live and their abundance. For this reason, scientists and park staff can focus on shifts in bird populations as a way to monitor the changing ecosystem. Spotted owl perched on a redwood tree branch Reflections on the 2020 Woodward Fire: Understanding the Impacts of Fire on Point Reyes Ecosystems The Woodward Fire, which ignited in August 2020 and burned nearly 5,000 acres of Point Reyes National Seashore wilderness, provides valuable counterpoint to the ecological devastation seen from many of other 2020 California fires. It presents a unique opportunity to observe the effects of a mixed-severity fire on an ecologically rich patchwork of coastal California habitats. Images of different vegetation types that burned with different severity in Woodward FIre As Drought Continues, Young Coho and Steelhead in Redwood Creek Need a Helping Hand This summer continues to be a challenge for the San Francisco Bay Area Network Fisheries Team and the aquatic life that inhabit our coastal streams. During our summer habitat monitoring, we found several drying pools in lower Redwood Creek in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We also noted fish displaying signs of distress like rising to the surface for air. Our team is working closely with park managers and regulatory agencies to help save these young coho and steelhead. An aerator pumps air into a small pool a fisheries crew prepares to rescue the pool's fish. Alcatraz Hosted Unprecedented Numbers of Waterbirds During 2021 Nesting Season Waterbirds, which nested on Alcatraz Island long before people built upon it, have been reclaiming parts of the island in recent decades. But Alcatraz Natural Resources staff hadn't seen anything quite like the 2021 nesting season. It was one for the record books, with numbers far surpassing previous years' estimates. It’s been quite a journey for one species in particular—the Brandt’s cormorant. The Island's great blue herons and peregrine falcons also had a good year. Sleek black bird with blue eyes and throat patch opens its mouth wide to feed its chicks. Return of the Fire Defenders in Your Backyard Non-Indigenous land managers have suppressed fire for years which has led to what we now call “Fire Season.” So now some land managers are slowly reintroducing fire regimes, such as prescribed and cultural burns. These have immense power in protecting against catastrophic fires. But bringing back fire regimes isn’t necessarily an easy option close to our homes and communities. So what other opportunities do we have to support local fire resilience? Uniformed NPS staff kneeling by a plot of grassland overlooking a bay, writing on a clipboard. Womxn of Color Mentorship Program Builds Lasting Bonds at the Parks Conservancy In January, twelve staff from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy came together for a pilot online Womxn of Color (WOC) Mentorship Program. This program created a space like no other. A space that came to life by a sharing of inter-generational and multi-cultural stories and experiences of womxn, and what it means to grow up, get educated, have a career, and walk and move in a world that continues to be challenged by race and gender inequities. Lively watercolor bringing to life 13 womxn around a yellow "Women of Color Warriors" banner. Winter 2020-2021 Coho and Steelhead Spawner Survey Summary Due to drier than normal conditions, the 2020-2021 spawners needed a very wet start to the spawning season to access their creeks. That did not occur. The Olema Valley Rain Gauge only recorded 2.37 inches of rain in November. This was okay, but not enough to get the spawning season underway. To our dismay, storm after storm went by with only small amounts of rain each time. Finally, the creeks rose enough at the end of December to allow some coho to migrate upstream. Rear half of an adult salmonid decaying on a rocky streambed. Fog, Redwoods and a Changing Climate Explore the ways in which climate change will impact life at Muir Woods National Monument and people around the world with the changing availability of water. Fire & Redwoods—What Does the Future Hold for this Ancient Species? Coast redwood trees’ evolutionary adaptation to fire–sprouting–means they can survive. What does this mean in the age of climate change and mega-fires? Redwood sprouts from a tree after a fire. A Climate Resilient Future for Muir Woods Solutions to building a climate resilient redwood forest. A couple hiking on the Main Trail at Muir Woods. POET Newsletter September 2014 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from September 2014. Articles include: Sea Star Wasting Disease; Corallivore: Crown of Thorns Starfish Wreak Havoc in American Samoa — The NPS Responds; Seafloor in 3D; and Coral Bleaching Monitoring on Guam. A large, red-colored sunflower sea star that appears to be melting or disintegrating. Series: Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) Newsletters From 2009 to 2015, the Pacific Ocean Education Team published a series of short newsletters about the health of the ocean at various National Park Service sites in and around the Pacific Ocean. Topics covered included the 2010 tsunami, marine debris, sea star wasting disease, ocean acidification, and more. Ocean waves wash in from the right onto a forested and rocky shoreline. Blue and "Other Than Honorable" Discharges World War II had an impact on the social landscape of the United States. Millions of Americans mobilized to join the war effort, leaving their rural homes for urban centers like San Francisco. For LGBTQ+ servicemen, who were once isolated, they found community for the first time. While facing ‘the enemy’ on the battlefield, they also fought discrimination in the barracks. Gender, Expression, and WWII Explore the role of gender, expression, and WWII in lives of women and men in the military. Women joined the Armed Forces and military men had access to female impersonation through G.I. shows. The roles of men and women in society shifted during WWII.

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