forest facts

Bird's nest fungus. Photo by pellaea, Flickr Creative Commons.

Fall Rains Bring Forest Mushrooms

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With all these wonderful rainy days the forests are probably bursting at the seams with mushrooms. Some mushrooms, like the bright scarlet waxy cap or the colorful coral fungus, immediately draw your attention as they poke up out of the Continued

Debbie Woollett: Putting a Dog’s Nose to Work for the Forest

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One of biologist Debbie Woollett’s star colleagues has four legs. Wicket is a Labrador mix for Working Dogs for Conservation, an organization that Woollett co-founded to apply dogs’ abilities to conservation projects. Wicket can recognize the scents of 26 species and has “alerted” on moon bears in China, elephants in Southeast Asia, invasive snails in Hawaii, and grizzly bears and black bears in North America.

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A coast redwood tree cone —one of the smallest cones, from the tallest tree. You can see how the scales are fused together creating a spiral pattern in the cone. Photo by Finch, Flickr Creative Commons

What’s So Cool About Cones?

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During a recent hike in the Berkeley hills with a friend, the topic of cones came up. There is an activity I like to do with students to teach them about cones: I bring in a small redwood cone and Continued

Many new redwoods grow in areas with old-growth cutting. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

A Strange and Wonderful Mystery Forest

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Guest bloggers Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient forest they find. Along the way, they’re Continued

Cooley spruce gall. Photo by Joanne and Doug Schwartz

Exploring One of Nature’s Weird Phenomena

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As you may have read in their recent blog, Doug and Joanne Schwartz – League members and dedicated volunteers – are serving this summer as our Redwood Explorers-in-Residence, exploring the northern parks, and ground-truthing and mapping the groves of ancient Continued

Redwood Creek flows through Redwood National and State Parks before reaching the ocean.

Redwood Creek Safe from Prolific Invasive Snail, For Now

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Good news is not always easy to come by in regards to the redwood forest. Whether it is the threat of development, water diversion or unsustainable logging, bad tidings are all around us. Even though they’re not always obvious, there Continued

Here at the League, we love learning about the forest! Photo of RCCI researcher collecting data, by Steve Sillett.

Top 5 Fascinating Redwoods Facts

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It’s National Environmental Education Week! This week is a celebration of environmental education and a special time to inspire learning and stewardship among students. I can’t say enough about how important outdoor education is to complete the circle of land Continued

Small salamanders are having a big impact. Photo by Anthony Ambrose

Salamanders in the News

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It’s not often that salamanders make the New York Times.  But last week, the ‘Science’ section featured an article on a study investigating the role of salamanders in the global carbon cycle. Basically, salamanders are among the top predators in Continued

View of the coast redwood canopy. Photo by Stephen Sillett

BioBlitz is Here!

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The time we have been preparing for during the past few months, BioBlitz 2014, is finally here! For the next two days you will find us at Muir Woods National Monument and the Crissy Field Center as we explore, learn, Continued

: It’s easy to see how tanoak mortality from sudden oak death can have effects on the whole forest community. This photo was taken in Marin County, CA. Image by the USFS Region 5, Flickr Creative Commons.

Sudden oak death is plaguing California forests

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Last week, Deborah Zierten introduced us to sudden oak death, a nasty fungal disease (known in scientific circles as Phytopthera ramorum) that is causing the widespread  decline and death of tanoak, one of the most common tree species found in Continued

Bird's nest fungus. Photo by pellaea, Flickr Creative Commons.

Bird’s Nest Fungus in the Forest

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This fall and winter has definitely been a dry one for us here in California. One thing I’ve noticed is that with limited rainfall comes fewer mushrooms. I have always associated the rainy fall with prime mushroom time. I love Continued

Long-horned beetle drawing by Loren Green, image courtesy of NPS

The Secret of the Long-Horned Beetle

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We have probably all seen squirrels running around with a seed in tow, looking for  the perfect place to bury their food for the winter. Some of these seeds do get eaten later, and some are forgotten and eventually grow Continued

Epiphytic mushrooms and moss growing on a redwood branch. Photo by Steve Sillett

Epiphyte Heaven!

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I think I first really learned the meaning of the word “epiphyte” while working in the rainforest of Ecuador. There are epiphytes all over the trees in the tropical rainforest – one of the most famous  is the orchid. But Continued

Ancient Forest Discovered – Underwater!

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Depending on whom you believe, the ancient and legendary city of Atlantis was forever lost beneath the waves after a volcano, war, or dust-up between the gods, and its disappearance gave rise to centuries of speculation, storytelling, and exploration.  If Continued

Native American Use of Fire

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In discussing fire, it is important to think about who managed the forests before us, and how that has influenced what the forests look like today. Many different Native American groups lived throughout the redwood region, each utilizing the natural Continued

Dudley's lousewort (Pedicularis dudleyi). Photo by asadotzler, Flickr Creative Commons

A Rare Plant Inhabits the Forest – Or Does It?

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It was a beautiful day for a hike along Peters Creek. The ancient forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains was in full bloom; chattering woodpeckers, the tumbling creek, giant redwood and Douglas fir trees all begged for acknowledgement and appreciation.  Continued

Marbled murrelet nest. Photo by Tom Hamer

Searching for the Elusive Marbled Murrelet

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The League’s Shady Dell property was a busy place on Monday. Armed with binoculars and aerial photo maps, four League staff members were joined by a couple of staff from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and a pair of consultants to search for potential nest sites for the marbled murrelet.

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Aspens in Utah. Photo by Fool-On-The-Hill, Flickr Creative Commons

Meet an 80,000-Year-Old Tree

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Do you think a 2,000 year old redwood is ancient? A giant sequoia weighing 2,000 tons is heavy?  What if I were to tell you that these weren’t even close to the oldest or the biggest?  Sure, bristlecone pines live Continued

Ferns in the Redwood Canopy

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In last week’s blog, I described my climb into a large double redwood to help Steve Sillett and his team make measurements for our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. While up in this tree, I was suspended alongside enormous fern Continued

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