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wildlife

Roosevelt elk on the Orick Mill site.

A Lesson in Ecology from the Roosevelt Elk

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The Orick Mill Site, a 125-acre property in the Prairie Creek Scenic Corridor, was a top priority for acquisition by the League for a long time. It’s not hard to see why: the property is nestled between the most iconic redwood groves in the world — the groves of Redwood National and State Parks. But land acquisitions — and the resulting changes in land management — are complicated affairs, especially if you happen to be a herd of Roosevelt elk.

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A glimpse of a mountain lion caught by wildlife cameras on the San Vicente property.

A Mountain Lion’s Perspective: Humans are Terrifying

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A few years ago, Justine Smith, a researcher with the Santa Cruz Puma Project, observed an interesting pattern; in human-populated areas, mountain lions killed more prey but spent less time feeding. Researchers weren’t sure why, but they suspected it had to do with lions’ fear of people.

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Black bear caught on wildlife camera at Orick Mill site.

Wildlife Wonders: Caught On Camera

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Hoping to catch a glimpse of the various wild animals living on and passing through the Orick Mill Site, Save the Redwoods League set up multiple wildlife cameras – and we found some incredible species on the property.

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Amazing (and Grisly) Wildlife Day at Orick Mill Site

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Warning: this topic is gruesome, and awesome. Last week, Land Project Manager Christine Aralia and I walked the Orick Mill Site with Texas State researcher Butch Weckerly. Butch has studied the Roosevelt elk in Redwood National and State Parks since 1997, witnessing local extinctions and population explosions of the elk over the years…

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Illegal Marijuana Farms Threaten Redwoods

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With recreational marijuana legal in Colorado and Washington and medicinal marijuana available in 23 states and the District of Columbia, marijuana is here to stay. And, more of the marijuana on the U.S. market comes from California than any other … Continued

A Pacific sideband found at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Snails Play Cupid with “Love Darts”

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There are certain animals in the redwood forest that easily call attention to themselves. The banana slug is bright yellow, the Pacific giant salamander barks, the spotted owl hoots, and the yellow-spotted centipede has distinctive yellow spots on the sides … Continued

Calypso orchid. Photo by Justin Rohde, Flickr Creative Commons

Happy Mother’s Day!

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This is only my second Mother’s Day as a mom myself, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays! I love the idea of having a special Mother’s Day tradition that I can do with my family for years to come. And, even better … Continued

Santa Mountains Old-Growth. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Conservation Success in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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Today, I’m pleased to announce another redwoods conservation success in the Santa Cruz Mountains! Save the Redwoods League and our Living Landscape Initiative (LLI) partner, Sempervirens Fund, have protected an old-growth gem with tremendous potential for public access. The Van … Continued

Photo of Big Basin area © 2011 William K Matthias

Happy Earth Day!

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Did you know that Earth Day is the world’s largest civic observance? Every year, it’s celebrated by more than a billion people in 192 countries. On Earth Day, I like to take some time to simply appreciate the natural beauty … Continued

Reconnecting families and future generations to nature is a critical priority. Photo by Paolo Vescia.

Kids in the Redwoods, Part 2

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Last week, I wrote about the value of bringing kids to the redwoods.  A family trip to the redwoods can be such an incredible gift to children, creating lifelong memories and a connection with nature that can improve life in … Continued

Crown‐mapping involves measurements of heights, diameters, distances, and azimuths of all branches. Here Jim Spickler (left) extends a steel tape to measure the horizontal extension of a dead branch while Bob Van Pelt (right) records the measurement. Photo by Stephen Sillett, Institute for Redwood Ecology, Humboldt State University

Countdown to BioBlitz!

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In 21 days we will have a major scientific event happening throughout the Bay Area: the 2014 National Park Service BioBlitz. Here at the League we are busy preparing for this 24-hour exploration of the ecologically diverse areas of the … Continued

Mountain lion. All photos courtesy of our partners, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Sempervirens Fund

Camera Traps: Windows into Wild Lives

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Over the past few months here at the League we have been inspired by photos captured of wildlife on the CEMEX Redwoods property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Motion-activated wildlife cameras called “camera traps” are set up throughout the property, … Continued

Left, Cape Vizcaino in 1947, with meadows clearly visible. Right, the present view, with trees encroaching heavily.

Burning Cape Vizcaino

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The view from the picnic table was grand to be sure, the blue infinities of sea and sky meeting where the distant fog gathered offshore (and coastal fog, when you think about it, really is the perfect blend of the … Continued

Lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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It was close to dusk when we crossed the stream, heading deeper into the forest along an old logging road. We were touring the areas of CEMEX Redwoods where restoration reserves are to be established, assessing conditions and discussing strategies … Continued

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