Plant Trees SF Events 2011 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
This newsletter is pasted onto my blogsite:  http://naturenewssf.blogspot.com/ the same day it is sent via email.  

1.   Job opportunity:  Full-time senior botanist/wetlands scientist
2.   Container Gardening With Native Plants TONIGHT in San Carlos
3.   San Francisco Butterfly Count Sunday July 3 - amateurs encouraged
4.   Public members being sought for advisory committee to Fish & Game Commission
5.   California State Fair menu:  Raccoon on a Stick, Maggot Melt
6.   Thoughts from Aldo Leopold.  Oh, how we need him
7.   No one is safe:  Congress drafting the 2012 Farm Bill
8.   Glen Canyon Park Improvement Plan - final draft
9.   San Francisco park protection bill being derided by the usual suspects
10. Reflections on the Arizona wildfires - and beautiful woodcut by Paul Landacre
11.  International Green Schoolyard Conference: Sept. 16-18
12. Feedback: Brave Russian women
13. Scientific American - cogitation on solving energy problem/HIV attacked, adapts/sunscreen regulations
14. Two peregrine falcons shot in Oakland, reward for information on suspects
15. Articles: California native bunchgrasses/the value of vines
16. James Broughton: Hunt the bear that hugs and the raven that quoths
17. Presidio's newest trail links Mountain Lake and Baker Beach
18. Boys beware: We're on the march. Decline of the Y chromosome/Hello, sailor
19. Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe
20. The Pope in Winter:  The Dark Face of John Paul II's Papacy
21.  Hunter S. Thompson, whose special subject was "the death of the American Dream"
22.  There are three types of people in the world


1.  Job opportunity:  Full-time senior botanist/wetland scientist

Minimum Requirements:
Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis in Plant Ecology, Botany or General Ecology
Two plus years of practical experience in plant ecology/botany field work in California or the desert southwest.
Practical experience conducting rare plant surveys, wetland delineation, vegetation mapping, habitat restoration planning and monitoring, preparation of CEQA/NEPA, ESA assessment, and wetland delineation documents. 
Proficiency in the identification of plant species of California and the desert southwest and use of botanical nomenclature keys.
Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access) software.
Able to provide examples of excellent writing and communication skills.

Job Description:
Staff botanist responsible for conducting rare plant surveys, wetland delineations, vegetation mapping, contribute to habitat restoration planning and monitoring, and preparation of CEQA/NEPA, ESA assessment documents and wetland delineation documents. For larger projects, staffer may be responsible for coordinating teams of field biologists and organizing data collection for subsequent analysis. Projects are usually located in central and southern California, but opportunities for travel to other areas of the US occur occasionally. Position requires candidate to be a self-starter, able to work well as a team member and travel to site locations frequently for periods up to ten (10) days during the field season.

EOE M/F/D/V

 
Learn more at https://www.urs.apply2jobs.com/ProfExt/index.cfm?fuseaction=mExternal.showJob&RID=51687&CurrentPage=1

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2.
Container Gardening With Native Plants
Thursday, June 30, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
A talk by Pete Veilleux
San Carlos Library, 610 Elm Street, San Carlos. (650) 591-0341 x237.

Grow native plants for beauty, ease of maintenance, and habitat value.  Dress up even the smallest of spaces with native plants in containers. Masterful landscape designer, skilled nurseryman, and inspired photographer Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds nursery will share many examples of native plants in containers, and tips
for planting and care. 

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3.  The rescheduled date for the 17th Annual San Francisco Butterfly Count has been selected-- Sunday, July 3rd -- 9am -5pm. The date was based upon group leaders availibility and multiple requests to hold the count on a weekend. Mark your calendars. An intense, one-day inventory of all the butterfly species / individuals flying in our county.  We will begin at the Randall Museum (199 Museum Way) before heading out with assigned groups. ( The Presidio Group, lead by Matt Zlatunich, will meet there. Contact mbzlat@yahoo.com to join his group ) Each group will have a copy of Nature in the City's Butterflies of San Francisco  Field Guide to make it easier on the novice. BRING YOUR LUNCH. It's really a magnificent day, folks, to help with important field work. A $3.00 participation fee is collected by all that goes to butterfly conservation. We broke all our records last year : 24 species , 775 individuals and 34 observers! We also had "National High' on two species:Anise Swallowtail - 53 seen (Papilio zelicaon) and West Coast Painted Lady - 23 seen (Vanessa annabella). Over 300 counts throughout the nation, our count is starting to get noticed.  Come help us keep up the momentum! And start learning your SF butterflies at my new website: www.sfbutterfly.com 
Any questions? Liam O'Brien -- liammail56@yahoo.com . The count is sponsored by  The North American Butterfly Association."


1) Western Tiger  2) Painted Lady  3) Satyr Anglewing


The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore

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4.  Eric Mills:
The process is underway to revamp wildlife policies in California.  Public members are presently being sought for the Advisory Committee.  Link to the Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision website for the application (deadline is mid-July):   www.vision.ca.gov.   Next meeting in late July.

What is REALLY needed, in my opinion, is a complete re-working of the Fish & Game Commission:  5 members, all appointed by the Governor, with no required qualifications for the job.  And all are hunters and/or fishers.  And all men.  (There've been only two women on the Commission in its 130 year history.  The latest was Cindy Gustafson, who was forced off for political reasons.  As was Judd Hanna and others.  As it now stands, the Commission has NO authority over the Dept. of Fish & Game, they're strictly an advisory body (e.g., the recent fiasco over the live animal market permits).    In some states, the Commission has the power to hire and fire the Director.  Good idea.  And the Commission should be expanded to 7-9 members, with perhaps a few non-consumptive members representing the general public would be nice.  

Miles Young:
> Eric:   We can do all the revamping we want and come up with dozens of new regulations and policies but nothing will have been gained unless those that are assigned the duty to carry out said regulations and policies actually do their job and not spend countless hours and dollars explaining why they can't do the job.  All we hear lately from DFG and the Commission is there isn't enough manpower or money; check me out, watch the last half dozen meetings and you'll see the excuse comes up at least once at every meeting.  What we need is a "can do" Department/Commission and not the group of negative people we have now.  Miles Young

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5.  Here's Eric again:
KCRA TV - CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR MENU:  Raccoon on a Stick, Maggot Melt, and Norbert Bartosik, CEO
June 30, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the Fairgrounds......
When your stomach stops churning, take a look at the accompanying video, then grab a Bromo.  Note they're serving emu burgers, too.

Yet a few more reasons to join our demo on the Fair's opening day, Thursday, July 14, 4:00 p.m., at the main entrance.  Our anti- "birthing" ad will appear in the SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW next Thursday, July 7.

MEANWHILE, WE REALLY NEED SOME LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, esp. from you Sacramento people.  I know where you live......
              SACRAMENTO BEE - letters@sacbee.com 

EMAILS  AND CALLS OF COMPLAINT:  Norbert Bartosik, CEO & Genl Mgr, CalEXPO - nbartosik@calexpo.com - tel. 916/263-3010
                                               CalEXPO Board of Directors - calexpoboard@calexpo.com

PLEASE SEND ME (Eric Mills) BLIND COPIES OF ANY LETTERS/EMAILS YOU SUBMIT.

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6.  Thoughts from Aldo Leopold

"To our engineers this flora is merely weeds and brush; they ply it with grader and mower.  Through processes of plant succession predictable by any botanist, the prairie garden becomes a refuge for quack grass.  After the garden is gone, the highway department employs landscapers to dot the quack with elms, and with artistic clumps of Scotch pine, Japanese barberry, and Spiraea.  Conservation committees en route to some important convention whiz by and applaud this zeal for roadside beauty."  1949

"The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism.  Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little is known about it.  The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, 'What good is it?'"

"Near by is the graceful loop of an old dry creek bed.  The new creek bed is ditched straight as a ruler; itr has been 'uncurled' by the county engineer to hurry the run-off.  On the hill in the background are contoured striped-crops; they have been 'curled' by the erosion engineer to retard the run-off.  The water must be confused by so much advice."  Sketches Here and There

“I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.  Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?"

"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics."  1948

(Save the date:  July 7 - Green Fire:  Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time)

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"There is a trend toward uniformity in environment, people, and ways of life all over the earth.  This trend is inimical to life, including human life...Diversity has always characterized the biosphere to which man belonged.  In living systems, complexity brings stability and ability to withstand change.  The future survival of man may well depend on the continuing complexity of the biosphere..."  Raymond Dasmann, A Different Kind of Country

7.  2012 Farm Bill

An item from A Political Wish List from the Scientific American's Board of Editors

Farm subsidies.  The nation's agricultural policy is due for an update in 2012.  This gives Congress an opportunity both to cut spending and to help the environment.  Federal subsidies now mostly reward large farms for planting monocultures of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice.  Much of that food goes to factory farms, where tightly packed animals provide a breeding ground for infectious diseases and produce vast quantities of waste that poses an environmental hazard.  The current system devours fossil fuels, depletes the soil and pollutes waterways.  It also makes high-sugar foods and beef artificially cheap, contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemic.  Through a transition in the way subsidies are allocated, the government should encourage a progressive return to sustainable, integrated farming, which alternates commodity crops with legumes and with grass for pasture.

(JS:  A test for Republican "conservatives".  Perhaps the tea partiers will force them?)

(JS:  On the other hand, I was talking to some knowledgeable people at my farmers' market on Sunday, and they said both the House and Senate had already passed the 2012 Farm Bill, with all its disastrous provisions in place.  That sounds alarming, and probably is; however, the two versions are different, and the president must sign, so it is far from a done deal.  If enough pressure is exerted, representatives will listen--but it takes a lot to counter agribusiness's campaign contributions.  Added negative:  The agricultural committees are staffed with politicians from the inner part of the country, not the coastal states.

The farmers market people I talked to gave these websites.  I found them not the best sources of information, but may suffice until I can find a better source:
http://insearchofgoodfood.blogspot.com/
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/farm-bill-2012/

We must find a more rational and healthful way to allocate our scarce resources in providing our food.)

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8.  Glen Canyon Park Improvement Plan

After 9 community workshops, 8 focus group meetings with city agencies, officials, and community groups, and hundreds of correspondences with dedicated park-goers and experts, we have a Park Improvement Plan with associated costs and phasing. The intent of this plan is not only to guide short and long term improvements to the park, but also to serve as a fund-raising tool.  
 
If you would like to see the details of the final draft Park Improvement Plan, and to learn more about the next steps for the project and how you can keep being involved, please visithttp://sfrecpark.org/glenparkproject.aspx.  Under "Maps & Designs" you will find the drawings and presentations.

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9.  To all supporters of Golden Gate Park:

As you may have read, there is a new ballot initiative, Parks for the Public.  The goal is to try and slow down the privatization and commercialization of our parks and recreation facilities.   Much has been written in the press in the last few days about this measure, most of it inaccurate.*  The proponents for the initiative will be sending out more information over the course of the campaign, so that the public can gain a clear understanding of what this measure encompasses.

Meanwhile, it is important that the public have a chance to consider the issues, to make up their own minds,  and to vote for or against the measure.  Therefore, we encourage you to write to the four sponsoring Supervisors, thank them for introducing the measure, let them know that you support limiting the privatization and commercialization of our parks,  and are looking forward to learning more about the measure during the upcoming campaign.

Ross.Mirkarimi@sfgov.org
John.Avalos@sfgov.org
Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
David.Campos@sfgov.org

Katherine Howard, Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance

(*  Case in point - Given Ken Garcia's record and style, I have come to rely on him to guide me in decisions of matters I am not sufficiently grounded in.  Whatever he recommends, I usually do the opposite.  His article in a recent San Francisco Examiner bad-mouthed this initiative.  That's sufficient recommendation for me.  JS)

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10.  Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)

Endangered species hit hard by historic Arizona wildfire – Alamogordo Daily News
The largest wildfire in Arizona history inflicted a serious toll on an ecosystem that's home to numerous endangered species.

 
Wildfires: Forest regeneration stymied by hot crown fires – Summit County Citizens Voice
Researchers say fires burning in unnaturally dense stands of ponderosa pine, are turning the forests from carbon sinks into net carbon producers.

Ponderosa pine - Woodcut by Paul Landacre, from Natural History of Western Trees by Donald Culross Peattie

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11. International Green Schoolyard Conference: Sept. 16-18, 2011, San Francisco Bay Area

Visit: www.greenschoolyards.org

The green schoolyard movement is growing rapidly and flourishing around the world.  Schools near and far are reimagining their grounds, replacing their extensive paved surfaces with a vibrant mosaic of outdoor learning and play opportunities. Schools in many different countries are leaders in this field, finding innovative ways to weave curricula into their landscapes, diversify their recreational offerings, enhance their local ecology, and reflect their unique location and cultural context.

We invite you to come to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area to join us for the first International Green Schoolyard Conference held in the United States, September 16-18, 2011. Participate in this exciting conference to hear about cutting edge schoolyards and school gardens, meet like-minded colleagues from the United States and abroad, share ideas, tour fantastic local school grounds, and get inspired to bring these ideas back to your own community.

Invited visionary leaders of the school ground movement from Canada, England, Germany, Japan & Sweden will share their experiences, case studies, and best practices. Speakers will include:

-  Dr. Petter Ĺkerblom, Movium & Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden)
-  Cam Collyer, Evergreen (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
-  Manfred Dietzen, Grün macht Schule (Berlin, Germany)
-  Mary Jackson and Julie Mountain, Learning through Landscapes (Winchester, England)
-  Dr. Ko Senda, Environment Design Institute (Tokyo, Japan)
-  Bernard Spiegal, Playlink (London, England)
-  Birgit Teichmann, Teichmann Landschafts Architekten (Berlin, Germany) 

During the conference’s schoolyard tours, we will visit four schoolyards in San Francisco that have each undergone a dramatic change over the last decade to transform their traditional, paved, urban schoolyard into a vibrant outdoor learning and play space. We will also visit three inspiring sites in Berkeley including the Edible Schoolyard, the City of Berkeley’s Adventure Playground, and an elementary school with a green schoolyard created by the school community.

Sign up now to take advantage of early enrollment pricing!  Please support this event by helping us to spread the word far and wide.  We hope to see you there!

For more information, please visit our conference website at: www.greenschoolyards.org

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12.  Feedback

Corinne Louise Paff:
> dear Jake  .... thanx so much for  including poetry... like Mary Oliver, and 
> human stories like Yelena Bonner as well as the environmental stuff...which I constantly appreciate.....Corinne
Brave Russian dissidents come in both sexes, but the ones standing out in my memory are women.  They're made out of tough stuff in Russia.  Besides Yelena Bonner, there were two journalists, Anna Politkovskaya and another more recent whose tongue-twisting name slips my mind.  Both of them flew directly in the face of known danger but they just kept doing what they knew had to be done because of their inner urging.  They both were shot to death.

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13.  Scientific American

OBSERVATIONS: Why Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Cleaner Alternatives Will Require Fossil Fuels
The world is waiting for a clean revolution, but the world may have to wait a long time if past energy transitions are anything to go by, according to environmental scientist Vaclav Smil
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=10&ms=MzY3NzM4NzQS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTA1MjI0NjAwS0&mt=1&rt=0 

OBSERVATIONS: How Do We Solve Energy Poverty?
Bringing modern energy to the poorest and enabling the continued use of copious energy in the developed world without the attendant greenhouse gas emissions are the main reasons many experts think we will need roughly 30 terrawatts of energy by mid-century
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=17&ms=MzY3NzM4NzQS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTA1MjI0NjAwS0&mt=1&rt=0 

(I wonder how long it will take for us to figure out that we don't need all the energy we consume.  Conservation--what a concept!  JS)

GUEST BLOG: Lindau Nobel Meeting--If HIV Is Attacked, It Adapts
Computer scientists are working to find broader insights into the working of the human immune system and pathogens
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=15&ms=MzY3NjQ2NDcS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTA1MDQ1NjA2S0&mt=1&rt=0 

FEATURES: Full Exposure: How Will the FDA's Sunscreen Regulations Help Prevent Skin Cancer?
After more than 30 years, the FDA has announced new regulations for sunscreen. But how do these rules protect consumers?
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=47&ms=MzY3NjQ2NDcS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTA1MDQ1NjA2S0&mt=1&rt=0 

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> 14.

> Two falcons shot in Oakland, state game wardens looking for suspects
> By Lisa Fernandez lfernandez@mercurynews.com
> Anyone with information about who might have shot the peregrine falcons may call 1-888-DFG-CalTIP (1-888-334-2258).

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15.  California Native Bunchgrasses - Rob Moore

 
jpeg.jpg
One of the questions I always ask my clientele during the preliminary design phase is if they like California native bunchgrasses. From a design perspective, bunchgrasses offer a plethora of benefits both aesthetic and functional.  Attributes include contrast, the element of motion, habitat restoration, visual interest, and historical value.

Experts conclude that native grasslands in California are among the most endangered ecosystem in the United States. Due in most part to historical land use and introduced disease, it is estimated that less than 1% of our state’s original grasslands remain. Fortunately, as forward-thinking home and business owners, we can address this issue by including California’s native grasses in our residential and commercial landscapes.

Article continued here.


The Value of Vines - Arvind Kumar

When we think of vines in the garden, most of us think of their ornamental value (are the flowers attractive or fragrant?) or perhaps their functional value (as a privacy screen, shading a porch, or cooling a wall). We rarely think of their habitat value – what good do they do to the birds, bees, and other critters in the yard? As the vines in my garden mature, they reveal more and more of their potential in this regard.

jpeg_1.jpg
For many years now, I have enjoyed the lovely spring blooms of the chaparral clematis (Clematis lasiantha) and more recently the showy seedheads of its female plant. This spring, for the first time, bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus) have chosen to build their sock-like nest in the clematis! Bushtits usually travel in flocks of 10 or more, passing through the garden from bush to bush, picking off tiny insects. Well before you see them, you hear an exploratory tweet here and a chirp there, and pretty soon an entire chorus follows. And before you know it, the flock has moved on to another garden, another bush. What a delight it is to see them return to the garden over and over.

Article continued here.

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16. 


Quit your addiction
to sneer and complaint
Try a little flaunt
Call for comrades
who bolster your vim
and offer you risk
Corral the crones
Goose the nice nellies
Hunt the bear that hugs
and the raven that quoths
Stay up all night
to devise a new dawn
 
~ James Broughton ~
 
(Little Sermons of the Big Joy)


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17.
PRESIDIO’S NEWEST TRAIL LINKS MOUNTAIN LAKE AND BAKER BEACH
MOUNTAIN LAKE TRAIL OFFERS TRIBUTE TO TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY MERCHANT MARINERS

 
Presidio bird watchers have long flocked to the sandy dunes behind the former Public Health Services Hospital (now the Presidio Landmark). Today their path is made easier by the Presidio’s newest trail--a segment of the Mountain Lake trail that allows visitors to experience the restored dunes.

 
The new trail wraps itself around the northern edge of the Public Health Service District for a quarter mile, from Battery Caulfield Road, east to the Park-Anza trail. The Mountain Lake Trail will ultimately provide a major east-west corridor linking the Broadway Gate with Baker Beach.

 
“This was always an important birding spot,” says Amy Deck, project manager for trails for the Presidio Trust. “Park users had cut a social trail along the southern edge of the dunes - so there was always a desire to have a trail here.”

 
“The trail has a remote, rustic feel” Deck continues. “But it is also a central part of our trail network, creating a direct link between the Mountain Lake area and Baker Beach. Especially now with the Public Health district welcoming a new community, it will be a good connection for the residents.”

 
A central feature of the new trail is the “Hospital Cemetery Vista” which overlooks a former merchant marine cemetery, honoring the seamen from around the world who died at the hospital that was once the focal point of the district. Between 1881 and 1912, several hundred sailors from 30 states and 43 countries were buried there. Later this summer, a memorial stone plaque will be installed at the overlook in tribute to these merchant mariners.

 
The cemetery, which dates back more than 130 years, is now covered with sand dunes, which are dotted with thousands of freshly planted native dune grasses and plants, including the endangered San Francisco Lessingia, which is found in only two spots in the world (a small patch of San Bruno Mountain is the other). All told, hundreds of Presidio Park Stewards and other volunteers planted more than 16,000 plants over three-and-a-half acres, part of the Trust’s efforts to restore endangered habitat along the length of the new trail.

 
In keeping with the Trust’s goals of increasing accessibility throughout the Presidio’s trail network, the western portion of the trail, from the vista to Battery Caulfield Road, is accessible to people with disabilities.

 
To the east of the vista, the Presidio’s newest boardwalk winds its way behind the restored Wyman Avenue homes. The redwood boardwalk is the park’s third (the Lobos Creek Trail and a small section of the Park Trail are the other two). It was built to allow for the natural movement of the dunes. A small section of the boardwalk was elevated and laid across concrete piers to minimize the impact on a giant Redwood adjacent to the trail.

 
Presidio trails and overlooks are being transformed through the Trails Forever initiative, a partnership between the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Natio
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