Image of from the edge of the fire behind the Morgan Horse Ranch and PRNSA office at the end of the Woodpecker Trail.
September 14, 2020

Dear Friends,

Last Friday I was able to get into my office to grab a few things and got a glimpse of the edge of the fire's impact at Bear Valley...just 100 yards from our office! Despite knowing that the evacuation warning was lifted from my home and the Woodward fire appeared under control, the orange, dark sky, choking smoke, and map of fires raging around the western United States all brought me down. I could feel the sadness everywhere I went... the grocery store, our staff meeting, and even at the swimming hole. Below are some updates that I hope will help you lift your mood the way they did mine.
Welcoming the BAER Team to Bear Valley
Our office is "science central" for a couple of weeks for a visiting team of specialists who are assessing the damage of the Woodward fire. The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team includes staff with deep knowledge of geology, water, botany, and wildlife from federal agencies including the National Park Service and Forest Service. They look for erosion potential after vegetation is burned off, and assess potential injury to salmon and other rare species. The team also propose actions to restore damaged areas of the park and adjacent lands. Stay tuned for more from this group soon. In the meantime, I'm happy to report that "Bobbie," as we affectionately call the local bobcat who hangs out at the meadow across from the PRNSA office, was spotted last week at Bear Valley.
Blue Skies
While the sky was not blue here last week, I found some clearing in the gloom while meeting virtually with people who support and value the work of organizations like ours. Thanks to an invitation from the Lampert Byrd Foundation, I participated in the The Blue Sky Funders Forum annual conference this past week, a gathering of environmental literacy and outdoor education funders. Themes from the conference included organizational survival, racial and social equity, connecting schools with the outdoors, and building a new normal that is better...all very relevant to PRNSA.

I loved connecting with colleagues from around the country and especially appreciated a conversation with Mahealani Bambico from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation at Hilo on the Island of Hawaii. She could see the orange sky in my Zoom background and recalled the worry of her island two years ago during the volcanic eruptions. Her message was hang in there...from the fire comes regeneration.
Nature Connections
Connecting to nature is one way to stay grounded and find blue skies. Below please find links to the most current info on where you can visit Point Reyes National Seashore. Partial closures and smoke means less access, but we also offer some wonderful online programming to deepen our understanding and connection with this place we all love. I hope you will join us.

Take good care,
Donna Faure
Executive Director
Park Update
Information on park access is changing. For more information on what's open and closed and to get fire and smoke updates at Point Reyes National Seashore, click HERE.
Upcoming Events
Thursday, September 17, 7pm , WEBINAR
The annual return of salmonids to their freshwater spawning grounds, commonly known as "the salmon run", is one of the most beautiful and studied phenomena in the natural world. From our California rivers to the Great Pacific Ocean, species like coho salmon and steelhead trout face a variety of threats from human-related interactions. PRNSA and Park intern biologist Carter Perez Adamson has been working closely with these species this summer, and will join us to showcase his first-hand experiences. Come hear about the work that goes into protecting an endangered species, and learn about the significance of fish conservation and health in Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Watch on Zoom by registering HERE or watch on Facebook live when the stream starts. 
Friday, September 25
Join Sonoma State Assistant Professor Brent Hughes for a talk in celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week. Like many top predators across the globe, sea otters suffered from overhunting during periods of rapid European colonialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, with legislation aimed at protecting endangered species and marine mammals, sea otters are slowly recovering. Through this recovery sea otters are revealing the breadth of habitats that can utilize, such as estuarine seagrass beds and salt marshes. These recent discoveries have fundamentally changed our understanding of sea otter biology and ecology and presents new opportunities to promote their recovery. Presented in collaboration with Sea Otter Savvy.

Registration details to follow on PRNSA's website later this week.

Community Events
Virtual Mini-Conference
Friday, September 18, 2:30 - 4:30pm
The Tomales Bay Watershed Council's "State of Tomales Bay" conference is offered as a free, two-hour webinar this year. The program includes talks on the history, science, and agriculture practices shaping the Tomales Bay Watershed. Speakers will include historian Dewey Livingston, UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Lab professor John Largier, Tomales Bay Watershed Research Grant recipient Sarah Loomis, Albert Strauss of Strauss Dairy, Dylan Voeller from PRNS and others. Register HERE.
West Marin Climate Action informs and mobilizes our community to adapt to and help mitigate climate impacts, increasing our local resilience and equity while contributing to the global solutions needed now.

They envision a healthy, thriving and resilient West Marin where carbon emissions are reduced, systems and support networks are strong, and people and our vital ecosystems are protected from the present and future impacts of climate change. Act now to avoid the worst impacts of climate change!
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | |