Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U. S. National Recreation Area protecting 80,002 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of the park is land used by the United States Army. GGNRA is managed by the National Park Service and is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors a year. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, the park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from southern San Mateo County to northern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive, it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, the park was created thanks to the cooperative legislative efforts of cosponsors Congressman William S. Mailliard and Congressman Phillip Burton. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law An Act to Establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the bill allocated $120 million for land acquisition and development.
The National Park Service first purchased Alcatraz and Fort Mason from the U. S. Army, the Nature Conservancy transferred the land to the GGNRA. These properties formed the basis for the park. Throughout the next 30 years, the National Park service acquired land and historic sites from the U. S. Army, private landowners and corporations, incorporating them into the GGNRA. Many decommissioned Army bases and fortifications were incorporated into the park, including Fort Funston, four Nike missile sites, The Presidio, the latest acquisition by the National Park Service is Mori Point, a small parcel of land on the Pacifica coast. In 1988, UNESCO designated the GGNRA and 12 adjacent protected areas the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, the property, located south of Pacifica and surrounding the communities of Moss Beach and Montara, is home to many diverse plant and animal species. The bill passed in the Senate, but did not pass the House of Representatives, Fort Baker - former Army post located on the northern side of the Golden Gate Headlands Center for the Arts - an artist residency program set in renovated military buildings in the Marin Headlands.
Nike Missile Site SF-88 - a decommissioned Army surface-to-air missile site located near Fort Barry, located at the southwestern corner of the Presidio Battery Chamberlin - one of the last remaining coastal defense disappearing guns on the U. S. Trails lead across the ridge and to Sharp Park beach, the site includes recently restored wetlands and a pond, protecting endangered San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog habitat. Rancho Corral de Tierra - the GGNRAs newest park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Scenery Video, a video showing the scenery observed from the GGNRA, including footage from Lands End
Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in gathering and analysis, field projects, lobbying. IUCNs mission is to influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of resources is equitable. Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to equality, poverty alleviation. Unlike other international NGOs, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation and it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, and through lobbying and partnerships. The organization is best known to the public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List. IUCN has a membership of over 1200 governmental and non-governmental organizations, some 11,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis.
It employs approximately 1000 full-time staff in more than 60 countries and its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role in the implementation of several conventions on nature conservation. It was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature, in the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its relations with the business sector have caused controversy. It was previously called the International Union for Protection of Nature, establishment In 1947, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature organised an international conference on the protection of nature in Brunnen. It is considered to be the first government-organized non-governmental organization, the initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and especially from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. At the time of its founding IUPN was the international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years.
Its secretariat was located in Brussels and its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were closely associated and they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of endangered species was drawn up for the first time
An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as likely to become extinct. In 2012, the IUCN Red List featured 3079 animal and 2655 plant species as endangered worldwide, the figures for 1998 were, respectively,1102 and 1197. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species, for example, population numbers and species conservation status can be found in the lists of organisms by population. The conservation status of a species indicates the likelihood that it will become extinct, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Over 40% of the species are estimated to be at risk of extinction. Internationally,199 countries have signed an accord to create Biodiversity Action Plans that will protect endangered, in the United States, such plans are usually called Species Recovery Plans. Those species of Near Threatened and Least Concern status have been assessed and found to have relatively robust and healthy populations, though these may be in decline.
The IUCN categories, with examples of animals classified by them, Extinct Extinct in the wild Captive individuals survive, critically endangered Faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Endangered Faces a high risk of extinction in the near future, vulnerable Faces a high risk of endangerment in the medium term. Near-threatened May be considered threatened in the near future, Least concern No immediate threat to species survival. A population size reduction of ≥ 50%, projected or suspected to be met within the next 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on any of to under A1. E) Quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild is at least 20% within 20 years or five generations, there is data from the United States that shows a correlation between human populations and threatened and endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act in the United States, species may be listed as endangered or threatened, the Salt Creek tiger beetle is an example of an endangered subspecies protected under the ESA.
Some endangered species laws are controversial, lobbying from hunters and various industries like the petroleum industry, construction industry, and logging, has been an obstacle in establishing endangered species laws. The Bush administration lifted a policy that required federal officials to consult an expert before taking actions that could damage endangered species. Under the Obama administration, this policy has been reinstated, being listed as an endangered species can have negative effect since it could make a species more desirable for collectors and poachers. This effect is potentially reducible, such as in China where commercially farmed turtles may be reducing some of the pressure to poach endangered species. Another problem with the species is its effect of inciting the use of the shoot, shovel
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located in San Francisco, United States. The park includes a fleet of vessels, a visitor center, a maritime museum. The park is referred to as the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Todays San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was authorized in 1988, the park incorporates the Aquatic Park Historic District, bounded by Van Ness Avenue, Polk Street, and Hyde Street. The historic fleet of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is moored at the parks Hyde Street Pier, the fleet consists of the following major vessels, Balclutha, an 1886 built square rigged sailing ship. Eureka, an 1890 built steam ferryboat, alma, an 1891 built scow schooner. Hercules, a 1907 built steam tug, eppleton Hall, a 1914 built paddlewheel tug. The fleet includes one hundred small craft. The Visitor Center is housed in the parks 1909 waterfront warehouse, located at the corner of Hyde, the City of San Francisco declared the four-story brick structure an historic landmark in 1974, and the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Inside, exhibits tell the story of San Francisco’s colorful and diverse maritime heritage, the visitor center contains a theater and a ranger-staffed information desk. The building was built by the WPA as a public bathhouse. The architects were William Mooser Jr. and William Mooser III, the third-floor gallery is used for visiting exhibitions and in 2005 exhibited Sparks, an exhibition of shipboard radio and radioteletype technology. The Maritime Museum has re-opened after a series of renovations, the Maritime Research Center is the premier resource for San Francisco and Pacific Coast maritime history. Originating in 1939, the collections have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast, one of these is the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. The Visitors Center, Hyde Street Pier and Maritime Museum are all situated adjacent to the foot of Hyde Street, the park headquarters and Maritime Research Center are located in Fort Mason, some 10 minutes walk to the west of the other sites.
Opening times and fees for the sites can be found on the parks website. Aquatic Park is a place for open water swimming, both for recreation and training. The South End Rowing Club and Dolphin Club are located in Aquatic Park, WPA murals and sculpture at Aquatic Park — The New Deal Art Registry
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71, 028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve, some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. All of the beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation. The even smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. The Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, the northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for Tule Elk, which are readily seen there. The preserve is very rich in raptors and shorebirds.
The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the Gray Whale migrating south in mid-January, the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast and this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a walk from the visitor center. The Point Reyes National Seashore attracts 2.5 million visitors annually, hostelling International USA maintains a 45-bed youth hostel at the Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, formed in 1964, collaborates with the Seashore on maintenance, like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. A large shellfish farm raising Japanese oysters, Crassostrea gigas, was located in Drakes Estero until, under court order, Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December,2014. The farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, a federal law enacted in 2009 authorized, but did not require, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to renew the permit.
The NPS and conservation groups viewed the farm as an inappropriate and environmentally-insensitive use of the estero, the farms supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and phoned the farms owner to give him the news. The oyster farm closure was challenged in U. S. District Court on January 25,2013, the challenge was rejected by a federal court judge, who ruled that the law gave Salazar unfettered discretion to approve or deny a renewal of the permit. The California Coastal Commission voted on February 7,2013 to unanimously approve cease and desist, an attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14,2014 and a petition to the United States Supreme Court was denied on June 30,2014
San Joaquin Valley
Although a majority of the valley is rural, it does contain urban cities such as Fresno, Stockton, Turlock, Visalia and Hanford. Unlike the Sacramento Valley, the system for which the San Joaquin Valley is named does not extend very far along the valley. Most of the south of Fresno, drains into Tulare Lake. The valleys primary river is the San Joaquin, which drains north through half of the valley into the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. The Kings and Kern Rivers are in the endorheic basin of the valley. The San Joaquin Valley began to form about 66 million years ago during the early Paleocene era, broad fluctuations in the sea level caused various areas of the valley to be flooded with ocean water for the next 60 million years. About 5 million years ago, the outlets began to close due to uplift of the coastal ranges. Starting 2 million years ago, a series of glacial episodes periodically caused much of the valley to become a fresh water lake, Lake Corcoran was the last widespread lake to fill the valley about 700,000 years ago.
At the beginning of the Holocene there were three major lakes remaining in the part of the Valley, Tulare Lake, Buena Vista Lake. In the late 19th and in the 20th century, agricultural diversion of the Kern River eventually dried out these lakes and its rainy season normally runs from November through April, but since 2011 when a drought became evident it generally received minimal to no rain at all. The drought was still extant by mid-August 2014 with scientists saying it would continue indefinitely. Research from NASA shows that parts of the San Joaquin Valley sank as much as 8 inches in a four-month period, the sinking has destroyed thousands of groundwater well casings and has the potential to damage aqueducts, roads and flood-control structures. In the long term, the caused by extracting groundwater could irreversibly reduce the underground aquifers water storage capacity. The National Weather Service Forecast Office for the San Joaquin Valley is located in Hanford, Weather forecasts and climatological information for the San Joaquin Valley are available from its official website.
The total population of the eight counties comprising the San Joaquin Valley at the time of the 2010 U. S. Census was 3,971,659. Grapes—table, and to a lesser extent wine—are perhaps the valleys highest-profile product, but equally important are cotton, nuts and vegetables. Though it has been called The food basket of the World, oranges, garlic, tomatoes, hay and numerous other crops have been harvested with great success. DeRuosi Nut, a large processing plant in Escalon, has been in the valley since 1947
Bakersfield is a city in California, United States, and the county seat of Kern County. It covers about 142 square miles near the end of the San Joaquin Valley. Bakersfields population is approximately 365,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California, the Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, the city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county, and the fourth most productive county in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, mining, petroleum refining, distribution, food processing, the city is the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years, the Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, bear and game birds.
In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area, following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, the Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area. In 1862, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement founded in 1860 by the German-born Christian Bohna, among those attracted to the area by the California gold rush was Thomas Baker, a lawyer and former colonel in the militia of Ohio, his home state. Baker moved to the banks of the Kern River in 1863, at what became known as Bakers Field, by 1870, with a population of 600, what is now known as Bakersfield was becoming the principal town in Kern County. In 1873, Bakersfield was officially incorporated as a city, alexander Mills was hired as the city marshal, a man one historian would describe as.
An old man by the time he became Marshal of Bakersfield, but he was a Kentuckian, a handy man with a gun, and not lacking in initiative and resource when the mood moved him. Businessmen and others began to resent Mills, who was cantankerous, wanting to fire him but fearing reprisals, they came up with a scheme to disincorporate, effectively leaving him without an employer. According to local historian Gilbert Gia, the city was failing to collect the taxes it needed for services, in 1876, the city voted to disincorporate. For the next 22 years, a citizens council managed the community, by 1880, the town had a population of 801, and by 1890, it had a population of 2,626. Migration from Texas, Louisiana and Southern California brought new residents, the city reincorporated on January 11,1898
Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and Californias Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests and these trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast, the northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco, after many decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began.
Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the redwood trees had been logged. The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl. Modern day native groups such as the Yurok, Karok and Wiyot all have ties to the region. Archaeological study shows they arrived in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago, an 1852 census determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500. They used the abundant redwood, which with its grain was easily split into planks, as a building material for boats, houses. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping. Redwood boards were used to form a sloping roof. Previous to Jedediah Smith in 1828, no other explorer of European descent is known to have investigated the inland region away from the immediate coast. The discovery of gold along the Trinity River in 1850 led to a secondary rush in California.
This brought miners into the area and many stayed on at the coast after failing to strike it rich and this quickly led to conflicts wherein native peoples were placed under great strain, if not forcibly removed or massacred. By 1895, only one third of the Yurok in one group of villages remained, by 1919, the miners logged redwoods for building, when this minor gold rush ended, some of them turned again to logging, cutting down the giant redwood trees. Representative John E. Raker, of California, became the first politician to introduce legislation for the creation of a national park
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its resources. The organization has four science disciplines, concerning biology, geology. The USGS is a research organization with no regulatory responsibility. The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, the USGS employs approximately 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, the current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is science for a changing world. The agencys previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its anniversary, was Earth Science in the Public Service. Prompted by a report from the National Academy of Sciences, the USGS was created, by a last-minute amendment and it was charged with the classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.
This task was driven by the need to inventory the vast lands added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the legislation provided that the Hayden and Wheeler surveys be discontinued as of June 30,1879. Clarence King, the first director of USGS, assembled the new organization from disparate regional survey agencies, after a short tenure, King was succeeded in the directors chair by John Wesley Powell. Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units, Other specific programs include, Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide. The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location, the USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System. The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and it maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research.
It conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards, USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time, the USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online, since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. USGS operates a number of related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program. USGS Water data is available from their National Water Information System database
Waders are birds commonly found along shorelines and mudflats that wade in order to forage for food in the mud or sand. They are called shorebirds in North America, waders are members of the order Charadriiformes, which includes gulls and their allies. There are about 210 species of wader, most of which are associated with wetland or coastal environments, many species of Arctic and temperate regions are strongly migratory, but tropical birds are often resident, or move only in response to rainfall patterns. Some of the Arctic species, such as the little stint, are amongst the longest distance migrants, the smallest member of this group is the least sandpiper, small adults of which can weigh as little as 15.5 grams and measure just over 13 cm. The largest species is believed to be the Far Eastern curlew, at about 63 cm and 860 grams, in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy and many other groups are subsumed into a greatly enlarged Ciconiiformes order. Formerly, the waders were united in a single suborder Charadrii, however, it indicated that the plains wanderer actually belonged into one of them.
Shorebirds is a term used to refer to multiple species of birds that live in wet. Because most these species spend much of their time near bodies of water, some species prefer locations with rocks or mud. Many shorebirds display migratory patterns and often migrate before breeding season and these behaviors explain the long wing lengths observed in species, and can account for the efficient metabolisms that give the birds energy during long migrations. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of mud or exposed soil, different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. Many waders have sensitive nerve endings at the end of their bills which enable them to prey items hidden in mud or soft soil. Some larger species, particularly adapted to drier habitats will take larger prey including insects. Shorebirds, like other animals, exhibit phenotypic differences between males and females, known as sexual dimorphism.
In shorebirds, various sexual dimorphisms are seen, but not limited to, color, in polygynous species, where one male individual mates with multiple female partners over his lifetime, dimorphisms tend to be more diverse. The suborder of Charadrii displays the widest range of sexual dimorphisms seen in the Charadriiformes order, cases of sexual monomorphism, where there are no distinguishing physical features besides external genitalia, are seen in this order. One of the biggest factors that leads to the development of sexual dimorphism in shorebirds is sexual selection, males with ideal characteristics favored by females are more likely to reproduce and pass on their genetic information to their offspring better than the males who lack such characteristics. Mentioned earlier, male shorebirds are typically larger in size compared to their female counterparts, competition between males tends to lead to sexual selection toward larger males and as a result, an increase in dimorphism. Bigger males tend to have access to female mates because their larger size aids them in defeating other competitors