From the misty coastal forest we are heading to the big city of San Francisco. During the trip, I am pondering that the biggest challenge for the bay’s conservation is arguably a constant battle against urban development. For years, San Francisco Bay served as one of the main salt production industries in the country. As a consequence, habitat disruption with further biodiversity loss. Local community and scientists joined forces and fought to restore it and eventually returned it to Mother Earth. This is how Don Edwards San Francisco NWR became the first urban National Wildlife Refuge in the US. Ten years ago they never imagined how studied this area would be now and the landscape improvements observed today. This is an example of how powerful the union of citizens, politicians, scientists and salt industry workers can be. Now 65 ponds compose one of the biggest conservation projects of the West Coast.
Our next stop: Klamath Basin NWR. A place that used to be a lake, but was drained for agricultural purposes. Now farmers have seasonal ponds that support migratory and non-migratory birds, and the refuge has its own agricultural lands that contribute to local production. Sleeping on the California-Oregon border, I saw more eagles and raptors than ever before in my life. But what really stole my heart was the Lava Tube Caves. Reflective microbial mats that shine gold and silver is something that I will never forget. Furthermore we were interviewed by the local news, Herald and News, and shared our passion for birds conservation and our journey (http://buff.ly/1MkJJRy).
Lithia water blended with an outdoorsy city makes people from Ashland the happiest. Everyone seems to be a birder here, which makes me happy. In front of our home, Chanticleer Inn, a famous post is completely carved by Woodpeckers while Ellen and every guest shared amazing stories about their birding experiences. Our time with the staff of Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) was a blast. They helped us in our social media in such a way that after participating on a local radio show, we went to a brewery, and the waitress recognized us (http://ijpr.org/post/ambassadors-birds#stream/0). KBO’s dedicated personal gave me an insight on how to combine applied research on habitat restoration and population success. I am really grateful to KBO for showing us such an awesome time and experience in their hometown. (http://www.klamathbird.org/the-klamath-call-note/announce/3273)