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Wildlife and the Oak Woodlands-announcement and article

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  • Kate Marianchild
    Friends, Please copy and paste or forward to your friends to get the word out. Thanks very much, Kate Wildlife and the Oak Woodlands The complex web of life
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2006
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      Friends, Please copy and paste or forward to your friends to get the
      word out. Thanks very much, Kate

      Wildlife and the Oak Woodlands
      The complex web of life among our local oak trees will be the subject
      of a slideshow/lecture by Bob Keiffer on Thursday, March 16, 7 p.m. at
      the Ukiah Civic Center. Keiffer will discuss the over 300 species of
      mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the tree-climbing
      salamander, that depend on Mendocino�s eleven different kinds of oaks.
      Keiffer, who has lived in Mendocino County all his life, has a degree
      in Wildlife Management and has been the Superintendent of Agriculture
      at the Hopland Research and Extension Center for 22 years. From Hwy 101
      take Perkins Street west to State Street (second light). Go left on
      State. After three blocks turn right on Seminary Ave. Take it to the
      end.

      Longer and Richer Article:

      Wildlife and the Oak Woodlands: A Slide
      Presentation by Wildlife Expert Bob Keiffer

      Special to the Journal by Kate Marianchild

      The rounded, grass-graced hills of inland Mendocino County glow green
      in the spring and gold in the summer and fall. In selected places these
      lovely hills are home to firs, redwoods, madrones, buckeyes, and bays.
      But one kind of tree can be found nearly everywhere: the sometimes
      stately, sometimes scrubby, often gnarly, and always important, oak.

      More than any other plant, oak trees define the habitat in which we
      live. Yet how many of us can show a child the eleven kinds of oaks that
      grow in our county? Who understands the threads that weave oaks,
      �possums, rattlesnakes, and owls into one web of life? Who has heard of
      the tree-climbing salamander that needs water-retaining cavities in
      oaks for its survival?

      Wildlife and habitat expert Bob Keiffer will drop numerous acorns of
      wisdom on this fertile subject at his slideshow/lecture entitled
      �Wildlife and the Oak Woodlands� on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at
      the Ukiah City Civic Center (directions below). He first gave this talk
      for a class at Santa Rosa Junior College about 12 years ago; it is so
      popular that he has had many requests for it since. This program is
      sponsored by Peregrine Audubon Society and is free to the public
      (donation requested).

      Like his beloved oaks, Keiffer is a native of Mendocino County. He grew
      up near the Russian River on a prune, pear, and walnut ranch, east of
      Hopland. With binoculars slung around his neck and camera in tow he
      hiked everywhere, chasing �birds, butterflies, and anything else that
      crept, crawled, swam, or took to the air.� Once he was astonished to
      find a flock of 12 wood ducks feeding on acorns under oak trees far
      from water. He remembers with awe the sound of wood ducks coming in to
      roost at night � the magical whistle and whoosh of their wings and the
      sound of the ducks �talking� to each other. Keiffer�s reverence for
      wildlife and the outdoors led him to Humboldt State University and to a
      B.S. degree in Wildlife Management in 1979.

      In the years since college Keiffer has worked for the U.S. Fish &
      Wildlife Service, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District,
      and the U.S. Bureau of Land of Management.�For the last 22 years he has
      been the Principal Superintendent of Agriculture at the University of
      California Hopland Research & Extension Center, a 5300 acre research
      facility dedicated to agriculture and natural resource research. In his
      words, he essentially acts as �ranch foreman,� overseeing routine
      operations and liaisons with researchers.

      Keiffer�s favorite oak is the California Valley Oak, partly because of
      its statuesque grandeur, and partly because it is the only oak that has
      cavities large enough to house larger birds and animals. Valley Oaks
      used to be so common in Ukiah valley that they were almost considered a
      weed. Keiffer recounts with pride and gratitude the time his great
      uncle Dave Henderson stepped in to prevent a huge Valley Oak behind the
      old Thatcher Inn in Hopland from being cut down for no reason. That
      tree, which still stands, sometimes houses barn owl nests.

      In addition to being a wildlife photographer for the past 30 years,
      Keiffer has served on the board of Peregrine Audubon Society and the
      Mendocino County Fish & Game Advisory Committee. He is currently the
      sub-regional editor for North American Birds. In that capacity he
      submits seasonal Mendocino County bird observation records to the
      Middle Pacific Region.�He has also been an active youth leader with the
      Mendocino County 4-H program for many years, leading such groups as
      "mini-wildlife," bird-watching, and fly tying.

      Directions to this fascinating presentation are as follows: From Hwy
      101 take Perkins Street west to State Street (second light). Go left on
      State. After three blocks turn right on Seminary Ave. Take it to the
      end.



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