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"Trending to the Wild" slide/lecture by Brock Dolman, Thursday, Nov. 15

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  • Kate Marianchild
    This Peregrine Audubon program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Ukiah Civic Center, 7 p.m. Trending to the Wild: Restoring Wildlands Biodiversity
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 23, 2007
      This Peregrine Audubon program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the
      Ukiah Civic Center, 7 p.m.

      Trending to the Wild: Restoring Wildlands Biodiversity
      Slideshow and Lecture by Brock Dolman, November 15

      Article by Kate

      �Wild.� �Wildlife.� �Wilderness.� These words stir longing in many of
      us � a yearning for the time when humans lived in intimate connection
      with the rushing of wind and water, the rustle of foxes in the night,
      the rising and setting of celestial bodies. Seeking to renew that
      connection, we carry heavy backpacks into the mountains, re-finding our
      primal selves in landscapes largely unchanged by humans. We cherish our
      glimpses into the lives of wild animals, telling and retelling others
      about our sightings of eagles, bears, or beavers.

      But the land right around us was pristine once also, and we can start
      renewing our connection with the wild right here at home. We can study
      our local landscapes and begin restoring them to a near-primeval state.
      Complete restoration is impossible, according to Brock Dolman,
      co-director of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center�s Wildlands
      Biodiversity Program and director of its WATER Institute, but
      tremendous improvements can be made.

      The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) has been working for the
      past several years to recover 70 acres that were once heavily logged.
      Woodlands congested with small spindly trees are on their way to
      becoming stately and fire-resilient forests. Water that once roared
      through gullies and carried sediment into streams now flows across the
      surface and soaks into the land, recharging the water table. Tree
      frogs, snakes, and dragonflies are populating the edges of rainwater
      ponds. For those interested in learning how and why these changes have
      come about, Brock Dolman will deliver a slide lecture entitled
      �Trending to the Wild: Promoting Wildlands Biodiversity� on Thursday,
      November 15, at the Ukiah Civic Center, 7 p.m. This Peregrine Audubon
      Society program is free to the public, though donations will be
      gratefully accepted.

      �Wildlife,� Dolman says, needs �Food, cover, water, and sex.� He
      suggests that a landowner or agency can start by figuring out what the
      bottleneck is for any target species. If water is in short supply, he
      will suggest measures to �slow it, spread it, and sink it.� In the
      process you may turn a seasonal creek back into a year-round creek or
      start dry springs flowing again. If a forest is so thick that Cooper's
      Hawks can�t hunt and deer can�t forage, you can thin the trees and turn
      the resultant debris into a �brush plug� at the top of a gully. The
      brush plug will slow rainwater run-off and provide cover for
      salamanders at the same time. If there are few nest cavities for
      Western Bluebirds and Oak Titmice, you can leave dead trees standing
      and put up nest boxes.

      Dolman will teach us how to think about a piece of land, using OAEC�s
      program as a case study. He will offer hands-on, low-budget,
      site-specific methods for the restoration of water tables, wildlife,
      and plants. Some methods not yet mentioned include spot burning,
      replanting native bunch grasses, and digging contour swales. (The OAEC
      offers classes in some of these practices, such as one for landowners
      entitled �Facilitating Fire in the Landscape�).

      Dolman will also touch on topics from his �Thinking Like a Watershed�
      lecture that he delivered to rapt Ukiah and Willits audiences in early
      October. In that talk Dolman explained that the demand for fresh water
      grows twice as fast as populations. He pointed out that everyone lives
      in a watershed, and that when watershed groups come together to
      conserve water and reduce erosion they are, in effect, building a
      lifeboat against the coming flood. With his ever-present humor he
      repeated his favorite mantra several times: �Planning is best done in

      Brock Dolman is a thought-provoking speaker whose style is pragmatic,
      poetic, and often amusing. An ornithologist and wildlife biologist by
      training, Dolman is also a Sonoma County Fish & Wildlife Commissioner,
      a board member of the Russian River Watershed Council, an occasional
      advisor to various water control agencies, and a nationally recognized
      permaculture instructor and consultant. The work of Dolman and the OAEC
      has been so effective that the California Department of Forestry, the
      University of California, and the California Department of Fish and
      Game include the OAEC on their teaching-tour circuits. For more
      information about the OAEC�s programs go to www.oaec.org.

      The Ukiah Civic Center is at 300 Seminary Avenue. From 101 take Perkins
      west to State Street (3rd light). Go left on State Street and turn
      right on Seminary Ave. Take Seminary to the end. To join Peregrine
      Audubon Society and receive a newsletter with regular announcements
      about programs and field trips, please send $15 to PAS, P.O. Box 311,
      Ukiah, CA 95482. www.peregrineaudubon.org.

      Submitted by:

      Kate Marianchild, Writer/Publicist
      Grace Hudson Museum
      Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project
      50 Species Challenge
      Peregrine Audubon Society
      UkiaHaiku Festival

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