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Why the Channel Islands Matter

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How Trump's budget cuts could put America's most beautiful landscapes at risk. Interior Chief Ryan Zinke Vowed To Fight Budget Cuts. He's Changed His Tone. What is the Anthropocene and Are We in It? Have human beings permanently changed the planet?

What is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?

That seemingly simple question has sparked a new battle between geologists and environmental advocates over what to call the time period we live in. According to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the professional organization in charge of defining Earth’s time scale, we are officially in the Holocene (“entirely recent”) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age. But that label is outdated, some experts say. They argue for “Anthropocene”—from anthropo, for “man,” and cene, for “new”—because human-kind has caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altered the atmosphere, among other lasting impacts.

National Parks Don't Need Your Misty-Eyed Reverence. For the metaphor to work, the MOC (magnificent outdoor cathedral) must be empty of human beings, except of course for the observer.

National Parks Don't Need Your Misty-Eyed Reverence

Photo: Nikolaus Gruenwald National Parks Centennial. How National Parks Tell Our Story—and Show Who We Are. In March 1868 a 29-year-old John Muir stopped a passerby in San Francisco to ask for directions out of town.

How National Parks Tell Our Story—and Show Who We Are

“Where do you wish to go?” The startled man inquired. “Anywhere that is wild,” said Muir. His journey took him to the Yosemite Valley in California’s Sierra Nevada, which became the spiritual home of Muir’s conservation movement and, under his guidance, the country’s third national park. “John the Baptist,” he wrote, “was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God’s mountains.” Santa Rosa Island & CI’s Research Station - Santa Rosa Island Research Station - CSU Channel Islands. The California State University Channel Islands (CI) Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) seeks to cultivate a diverse community of scholars and initiate innovative resource management solutions by supporting research, education, and outreach programs across disciplines.

Santa Rosa Island & CI’s Research Station - Santa Rosa Island Research Station - CSU Channel Islands

The ability of the SRIRS community to address management challenges from multiple perspectives will enable energetic, adept and successful responses to our changing natural and human landscapes. Mission. Video: 'Fantastic' bloom on the Channel Islands. Editorial: A special spring on the Channel Islands. Leave it to spring to put us in a good mood.

Editorial: A special spring on the Channel Islands

In a new Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 American adults, 67 percent said the arrival of spring gets them in a better mood, up from 63 percent a year ago. The survey didn’t delve into the reasons, but we’ll offer up one for Ventura County: Channel Islands National Park. The islands are now in full bloom after our wettest winter in years, and we learned this week that a plant not seen there in 115 years has been spotted on Santa Barbara Island. Eremalche exilis, aka white mallow, was found growing in five different spots on the island. Biologists find rare flower on Santa Barbara Island. With Channel Islands National Park in full bloom, biologists have discovered a plant on Santa Barbara Island that was not known to have been seen there.

Biologists find rare flower on Santa Barbara Island

Wochit With the Channel Islands in full bloom, biologists recently discovered a rare find at a remote spot in the national park off the Ventura coast. They spotted white mallow, a plant with small, delicate flowers, growing in five separate locations on the Santa Barbara Island, about 50 miles off Ventura. It's 'a terrific year' for gray whales. Starting later this month, volunteers will line an overlook along the Goleta coast to count gray whales.

It's 'a terrific year' for gray whales

Day after day for months, they will document each arch of mottled-gray back, fluke or spray as the whales make their way back north after spending the winter in lagoons off the coast of Mexico. Close to 20,000 gray whales make the annual migration past the California coast — one of the longest migrations of any mammal. "We think it's going to be a terrific year," said Michael Smith, project coordinator for the nonprofit Gray Whales Count. Younger whales typically swim closer to shore, and a lot of calves were born in recent years. "There may be a lot of whales out there," Smith said. Sea lion pups healthier but not out of the woods. Thousands of emaciated and sick sea lion pups have turned up stranded along the California coast over the past few years.

Sea lion pups healthier but not out of the woods

But cooler ocean water might be turning things around for the young pinnipeds. "We finally have pups that are about normal size this year," said Sharon Melin, a wild­life biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In September, the 3-month-old pups weighed about 37 pounds in rookeries on San Miguel Island and San Nicolas Island, off the Ventura County coast. That's close to normal weight, said Melin, who is based in Seattle. Sea lion pups on the Channel Islands. Expert discovers details about Lone Woman's life on island.

Archaeologist Steve Schwartz recently uncovered new clues to an old story while digging through volumes of notes from the early 1900s.

Expert discovers details about Lone Woman's life on island

The details jotted down from conversations more than 100 years ago might change what the world knows about the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island. “This adds a whole new twist to the entire story, based upon just scratching the surface on some of these notes,” said Schwartz, a retired Navy archaeologist who spoke at the California Islands Symposium last week in Ventura.

People have long shared the story of the woman who was left alone on San Nicolas Island in 1835. The last of the native Nicoleño living on the remote island 60 or so miles off the coast, she survived alone for 18 years. Then, in 1853, she was taken to Santa Barbara. Channel Islands bald eagles reach milestone. Bald eagles on the Channel Islands have reached a milestone.

Channel Islands bald eagles reach milestone

The birds that disappeared from the islands off Southern California in the 1960s are back, and their territories are steadily expanding. After decades of recovery efforts, 124 bald eagle chicks have hatched naturally and fledged from nests there over the past 11 years, said Peter Sharpe, research ecologist with the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Channel Islands bald eagle lays egg. Let the hours of nest watching begin. After a long fall and winter, a pair of bald eagles is back in the Sauces Canyon nest on Santa Cruz Island. The National Park Service posted on social media that an egg had been laid Thursday, and a day later, the egg seemed to be doing well. We had an egg laid on March 9 at the Sauces Canyon nest on Santa Cruz Island! The excavation. Team unveils Channel Islands mammoth skull. After thousands of years buried under dirt and rocks on Santa Rosa Island, a mammoth skull and tusks now lie inside a workroom at a Santa Barbara museum. Over the weeks and months ahead, scientists will work slowly and methodically, cutting away a protective layer of burlap and plaster and then coaxing off dirt and rocks that still cling to the bones.

Those bones might hold clues that not only will tell the story of long-extinct mammoths on the Channel Islands but also maybe their evolution. Video: Uncovering a rare fossil. Channel Islands mammoth skull taken by boat to Ventura. A nearly pristine skull and tusks that could help tell the story of long-extinct mammoths on the Channel Islands made the trip to the mainland Tuesday. For close to 13,000 years, the mammoth bones were buried deep in dirt, sand and rocks in what's now a dry streambed on Santa Rosa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Ventura. A field biologist on a stream survey in 2014 spotted part of a tusk jutting out of a steep hillside deep in a canyon. Two years later, a team of paleontologists and archaeologists excavated the site, uncovering what they say might be a link in the mammoths’ evolution on the Channel Islands.

Wrapped in burlap and plaster, the fossil was loaded onto a National Park Service boat for the three-hour trip to Ventura. Channel Islands National Park (U.S. National Park Service) Sparking controversy. Channel Islands National Park plan could bring new development, amenities by Alex Wilson The future of Channel Islands National Park is coming into greater focus with the recent approval of a new General Management Plan and Wilderness Study. Some people who love visiting the unique park are excited about new recreational opportunities, while others fear new development or official wilderness designation could lead to detrimental changes. Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau says that creating a new management plan requires striking a balance between conservation and recreation.

“There are some people who say, ‘Can you make it look more like Catalina?’ Uncovering the history of man and ancient animal on the Channel Islands. Back in September 2014, Peter Larramendy, a biologist for the California Institute of Environmental Studies, was conducting a stream survey on the north side of sweeping Santa Rosa Island. He was in the middle of surveying the overall hydrology of the windswept islet, including the inspection of streams, standing water and flow in the isle’s many canyons, when something entirely different caught his eye. “I knew this particular canyon was a hot spot,” he said. “I went into the survey with the manifestation that we will find something interesting.” What Larramendy happened upon that early fall day was the tip of an ancient mammoth tusk protruding out of a parched creekbed surrounded in mounds of crumbling shale.

Once Nearly Extinct California Island Foxes No Longer Endangered. 2014v1 Impact of Sea Level Rise on Los Angeles > Wrigley > USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Ships and blue whales on a collision course off California coast. Expedition documents sea life, habitat around Channel Islands. Channel Island foxes removed from endangered species list. Well-preserved mammoth skull unearthed on Channel Islands puzzles scientists. On Santa Cruz Island, rising seas present archaeological emergency.