Park Wavelengths - February 2012


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers:

Subject: Temporary Trail Closure March 5 thru March 9

February 29, 2012
For Immediate Release
Jennifer Chapman 415-464-5133

Temporary Trail Closure During Fire Road Maintenance Project

The fire road section of Inverness Ridge Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore will be temporarily closed from Monday March 5 through Friday March 9 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The closure area is approximately 1.3 miles in length from the Bayview Trail parking lot to Sunnyside Drive. The closure will allow the use of heavy brush cutting equipment next week to remove vegetation on both sides of the fire road. This will improve emergency access and egress along a corridor which leads to a residential area adjacent to the park.

The alternate route around the closure is 3.6 miles along the Drakes View and Bayview Trails, however bicycles cannot be used on these trails. Additional information about the trail system is available at the visitor center by calling 415-464-5137. Trail maps can also be found on the park website at


Jennifer Chapman
Fire Communication and Education Specialist
S.F. Bay Area National Parks
415-464-5133 TEL / 415-663-8132 FAX

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The full moon rises Thursday, March 8 and, after adjusting clocks on March 11 for Daylight Savings Time, minus low tides in the morning provide tidepooling opportunities:

Sunday, March 11 7:57 a.m. -0.2 feet
Monday, March 12 8:54 a.m. -0.2 feet
Tuesday, March 13 9:58 a.m. -0.2 feet
Wednesday, March 14 11:09 a.m. -0.1 feet

The maternity ward is open! Annual seal protection measures begin March 1st and last through June 30th. Drakes and Limantour Esteros are closed to boating, as well as South Blue Gums Beach on Tomales Bay. Harbor seals begin returning to deliver their pups which are weaned at about 4 weeks. Parents often forage in nearby waters leaving the pups unattended--a reminder to leave the pups alone! Parents may be discouraged from returning if they see people or animals near the pups. As usual give them a wide berth!

Spring greens are appearing: heart shaped Miners Lettuce sprouting around Kule Loklo and Bear Valley; Bay trees are flowering with light yellow blossoms; daffodils brightening the scene along Coast Trail near the old bulb farm (high water in this area makes viewing the farm site wet and wild).

New displays have been installed at Bear Valley Visitor center including information on the Giacomini Wetlands restoration and up-to-date earthquake and Vision Fire panels.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring is stealthily padding in. Some of the first wildflowers in February are: Douglas Iris on Limantour Road; the four-petaled, white-with-a-dab-of pink Milkmaids in shady areas; and even poppies at the Tomales Bay trailhead on Highway 1.

Rain is reminding us that it is still winter though, and the late rains have been positive for coho salmon and steelhead trout surveys. A coho tagged with a small antenna as a smolt in the spring of 2011 was recorded re-entering Olema Creek this year, part of a study to track patterns. 27 live coho were observed and five redds with 29 live steelhead and 13 redds in Olema Creek, a promising sign.

The park is raising fees and expanding reservation services by transitioning to as of Wednesday, February 22. In order to transmit existing reservations, the last phone reservations at the park will be taken Friday, February 17. Walk-in campers may still obtain permits, space available, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Currently, all campgrounds are full for Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend; boat-in permits are available.

All park visitor centers will be open on Monday, February 20 and shuttles will operate if the weather is clear.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The full moon--called "the moon of frost sparkling on the snow" in Northern Arapaho communities--rises February 7, bringing afternoon daylight minus tides across the weekend:

Saturday, February 4 3:02 p.m. -0.1 feet
Sunday, February 5 3:37 p.m. -0.4 feet
Monday, February 6 4:12 p.m. -0.5 feet

Whale sightings have tapered off with just five noted last Saturday from the Lighthouse and a few spotted from the Great Beach. Two bull northern elephant seals napped on Drakes Beach much of Saturday under the protective eye of staff and docents. February is the height of elephant seal activity with pups, cows, and bulls resting all around Chimney Rock beaches. Remember: remain quiet and give seals a wide berth--at least 100 feet--to allow them to rest and rejuvenate while onshore. Docents from Año Nuevo State Park are visiting with park staff this week to coordinate information and exchange training techniques. Park staff also released a new free publication entitled "Northern Elephant Seals," which is available at visitor centers.

Subtle reminders of spring are appearing with warm weather: catkins on willow shrubs along the wetlands opening; and narcissus flowering outdoors in the gulch and on the hillsides near the Estero.

Dr. Gary Fellers of the USGS will give a presentation on the federally listed red-legged frog on Monday, February 6, 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at the Red Barn. No RSVP is needed. This presentation is an introduction to frog life history, identification, and habits, and to procedures to use if you encounter frogs in fieldwork, or for anyone who is just curious about this species.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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