Tag Archives: Claremont Canyon


In Berkeley: Yarn bombing evolves into bark bombing

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Mark Humbert and Karin Evans were walking along the path leading up Claremont Canyon when they spotted this new art form: bark bombing. Some industrious soul had woven strips of bark into a mat and hung it up on a tree. The artist inscribed the name of the piece into one of the strips: “Always Around You.”

Will bark bombing be the new yarn bombing, a practice that took off in Berkeley over the past few years? What lasts longer, yarn or bark? … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley expert talks about hillside tree removal plan

Eucalyptus trees on university land in the Berkeley hills. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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UC Berkeley has sought federal funds to cut down 22,000 non-native trees in Strawberry Canyon and Claremont Canyon with the goal of reducing the risk of fires. The project is a continuation of work the university has been doing for the last decade on its land. There has been some opposition to the proposal, including from the Hills Conservation Network, who believe the scheme, while restoring native species, might actually increase fire risk. The proposed use of certain herbicides is also being debated.

The Hills Conservation Network is holding a public forum to discuss UC Berkeley’s plans on Wednesday June 12 at 7:30 pm at The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street (at Arch).

Public comment to FEMA has been invited through June 17. As the public considers the project, UC Berkeley’s Tom Klatt, campus environmental manager and a member of the UC Fire Mitigation Committee, answered questions about the plan.

Why does UC Berkeley want to cut down trees in the hills?

In 1973, H.H. Biswell, professor of forestry and conservation at UC Berkeley, made this prophetic statement: “When eucalyptus waste catches fire, an updraft is created and strong winds may blow flaming bark for a great distance. I think the eucalyptus is the worst tree anywhere as far as fire hazard is concerned. If some of that flaming bark should be blown on to shake roofs in the hills we might have a firestorm that would literally suck the roofs off the houses. People might be trapped.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley owl chick will soon branch out, says expert

Great Horned Owl, Owlet, and lunch
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The owl chick that has been drawing crowds of fascinated adults and children to Berkeley’s Claremont Canyon trail, where its parents made a nest in a Eucalyptus tree some weeks ago, will soon began to “branch out” and explore its surroundings before making its first flight, says Doug Bell, Wildlife Progam Manager at East Bay Regional Parks.

Great Horned Owls are unusual among raptors in that they go through this development phase which involves “branching”, namely scrambling around nearby branches using a particular legs and wings action. The explorations can get the chicks into trouble, said Bell, as they might get clumsy and fall out of the tree.

Bell urges people who are visiting the Claremont trail to keep their distance and be respectful of the owls and their chick. “We would encourage people to give them space and to keep their dogs on leash,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Baby owl on Berkeley trail is growing up fast

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The Great Horned Owl nest on the Claremont Canyon fire trail has been a source of great interest for hikers, birders and, yes, Berkeleyside readers.

We first reported on the nest on March 12 when we received reports of the parent owls diving down on unleashed dogs on the trail. In early April we published photos of a new arrival in the Eucalyptus tree: a fluffy white owl chick, being zealously guarded by its parents.

Now we have the privilege of sharing these wonderful photographs posted onto our Flickr pool by prettiephotos. As is clear, the young owl is developing rapidly, getting bigger by the day and sprouting grown-up feathers. And — squeamish alert — nourishment is being brought in by the ever nurturing parents. … Continue reading »

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Large rattlesnake causes traffic back-up on Berkeley trail

Rattle snake
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Berkeley’s Claremont Canyon fire trail, one of the city’s most popular spots for swift bouts of aerobic hiking, is also a source of regular diversions. Last week it was an intriguing note, taped to a barrier at the foot of the path, which caught our attention.

Yesterday it was a potentially more dangerous beast. A rattlesnake, approximately 3 feet long, crossed the trail not once but twice as this intrepid reporter made her way first up the hill, … Continue reading »

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On Berkeley trails: After poop scoop why no poop pick-up?

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Berkeleysider Alan Saldich has a question for certain Berkeley dog owners: why don’t they dispose of the poop after they’ve gone to the trouble of scooping it?

“It really amazes me that dog owners go to all the admittedly gross effort (which I exert several times a day) to pick up feces in a little plastic bag, and then just leave it there, rather than carrying it and depositing it … Continue reading »

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Two Eucalyptus trees come down in Claremont canyon

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Anyone taking a hike up the Claremont Canyon fire trail recently will have seen that two neighboring Eucalyptus trees, located on the second stretch of path after the first hair-pin turn, were ripped from the ground, we assume by the high winds and rain Berkeley has been experiencing over the past few days.

The trees fell directly across the path, but tree cutters have been out to chop them into more manageable pieces ahead of removing them from the site.

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Claremont Canyon fire-trail path closes for repairs

Tanglewood path
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Hikers on the Claremont Canyon fire trail take note: the Tanglewood path that leads from Tanglewood Road to the entrance of the trail at Stonewall Road (pictured above) will be closed for (much needed) repairs from today, July 20.

It is expected to re-open on Tuesday August 3.