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In the Channel Islands, an Effort to Save Seabirds and Native Flora is Paying Off

The biggest challenge facing the restoration process has been access to freshwater

Encouraging seabirds to recolonize regions of the Channel Islands National Park in California requires more than just erecting artificial nests and hoping they’ll return.  They also need native island flora and the sweet serenade from their own species resonating above sheer, volcanic…
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by: Chuck Graham – February 17, 2017

Works of Gritty Art

Guadalupe-Nipomo Sand Dunes is one of coastal California’s best-kept secrets

An interesting thing happened to me while driving along the Central California coast a few months ago. I decided to get off the beaten path and took Highway 135 north through Los Alamos, following it past its scenic, rural countryside until I…
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by: Chuck Graham – June 3, 2016

Bald Eagles Soar to New Heights

Reintroduction project in Channel Islands National Park has been a success for the iconic raptors

As I kayaked into the cove at Cluster Point on the southwest side of Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park in California, I witnessed something few had seen for at least 50 years. Two bald eagles, one mature,…
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by: Chuck Graham – January 27, 2016

Soaking in the Salton Sea

California’s largest manmade lake, which supports an amazing array of birdlife, has a quirky allure (slideshow)

I eased my kayak off the briny shoreline separating flocks of American avocets and western sandpipers wading and feeding hurriedly in the shallows. The salty, buoyant water was silky smooth as my kayak glided southbound toward an apocalyptic desertscape of extinct volcanoes…
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by: Chuck Graham – August 20, 2015

Carrizo Plain National Monument is ‘One of the Best Kept Secrets in California’

The remote monument protects the single largest native grasslands in the state

At dawn I lit out toward a cluster of sandstone spires overlooking the Carrizo Plain National Monument at the southern end of California’s San Joaquin Valley. I pulled out my binoculars and scanned the grasslands cloaked in tidy tips, California poppies and…
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by: Chuck Graham – August 5, 2015

A Record Year for Sea Lion Pup Strandings

Since January, more than 3,000 starving pups have washed up on California beaches

The little orphaned sea lion pup struggled to climb into the kayak. Tuckered out, cold, shivering and very hungry, the roughly seven-month-old pinniped was on its own, abandoned by its beleaguered mother, no doubt starving herself. Eventually the sea lion pup managed…
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by: Chuck Graham – June 25, 2015

A River Revived

Lower Owens revival is the largest river restoration project in the history of the American West

I eased my standup paddleboard onto the placid, crystal clear waters, nary a drop out of place. From where I stood, the barren, sandy shoal was pock-marked with Tule elk spoor, but as soon as my paddle pierced through the royal blue…
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by: Chuck Graham – May 18, 2015

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