Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy


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from One Tam



Dear Friend,

We are grateful for the winter rains. In addition to replenishing local streams and wetlands and the biodiversity supported by these ecosystems, they also transform the experience of being outside on Mt. Tamalpais and throughout the surrounding One Tam region.

Like many of you, I have my favorite wet weather hikes. There’s something special about the accompaniment of water tumbling over rocks in Cataract Creek or softly dripping from the redwoods in Muir Woods.

This time of year also means that One Tam partners are busy preparing for annual surveys for species like the northern spotted owl. Read more below about that work, as well as our next One Tam Member Webinar - Birds & Bees on Mt. Tam - this Thursday and more events from our Wonders of Winter series.

As always, thanks to all of our One Tam members and supporters who invest in our work and the mountain. We are most grateful. Not a member? Join now.

Cailey Gibson

Associate Director, Individual Giving, One Tam


One Tam Member Webinar Thursday, Feb 11: Birds & Bees on Mt. Tam 

Lesser Goldfinch by Alison Taggart-Barone
Photo: Lesser goldfinch by Alison Taggart-Barone 


Excited to learn more about the northern spotted owl and other bird monitoring work at One Tam? Curious about how our region's pollinators are doing? Come join us this week on Thursday, February 11th from 4-5 pm for our first One Tam Member Webinar of 2021: Birds & Bees on Mt. Tam

We will learn about bird and bee populations on Mt. Tam and the important monitoring work happening in the One Tam region. We are pleased to welcome panelists Renee Cormier, Avian Ecologist at Point Blue Conservation Science, and Gretchen LeBuhn, Professor at San Francisco State University. We hope you will join other One Tam members and bring your questions for our speakers. REGISTER>>


One Tam’s "Wonders of Winter" Series Continues! 

Rounded earthstars by David Greenberger via iNaturalist

Photo: Rounded earthstars by David Greenberger via iNaturalist

Thanks to all who attended our virtual BioBlitz launch MLK Day of Service! We are heartened by your enthusiasm – over 100 participants learned how to use iNaturalist to become a community scientist and contribute to our knowledge of our region. We also followed up with a virtual recap and discussion, and will be sending out recognition to the top BioBlitz observers and identifiers. We’re excited to continue seeing everyone's observations!  

There are more ways to explore the wonders of winter with us! See below for upcoming virtual opportunities: 


National Park Service Plans for Annual Northern Spotted Owl Surveys 

Northern Spotted Owl Credit Taylor Ellis/NPS
Photo: Northern spotted owl by Taylor Ellis / NPS 


The National Park Service is gearing up for their annual survey of northern spotted owls on state and federal parklands in Marin County. They’ll be joined by partners Point Blue Conservation Science, Marin Municipal Water District and Marin County Open Space. The northern spotted owl is found in northern California, Oregon, and Washington, and has been listed as a federally threatened species since 1990. It is considered an indicator species that can help gauge the ecological health of forest habitat. 

In Marin County, which is the southernmost territory for these owls, the population of spotted owls has been relatively stable with high occupancy and reproductive success. However, northern spotted owls face numerous threats. In addition to loss of habitat, spotted owls have been threatened by barred owl range expansion. Larger, non-native barred owls tend to be more aggressive, nest earlier in the season and outcompete for food supply, forcing spotted owls out of their territory. 

This year, in addition to conducting their regular monitoring work for spotted owls, field teams will also be placing acoustic recording units in the same range-wide monitoring grid to listen for barred owls. These recordings will help staff understand how many barred owls may be in the region and their location.  

One Tam partners’ work on the collaborative Marin County Vegetation Map & Landscape Database will also provide clues about how Sudden Oak Death and other changes to the forest stand structure may be affecting the spotted owl populations. Taken together, these efforts will give One Tam partners a more comprehensive perspective on the health of the northern spotted owl population in Marin County.  


More Opportunities to Get Involved 

 Foothill yellow-legged frog by Ian Austin
 Photo: Foothill yellow-legged frog by Ian Austin

We invite you to participate in upcoming volunteer opportunities with One Tam partner, Marin Municipal Water District:
  • MMWD Turtle Docent Training. Join a virtual, two-part orientation. Saturdays, February 27 and March 6 from 9-11 am. The Western Pond Turtle is the only freshwater turtle native to California. Become a community scientist and assist biologists in monitoring the population on Mt. Tam. To register, email or call 415-945-1128. 
  • MMWD Frog Docent Training. Join a virtual, two-part orientation. Saturdays, March 13 and March 20 from 9-11 am. Learn about this threatened species and what you can do to protect its remaining breeding habitat at the waterfalls of Mt. Tam. Get outside and become a community scientist by educating visitors about this incredible species. To register, email or call 415-945-1128. 

iNaturalist Observation of the Month

California newt by William Szlanic via iNaturalist

The atmospheric river brought some much-needed water to Mt. Tam and replenished the seasonal puddles and wetlands that newts need for reproduction. Pacific newts cross forests, valleys, and roads with tetrapod grace to return to the same breeding site year after year. Watch the trail for these determined amphibians! Once at the pond, male newts transform from terrestrial travelers to sleek aquatic dwellers. Rough skin turns smooth, the tail flattens for optimal swimming, and the thumb grow a rough spot to provide better grip on females. The scene at breeding ponds turns wild as males compete over females and newt balls form.

Photo: Pacific newts by William Szlanic. View on iNaturalist.

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About Us

California poppy along Mt. Tam's Ridgecrest Blvd



One Tam works to ensure a healthy, vibrant and diverse landscape for our beloved and iconic Mt. Tam. We are the community-supported partnership of Mt. Tam’s land agencies and managers.

One Team leads programs that care for our mountain, inspire our next generation of land stewards and strengthen our local community. We invite you to join us!




Going Further, Together

One Tam brings together inspired community members with its five partners to support the long-term stewardship of Mt. Tam.
One Tam Partner Logos: National Park Service, CA State Parks, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Marin Municipal Water District, and Marin County Parks

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