“Rushing” Native Plant Restoration at Lower Crystal Springs Dam

“This is a big deal for us,” said Mia Ingolia, SFPUC Senior Biologist. Like proud parents, SFPUC Natural Resources and Lands Management staff gazed down upon hundreds of newly-planted green shoots on the banks of San Mateo Creek. The adoration is absolutely deserved. These are the first plants grown at the Sunol Native Plant Nursery to…

Fowl Play: Wild Turkeys Flock and Waddle in the Watersheds

Often seen in flocks of five to fifty birds, wild turkeys are common in the SFPUC’s Alameda Creek and Peninsula watersheds, usually waddling slowly together in search of their next meal. The wild turkeys in the SFPUC’s watersheds, and occasionally wandering suburban streets, are not native to California. Most are descendants of farm-raised turkeys from…

A Look Back in History: Predatory Animals on Peninsula Watershed

A letter from the San Francisco Water Department dated 1963 addressed to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) outlines an interesting dilemma. Evidently the DOI is interested in abating predatory animals on the peninsula watershed lands. They have proposed to do so using “steel traps.” And they have requested the Department “take certain positive…

Meet the Snake with Racing Stripes at the Alameda Creek Watershed

In the Sunol Valley, there is a special species of snake that lives in the Alameda Creek Watershed. It is no other than the Alameda whipsnake, or sometimes called the Alameda Striped Racer, (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), a subspecies of the California whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis). It has made the coastal scrub, chaparral, and grassland habitats in…

It is Tarantula Time in the Alameda Creek Watershed

September is the time when summer officially ends, and kids are back in school. In the SFPUC-owned lands of the Alameda Creek Watershed, September brings a different annual event: tarantula migration.  Because the 35,000 acres that the SFPUC owns are protected as a water source, they also provide a safe haven for all sorts of…

When Stinkwort Invades: SFPUC’s Early Detection and Rapid Response

It takes a team of committed professionals working together to take on the likes of an invasive, foul-smelling pest known as stinkwort. One of several high priority species of invasive weeds on the Peninsula and Alameda County, stinkwort, along with yellow starthistle, purple starthistle and artichoke thistle, are targeted for removal and control by the…