Press Release

ONE TAM SCIENCE SUMMIT: IS MT. TAM IN PEAK HEALTH?

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Sept. 27th 2016

Media Contact:
Veda Banerjee, Parks Conservancy
415-561-3082, vbanerjee@parksconservancy.org

ONE TAM SCIENCE SUMMIT: IS MT. TAM IN PEAK HEALTH?

The One Tam Initiative Introduces A -Two-Day Science Symposia - October 28 – 29, 2016 - A Presentation of Findings About The Trends and Conditions of Mt. Tam’s Plants, Animals, and Natural Processes.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Beautiful and distinctive Mt. Tam is one of the region’s greatest natural treasures. Located in an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot, the mountain’s complex terrain, and location between the sea and the inland Bay Area, creates a remarkably diverse array of climates and habitats. It is home to more than 1,200 native species, including over 10 percent of the native plants found in California—over 10 times more native plants per acre than Yosemite National Park, which is almost 20 times as big.

This fall, local scientists, resource specialists and ecologists from all four land-management agencies (California State Parks, Marin Municipal Water District, Marin County Parks, and the National Park Service), Parks Conservancy staff, will share their understanding of the state of key plants, animals, and other indicator species—as well as the condition of selected Mt. Tam ecosystems that support them—during a unprecedented gathering – the Mt. Tam Science Summit on October 28-29.

“What are we learning about the threatened, endangered, rare, or sensitive plant and animal species on Mt. Tam as a whole, and where are our critical collective data gaps? How is climate change and stressors such as invasive non-native plant species affecting the health of the mountain?” Aaron Roth, Acting General Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “These were some of the questions considered by ornithologists, ecologists, wildlife biologists, plant scientists, geologists, and resource managers as they prepared the Measuring the Health of a Mountain: A Report on Mt. Tamalpais’ Natural Resources 2016 for the summit.”

“All the agencies have considerable knowledge and experience managing stressors that affect our natural lands, for example, we are all impacted by the spread of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen that has decimated forests and woodlands,” said Max Korten, Acting Director & General Manager, Marin County Parks. “But until the coordinated work through One Tam, we had not joined forces to conduct a baseline comprehensive assessment of Mt. Tam’s ecological health.”

Two workshops in February and March of 2016 brought together 60 local and agency scientists to discuss existing data and reports, information gaps and needs, and possible indicators that could be used to assess the health of the mountain’s natural resources. As with vital signs of human health, ecological indicators don’t tell the whole story, but they can be an easy way to spot early change and identify management strategies.

“Despite its ecological riches and its protected status, Mt. Tam is threatened by invasive species, forest pathogens, changed fire regimes, and climate change,” said Danita Rodriguez, District Superintendent, Marin/Diablo Vista Districts, and California State Parks. “The agencies that steward Mt Tam, and the community that loves it, all have a role to play in helping keep this place healthy and vibrant.”

The Science Summit is intended to share our best information on the health of Mt. Tam, and also how what we have learned fits within the contexts of land management and community involvement. Both days will cover a range of topics— from individual focal species that were selected as indicators of Mt. Tam’s ecological health, all the way up to entire ecological communities and some of the bigger issues facing the mountain like climate change and invasive species. 

“At the symposium experts will address gaps in current knowledge and data—and offer suggestions for future research and restoration projects that will ensure the vitality of this beloved mountain,” said Mike Swezy, Watershed Manager, Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD).

“The summit is a key step in the ongoing process to chart the best and most thoughtful science-based path forward, for improving the future of Mt. Tam as a whole—and how we can build community support for the next phase of stewardship,” said Greg Moore, President & CEO of the Parks Conservancy.

For details, visit onetam.org/science-summit. For a one-stop resource that features in-depth information about the biota on Mt. Tam, visit onetam.org/biodiversity.

What: 2016 Mt. Tam Science Summit
When: October 28–29, 2016. Friday the 28th is focused on engaging natural resource managers and the scientific community, but it is open to members of the public as well. Saturday the 29th especially reaches out to conservation and recreation groups, teachers, and other interested community members with short, focused "lightening” talks, and an interactive panel discussion about the essential role the public plays in caring for Mt. Tam.
Where: Sausalito Portuguese Cultural Center, 511 Caledonia St. Sausalito CA

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About One Tam
One Tam, the community initiative of the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative, seeks to raise awareness about the need to maintain the long-term health of Mt. Tam, engage more volunteers in caring for its treasured resources, and renew the spirit of philanthropy that has been so fundamental to its preservation over the past century. 

About the Tamalpais Lands Cooperative Partners 

California State Parks
The California State Parks are dedicated to providing for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. www.parks.ca.gov.

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit membership organization that supports the Golden Gate Recreation Area. Since 1981, the Parks Conservancy has provided support for site transformations, trail improvements, habitat restoration, research and conservation, volunteer and youth engagement, and interpretive and educational programs. In Marin, the Conservancy has restored habitat and trails, engaged youth and volunteers, and managed a variety of wildlife and plant monitoring programs. Learn more at parksconservancy.org.

Marin County Parks
Marin County offers an extensive system of regional and community parks, open space preserves, and trails for public use and enjoyment. It is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and engaging the people of Marin in the shared commitment of preserving, protecting, and enriching the natural beauty of Marin's parks and open spaces, and providing recreational opportunities for the enjoyment of all generations.www.marincountyparks.org.

Marin Municipal Water District
Marin Municipal Water District is a public utility providing water to 186,000 people in south and central Marin County, and managing 21,635 acres of watershed lands open to public use. In operation since 1912, MMWD is the oldest municipal water district in California. The district’s mission is to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner and to provide customers with reliable, high-quality water at a reasonable price. www.marinwater.org.

National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior charged with managing the preservation and public use of America’s most significant natural, scenic, historic, and cultural treasures. The NPS manages the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes Mount Tamalpais, as well as 401 other park sites across the U.S. www.nps.gov/goga.