Bear Yuba Land Trust Community BioBlitz Saturday |

Bear Yuba Land Trust Community BioBlitz Saturday

A BioBlitz is an event in which teams of volunteers work together to find and identify as many species as possible. The information captured by the group gives a biological snapshot of the land, which will help Bear Yuba Land Trust land managers track the health of the ecosystem over time.
Submitted photo


WHAT: Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Annual Community BioBlitz

WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

WHERE: Rice’s Crossing North Preserve

DIRECTIONS: From Nevada City, take Highway 49 towards Camptonville, turn left on Marysville Road and cross over the Bullards Bar Dam. Rice’s Crossing Preserve is located 1.3 miles from the dam. Park in the rock quarry on the right and cross the road to the North Meadow where you will find the Yuba Rim Trailhead.

INFO: Call 530-272-5994, email or sign up at

Please wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing that can get dirty. Bring sun and insect protection, snacks, a brown-bag picnic lunch and water as well as extra paper, pen or pencils, binoculars or a hand lens and colored pencils if you have them.

Bear Yuba Land Trust will host its annual Community BioBlitz this Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rice’s Crossing North Preserve near Bullards Bar Dam.

During the event, participants armed with cameras and notebooks will become “citizen scientists,” documenting and identifying many of the plants, animals, fungi and other organisms they see. A handful of volunteer experts sharing their extensive knowledge in topics such as birds, bees, butterflies, plants and iNaturalist — an app that connects an online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists and biologists in building a map and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe — will be on hand to help guide attendees.

A BioBlitz is an event in which teams of volunteers work together to find and identify as many species as possible. The information captured by the group gives a biological snapshot of the land, which will help Land Trust land managers track the health of the ecosystem over time.

“BioBlitzes are important because there needs to be a baseline to use to compare the effects of climate change on various ecosystems. If we can get a good idea of the species present at a given location at a given time of year, among other things, we can then assess what effect is occurring and which species are sensitive and warrant extra protection,” said Shane Hanofee, one of the event’s volunteer experts. “Many people believe this is the work of scholars and scientists, but there’s more to see than they can keep an eye on and if we can help shoulder the observations as citizens, we can help the experts better utilize their time in the lab where their expertise has more merit and in general, piecing together the bigger picture concepts.”

In addition to binoculars, hand lenses and nature journals, participants will be using the mobile app iNaturalist. One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society that helps identify the plants and animals near you. It connects users with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature by helping to identify what you are observing.

Rick Ramos, a local naturalist and devout user of the app, will be on hand Saturday to show attendees how to utilize the app not only during the BioBlitz, but also on their future hikes. Ramos has worked with groups such as Sagehen Experimental Forest, Sierra Streams, Friends of Spenceville and the Sierra Club on other BioBlitzes.

“I took a class from the California Native Plant Society in 2011 about new technology in plant identification and data collection. One of the new computer and phone applications they discussed was iNaturalist,” says Ramos. “I started to use it as I went out in the field. What I liked was that it was pretty easy to use, and it gave me an account of what I was finding in the field.

“iNaturalist allows me to unlock the brains and knowledge of thousands of people from all over the world. It just broadens my ability to satisfy my desire to understand and experience the world outdoors or even indoors.”

At the end of the day the information gathered is invaluable, but the experiences shared by everyone in nature are priceless.

“This preserve is blessed with a larger-than-expected fauna of butterflies, about 60 species likely to occur. Many are localized around specific narrow habitats or particular plants (to lay eggs and for caterpillars to eat),” says John Lane, one of the event’s experts. “They are visible and everybody loves them. So why not learn a bit more about them?”

The itinerary for the day is as follows:

10 a.m.- Arrive at the parking area.

10:15 a.m. – Event begins with an overview of the Preserve and goals for the BioBlitz

10:30 a.m.-noon – BioBlitz field observations

Noon – Picnic lunch, visit expert tables to learn more about local plants and animals

1 p.m. End of Community BioBlitz

Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust

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