Blog

Feb 3rd / 4th – weekend update

It was a beautiful weekend out in the park. Temperatures reached the low 70s and the sun was out both on Saturday and on Sunday. Some of the noteworthy happenings over the last week: In her weekly report to all staff of Point Reyes National Seashore, the park superintendent specifically called out the Winter Wildlife Docent Program and praised the program’s rapid re-evaluation and response with new check-in/out procedures in light of the Lassen investigation and safety review. Thank you…

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Docent Safety Reminders

Hello docents, just a quick note to say that the safety of the volunteers at Point Reyes National Seashore is a top priority. Here are some reminders to help to ensure that we remain safe during our time in the park. If you or others with whom you are volunteering ever feel unsafe, cease all activities immediately, assess the situation, and determine the best next steps. Maintain situational awareness. We are in a dynamic environment. Weather, tides, seals, vehicles, ticks,…

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New Location & Time for the Morning Meeting – 930am @ Drakes Beach

Hello docents, thanks to each of you, we’re off to an awesome start this season. I wanted to send a mid-season email with a significant upcoming change. Increasing resources on Drakes Beach – we’ve had a number of challenges at Drakes this year with people entering the closure, getting too close to seals and dog encounters. Carlo and I have decided to focus more docents on this location to help to mitigate these events. Because there are typically seals on the…

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Tribute to a Fallen Comrade

Docents, It is with deep regret that I report the retirement of the e seal wagon. This sturdy comrade was a steady presence for, regretfully, two or three short seasons before suffering catastrophic failure on its way back from the e seal overlook yesterday. As you can see, it suffered a remarkable collapse at a critical welded joint. Thankfully, Sean was with it in its last moments and brought it back to the lighthouse office where we will soon bid…

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Sterling Kicks off the Whale Program!

It was fitting that Sterling, a charter volunteer of Winter Wildlife, became the first docent this season to take up the Journey of the Whales program.  Being a humble man, he will tell you it turned out OK but from what I saw, he crushed it. Over thirty visitors gained a new appreciation for Eschrichtius robustus, its life cycle, its habits, and its challenges. His professionalism, knowledge, and wry humor was on full display and visitors were all the more…

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The US government has officially shut down – all WWD shifts and activities are suspended

Winter Wildlife Docents, as of midnight (EST) there is a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) volunteers (VIPs) are not allowed to serve. VIPs are considered part of the workforce, representing the National Park Service, in support of our mission. During a shutdown the normal protections and liability coverage are suspended VIPs will follow the same schedule as furloughed NPS employees, and must follow the same restrictions as NPS employees. This includes not accessing closed federal buildings and…

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Dye-tagging bulls and SA 4s

You may have heard Carlo or Sarah reference a bull on a particular beach with a letter and a number. For example, the alpha on Drakes has been D1. Park scientists dye-marks some bulls and SA 4s early in the season so that they can track intra-park movement of these animals. The animals are marked with a non-toxic and temporary dye just above the rear flippers. The letter represents the beach where the animal was marked, D=Drakes, S=South Beach, G=Gus’…

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Drakes Beach (temporary) closure – Jan 13 through Mar 15

Please be aware that the closure, on Drakes Beach, SW of KPVC starts this weekend. The below comes from the NPS website. Drakes Beach Temporary Beach Closure – January 13 through March 15, 2018 A temporary closure of Drakes Beach starting approximately ¼ mile southwest of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and continuing south to the current permanent elephant seal closure is in effect to better protect elephant seals from disturbance during the pupping season when they are exceptionally…

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Docent Dinner – Saturday, March 31st

There have been a few questions about the timing for end-of-the-season dinner. The dinner will be held on Saturday, March 31st. Next week we’ll send out an invite so that we can get an accurate count. Additional information will be coming soon.

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