The Claremont Canyon Conservancy is a catalyst for the long-term protection and restoration of the canyon's natural environment and an advocate for comprehensive fire safety along its wildland/urban interface.

President's Message: September in Claremont Canyon

by L. Tim Wallace


Marilyn Goldhaber with Ellie

It has been a long, dry summer. Consequently, there has been little overgrowth along the trails and they are in good condition. We appreciate the "no smoking" signs that UC has placed along the Willow and Summit House trails and we appreciate the respect that people have shown by observing the signs and also by taking their litter out with them.

The Conservancy swings back into action this month. Feel free to join us in the activities listed below and go to our website for more information.

Saturday September 20 Creek to Bay Day

Join us for our fifth year participating in the City of Oakland's Creek to Bay Day. We will be woring along Haarwood Creek in Garber Park, pulling invasive weeds along our restoration site. The natives we've nurtured are making a tremendous recovery even in these drought conditions. But we need to clear the invasives so we can do our winter planting later this year. Five years ago the Harwood Creek restoration area was covered with Himalayan blackberries and Cape ivy. Today native willow, snowberry, thimbleberry and milkweed (an important bee pollinator) are dominating.

Meet at Fireplace Plaza at 9 AM for drinks and snacks before we walk to Harwood Creek to begin our work. Tools, gloves, drinks and snacks will be provided but do bring your own gloves and water bottle if you have them. Everyone is welcome but children under 18 must bring a volunteer waiver and release of liability form signed by a parent or guardian and children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

There are two ways to get to Fireplace Plaza in Garber Park. From Ashby Avenue go .4 miles up Claremont Avenue and park. It's a short but steep climb up the trail to the Fireplace Plaza. AC Transit bus #49 will take you to the Ashby/Claremont Avenue stop. Alternatively, you can drive up to the end of Evergreen Lane off Alvarado Road and walk down to the fireplace. A map and directions can be found at our website or at

September 27 in Gwin Canyon

On our July stewardship day we made a huge dent in the French Broom along the trail in Gwin Canyon. To our delight we discovered that the dry ground was not an obstacle in pulling these invasive weeds out by their roots. So this month we will return to continue our efforts. With the cooperation of the East Bay Regional Park District and UC, we are hopeful that some day soon this trail will be extended down to Signpost 29 and connect with the Willow and Summit House trails.

We will meet an East Bay Regional Park District ranger at the trail head at the end of Norfolk Road at 10 AM and work til Noon. 


Saturday October 4, Sudden Oak Death Treatment

Attend a two-hour field treatment session offered by Dr. Matteo Garbelotto, UCCE specialist in forest pathology and mycology at UC Berkeley. Dr. Garbelotto will present and demonstrate the latest methods of preventing the spread of the SOD pathogen. He will discuss the selection of ideal trees for treatment and when and how to treat them. He also will address fire issues including when and how to protect your home and property from SOD-related risks. 

We will meet at Fireplace Plaza in Garber Park at 10 AM til Noon. See September 20th above for directions.

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Homeowners' Guide to Wildfire Prevention by Bob Sieben Now Available

The guide is now available in PDF form on Oakland's Wildfire Prevention District's website and on the website of the North Hills Community Organization.  Please click here for a link.  
Hard copies are available on and at A Great Place for Books on LaSalle Avenue in Montclair Village. Dr. Sieben's book was written specifically for the homeowners of the Oakland Hills.  Single copies are available for $9, with sales tax paid. Bulk discounts are available.  (Dr. Robert Sieben is the retiring District 1 Member of the WAPD, fire prevention chair of NHCA and Hiller Highlands Phase V, and a Conservancy Founding Sponsor, as well as medical doctor.  Thanks Bob for your work.)

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Counting the Trees

by Fred Booker


Fred BookerThere has been much ado over UC’s proposal to remove fire prone invasive eucalyptus, pine and acacia from the slopes of Claremont Canyon. UC’s plan has often been described by opposition forces as a “clear cut,” evoking images of the denuded hillslopes following old fashioned logging operations in the Northwest. As is often the case when making an argument not backed by facts, it is easier to persuade people to your side by creating an emotional response through negative imagery. To those of us who have worked in the canyon, this seemed an odd characterization of a diverse forest filled with a wide variety of other plants (READ MORE)