Eco News

Some Upgrades for Loch Lomond (But Nothing Crazy)

Add kayaks and canoes to this pretty picture. Photo by Hilltromper.

Goldilocks-like, the Santa Cruz City Council has adopted the middle of three approaches to bringing back the lonely reservoir, eschewing both big-ticket items and do-nothingism.

Loch Lomond Gets A Makeover

Your rental kayak here. Photo by Hilltromper.

Imagine a redwood-ringed lake in Santa Cruz County with a zipline, kayaks and canoes for rent, yurts for camping, backpacking sites, an amphitheater and a wedding facility. It could happen.

The Emma McCrary Trail Opens

Mapping out a switchback on the Emma McCrary Trail. Photo courtesy MBoSC.

With the unveiling of the once-contentious trail for bikes, horses and people, a car-free 25-mile loop through Santa Cruz and its hinterland opens up.

Marbled Murrelets And The Big Basin General Plan

A marbled murrelet chick in a nest. Photo by Peter Halasz/Creative Commons.

The good news for marbled murrelet watchers is that new development in Big Basin won't happen near the old growth forest. The bad news is they still don't think it goes far enough.

Paying to Play at State Parks

A mostly-ignored self-registration sign in Nisene Marks State Park. Hilltromper photo.

Sneaking into state parks is ridiculously easy. But what if paying to get in were convenient and affordable? We've started the conversation at

Solar and Lunar Power en Espanol

 ß.torics solar globe

MAY 8, 2013-More than half of the electricity generated in Spain during the month of April came from renewable sources. And that number is sure to go up.

Green Birding, Adventure Birding

Birders line up to see a common cuckoo in a Watsonville slough in September 2012. Photo by Scott Smithson.

At some point, the idea of flying to the Olympic Peninsula at the drop of a hat to see a rare bird started to conflict with Scott Smithson's values as an environmentalist. So he started the Green Big Day.

Props For Santa Cruz County Plastic Bag Ban

The Save Our Shores Bag Monster hands out reusable bags. Photo courtesy Save Our Shores.

One year after the plastic bag ban went into effect in Santa Cruz County, 77 percent of county residents think it's been effective.

In Bird Census, Signs of Warming

A barn swallow perches on a wooden railing. Photo by John Haslam by Creative Commons.

Results of the Great Backyard Bird Count are in, and among the gee-whiz infonuggets (like the flock of 5 million redwinged blackbirds spotted in Missouri) are signs of climate change.

Castle Rock To Remain Open

Castle Rock State Park, once slated for closure, is getting a fresh lease on life. Photo by Tomwsulcer/Creative Commons.

A gift from the Sempervirens Fund—and the state's commitment to restitution after last summer's scandal—keep the Santa Cruz Mountain park off the 'closed' list.