Kiln Canyon/Carnegie ORV SRA--important status clarification
John Blades and I assisted Tara (de Silva) Kerss, the resident staff biologist, with her spring breeding bird survey this morning, adhering to proper social distancing at all times. John and I drove separately, and we were there at the express invitation of Tara, during this time of coronavirus pandemic. We visited several San Joaquin Co sites in the lower portions of the SRA, then headed up Kiln Canyon itself.
We all remarked on the Prius parked at the CHES gate along Corral Hollow Rd. Just so this is clear to everyone, parking here and hopping the gate is absolutely VERBOTEN (forbidden). We ran into Logan K on his way down the hill, and Tara firmly and politely reminded him that he should not be there. We visited briefly about the birds he had found further up; you can check his eBird list. Our trio only went as far as “Patella Hill”; best birds were Golden Eagle and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Our only hummers were Anna’s, and the Canyon Wren did not appear. The amount of sage in the area is much reduced as a result of last summer’s fire in the canyon.
This unpermitted access has the potential to becoming a real problem for the SRA. Please, please, please, if you wish to visit this area, follow the guidelines spelled out in San Joaquin Audubon’s 2019 updated bird finding guide, Birding in San Joaquin County. I am cutting and pasting from page 123 (I added the boldface):
An entrance fee may apply. After passing through the entrance gate, head east about 1.1 miles along a gravel road to Kiln Canyon. If you wish to try to walk this canyon (or anywhere else in this park), you MUST contact the staff biologist (Tara.deSilva@...) prior to your arrival to arrange for foot traffic. Please be respectful of her time and work schedule.
NOTE: since publication, Tara has married so her email is Tara.Kerss@....
John and I may be back at other times this spring, but again, we will only be there at the SRA’s invitation.
I know we are all going crazy in these days of coronavirus, but if we all follow the rules, we’ll get through them. We can all look forward to brighter, freer days ahead.