The natural world of California’s Lost Coast, from mushrooms to marine mammals, will be highlighted in guided hikes and lectures over the winter in the King Range National Conservation Area.
The Bureau of Land Management is hosting these free events. Lectures are at 7 p.m. at the BLM King Range Office, 768 Shelter Cove Rd., Whitethorn. Hikers should meet at the locations listed.
• Mushroom Hunting Hike, Sunday, Nov. 15: Meet at the Nadelos Campground at 11 a.m. for four hours of introduction into the fascinating world of fungi. Local experts Cynthia Packard and Don Bryant will lead the outing. Bryant has collected, studied and eaten mushrooms for over 30 years. Packard has studied local fungi for 30 years and has a special interest in local edible varieties.
• Discovering Phytoplankton, Tuesday, Dec. 8: BLM interpreter Rachel Sowards Thompson will introduce participants to these microscopic plant-like organisms that are the foundation of the ocean’s food chain.
• Salmon Spawning Hike, Sunday, Dec. 27: Participants will meet local fisheries biologist Richard Geinger at 10 a.m. at Ancestor Grove to learn about life cycle of salmonids, fish that spend parts of their lives in fresh water and in the open ocean. Plan on a five-hour outing.
• Primitive Technologies, Tuesday, Jan. 12: Learn about fire making, stone working and cordage making from expert Tamara Wilder. In addition to lecturing across the country, Wilder has practiced these skills for 20 years.
• Mesmerizing Marine Mammals, Tuesday, Jan. 19: Dr. P. Dawn Goley, professor in Humboldt State University’s Biological Sciences Department, will discuss distribution of marine mammals along the Pacific Coast of western North America.
• Winter Plant Hike, Saturday, Feb. 13: Participants will meet Cheryl Lisin, a landscape designer, at 10 a.m. in the Nadelos Campground, for a four-hour hike focused on native plants along Bear Creek and the Chemise Mountain Trail.
• Habitat Gardening, Tuesday, Feb. 23: Pete and Judy Haggard, authors of “Insects of the Pacific Northwest,” will present a slide show on gardening with native plants to attract insects and wildlife. Pete is garden chair for the California Native Plant Society, North Coast Chapter, and has many years of gardening experience.
More information on these events is available from Rachel Sowards Thompson at the BLM King Range Office, (707) 986-5411 or by emailing Rachel_Sowards@blm.gov.