Golden Gate Biosphere

First thing’s first: what exactly is a biosphere?

A “biosphere” is an officially designated geographical area, recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) “Man and the Biosphere” (MAB) program, that encompass communities and organizations who work together to improve human livelihoods and sustain the benefits we receive from nature. They are voluntary and non-regulatory. The United States claims 28 such biospheres. The Golden Gate Biosphere (GGB) is unique because it represents a highly diverse complex of terrestrial, coastal, and marine environments.

The Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve

The GGB reserve is complemented by a diverse cultural history and has lands and waters in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. It was designated in 1988, and includes urban, multi-use managed areas, and wildlands with marine and aquatic ecosystems, and terrestrial ecosystems ranging from evergreen forests, oak woodlands, chaparral, coastal scrub and prairies, rare serpentine grasslands (such as those we have here at Pepperwood), as well as coastal and offshore islands.

Through a collaborative approach, the Golden Gate Biosphere protects the natural and cultural resources of the dynamic North-Central California coastal bioregion through conservation, education, research and monitoring, and sustainable development. The 28,000 square-mile expanded Golden Gate Biosphere includes 10 original formal partners, of which Pepperwood was one, and the opportunity for others managing and caring for open space, working lands, aquatic areas, and urban and rural communities to join us.

In the map below you can see the area covered by the biosphere as well as some of the other partnering organizations. The network is a voluntary partnership of local, state, and federal agencies, tribal governments, conservation nonprofits, universities, working lands, community groups, and the private sector as well.

How is Pepperwood involved?

Having a reserve like this in greatly enhances our adaptive capacity as a region. Pepperwood is deeply involved in the GGB network. Pepperwood’s Watershed Sentinel Site provides important data and ecosystems monitoring that contributes to our understanding of how this region responds to a changing climate. With these data can help model trends and guide sustainable development. Pepperwood serves on the Steering Committee, the Conservation Planning Committee, and with EcoAdapt to use TBC3 data to conduct a comprehensive climate vulnerability and adaptation project with the full suite of GGB network partners.

Goals of the GGB Network

  • To CONNECT communities and organizations who are working to build harmonious relationships between people and nature.
  • To encourage a broad array of RESEARCH within the Golden Gate Biosphere.
  • To work in a cross-boundary capacity to better STEWARD the lands, waters, and rich biodiversity of our biosphere region.
  • To use the best available knowledge to MODEL climate change resilience and sustainable development both locally and globally.
  • To STRENGTHEN the connection between our communities and the Biosphere Region in which they live, work, and play.

Together, we collaborate to conserve nature and keep track of and steward healthy lands and waters so that the benefits will ensure quality of life for those who live here. It’s a tall order, but not just someone… MANY people have to do it. It’s our honor to be a part of that work, and through your support of Pepperwood, you too are one of the many people working to sustain the Earth that sustains us.