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John Hart

John Hart

from Farming on the Edge (1991)

Farming on the Edge

     A hillside above Tomales Bay, and the California fog moves in. Not much gets in its way: a rock outcrop, a barn, a row of pale-barked eucalyptus trees. Cattle, somewhere, are lowing. The bay–as long for its width as…

from Muir Woods National Monument (2011)

Muir Woods National Monument

Just into Muir Woods a mounted exhibit tells time, redwood-fashion. It is a cross-section of a tree a little over a thousand years old. Until 1988, a cheerfully Anglocentric display picked out annual growth rings corresponding to the Battle of…

from An Island in Time (2012)

An Island in Time Cover

It was the middle 1930s and the middle of the Depression. The National Park Service, in an expansive mood, was looking at the coastlines of the United States to find out what pieces of shore were still largely free of…


It begins with the rocks. Hart is currently working on a chapter on geological and geographical basics of Marin: how the bones of the land were formed and shaped, how and when the county became a peninsula, and what makes…

The Project

Fifty years on, Hart is moved to tell in full the Marin environmental story he has addressed piecemeal, beginning with, indeed before, Miwok days, in lively but impeccably documented fashion. Portions of the evolving text will be posted on this…

The Author

John Hart

John Hart’s first byline appeared in Marin County’s weekly Pacific Sun in August of 1970. Since then, he has ranged over a vast landscape of environmental issues in 16 books and several hundred articles. Frequently, though, the Marin resident circles…

The Place

Ariel View of Golden Gate Bridge

Marin County, a bridge away from San Francisco, is a gorgeous, problematic little world. Taxpayers nationwide have helped buy its magnificent parks; local efforts have placed half of its farmland under agricultural conservation easement. Its biodiversity is extraordinarily high; its…